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TEENAGE HOOKER BECAME A KILLING MACHINE

Teenage Hooker Became A Killing Machine

Format: DVD

Release date: 26 December 2007

Distributor: Third Window

Director: Gee-woong Nam

Cast: Dae-tong Kim, So-yun Lee

Orginal title Daehakno-yeseo maechoon-hadaka tomaksalhae danghan yeogosaeng ajik Daehakno-ye Issda

Director: Yukihiko Tsutsumi

Cast: Maho Nonami, Eiko Koike

South Korea 2000

60 mins

Finally! Somebody in this stinkin’ world appreciates my superhuman ability to waste entire weeks of my life watching endless piles of B-Movies with stupid titles and has actually given me an opportunity to post my narrow-minded opinions on an otherwise respectable online magazine. So big up to the Electric Sheep gang for doing so… and on your heads be it.

The premise of Teenage Hooker Became a Killing Machine is essentially a cross between I Spit on Your Grave and Robocop. A street-walking-sailor-suited-schoolgirl is murdered when she becomes pregnant by her teacher, and is brought back to life Bionic Woman-style by some mysterious organisation. Reprogrammed as an emotionless assassin, complete with a fearsome flip-out crotch-cannon, she is unleashed on the city’s underworld, only to have her circuitry damaged (or to be more accurate, one of her robo-boobs memorably blown off) causing her to realise her true identity. Cue bloody and violent revenge upon her killers and so forth.

Sounds like I just described a generic exploitation action thriller, don’t it? I knew you were gonna get the wrong idea! At risk of sounding unsophisticated… I think this is really one of them artsy films in disguise… To get a better idea of the way things go down in the world of Teenage Hooker Became a Killing Machine, I’d like you to fetch a torch and hold it up to one of your eyes, as this will help more accurately emulate the experience.

You see, I had to take an unexpected trippy-trip out of my comfort zone for this film. As an avowed philistine, I was hoping for something kitschy and lowbrow, I mean, it’s got ‘Killing Machine’ in the title for gad’s sake. Instead I was faced with something darkly surreal and full of what I can only assume was symbolism. I’m not really an abstract type guy, and my knowledge of Asian cinema is basically limited to Godzilla so I had to really fish my brains for a decent reference point and I came up with… Tetsuo: The Iron Man! I know that one gets wheeled out a lot but it’s the only other film I can think of that has a similar mix of Lynchy obscurity and animé-informed cyberia. You can tell someone’s out of their depth when they resort to calling stuff ‘Lynchy’ but you know what I mean. It’s a world where people can transform into robots and shoot each other up, but it all happens in grimy hand-held slow motion with ‘experimental’ lighting and an opera soundtrack. Here’s a good example of what I’m talking about: rather than go for the obvious ‘scientists turn dead body into android in laboratory’ scene, Teenage Hooker gives us the world’s first ‘creepy old lady turns dead body into android with a Victorian sewing machine’ scene. That kind of thing.

So, yeah, contrary to my expectations, Teenage Hooker Became a Killing Machine is a little more in the arthouse than the grindhouse, and I’d recommend it to anyone who fancies spending an hour feeling shocked and confused. I’d buy it just for the title, it’s a real shelf-brightener.

Doc Horror

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