Noboru Iguchi is without a doubt one of the liveliest directors of modern Japanese cinema. And he's not just famous for his weird, outrageous and outlandish films, his appearances on film festivals too are quite remarkable and entertaining. Iguchi's most famous film is also a pretty important one, as The Machine Girl kick-started the entire Sushi Typhoon (Japanese splatter) rage, a runaway (and unexpected) international success formula.
Like many others in Japan, Iguchi started off his career as an AV director. It was only around the turn of the century that he started directing more mainstream films (though mainstream is a stretch - Iguchi is for the bigger part a true niche director). His first attempts were pretty shabby (Oira Sukeban, Madara no Shojo) but with The Machine Girl he finally hit a good balance between cheaply-produced pulp horror and intensely insane comedy. Even though his films often borrow a lot from the horror menu (Zombie Ass, Dead Sushi, Mutant Girls Squad), the only true straight-faced horror flick Iguchi directed is Tomie: Unlimited, one of the better entries in the series. In the end, Iguchi seems more interested in pulpish charm and comedy, which resulted in his biggest budget film to date: Denjin Zaboga: Gekijo-Ban.
Iguchi earned his stripes, rightly landing him an entry in the prestigious The ABCs of Death anthology. Even though I find his partner in crime Yoshihiro Nishimura and fellow Sushi Typhoon director Yudai Yamaguchi to be better overall directors, Iguchi's films are always worth a peek, if only for the slew of demented, creative and original ideas that flourish in his work.
Best film: Sento Shojo: Chi no Tekkamen Densetsu (Mutant Girls Squad) (4.5*)
Worst film: Oira Sukeban (Sukeban Boy) (1.0*)
Reviewed films: Mutant Girls Squad - The Machine Girl
Average rating: 3.00 (out of 5)