Silver (1999) - Takashi Miike
Low budget, late night smut at its finest, this film combines all the elements of a low grade B-picture into one nice bundle. Who watches late night exploitation films? Clearly the answer is men, so what would men like to see? How about wrestling, good, so why not take it a step up and try female wrestling? Ok now we need some ass whooping. Well since we already got the female wrestlers, why not a female ass kicker? Ok good, now we're cooking, but what good is a female action star, in a B-movie no less if she isn't well endowed with a gravity defying chest? Alright who do they get, Atsuko Sakuraba, that'll do just nicely. Alright well how about a little s & m, a dominatrix, and a lot of karate? Consider it a deal, and the film gets made.
With a seemingly atrocious screenplay and a very, very, very thin plot Miike takes it upon himself to make this film worth watching. As if he's apologizing to people who may be watching the film against their own free will. So with a bountiful supply of clever shots little gags and a lighting scheme that remains unique throughout, Miike graciously makes up for his bile material. Like any of his films they are usually disastrously flawed, but worth watching nonetheless. Silver is no different. Since it was made in his earlier days (1999), the film still has a Miike trying to prove himself.
The film is entertaining I must say. I had no idea exactly what was going on aside from the very basic woman seeks revenge plot. Throughout the film new characters were thrown into the mix, gangs, alliances and very little explanation as to who was who and what the hell they had to do with anything. The "love scene" was so pointless and went on so long that I literally found myself falling asleep. The lighting in that particular scheme was what can only be called a Shannon Tweed purple. Even the set up for the scene is laughable. Jun on her birthday, after killing the dominatrix Nancy is celebrating with a man who I don't honestly remember where he fit into the film because he doesn't pop up afterwards. Miike shoots a closeup of her face where she simply says "Make love to me". I nearly chuckled at how pointless it was. You can imagine a producer saying "We need a sex scene", and that was the ingenious solution to how to get it in there.
Like most of Miike's films (at least he several I've seen) this one is of course style over substance. Revenge plots are always thin, but unless you're Park Chan Wook, then avoid them entirely. This film has neither the budget, nor the script to make a grade A picture. I still have a good 4 Miike films in the to watch pile, so perhaps god willing one of his films may actually elevate itself above mere clever trickery.