High-Kick Girl! (Review)

High-Kick Girl!

aka Hai kikku garu!

Directed by Fuyuhiko Nishi
Written by Yoshikatsu Kimura and Fuyuhiko Nishi

High-Kick Girl was one of four films that came out or were announced close together that featured new female fighting talent as the leads, the others being Coweb from Hong Kong, Fighter from Denmark (review forthcoming), and Chocolate from Thailand.

For what is undoubtedly a low-budget flick, it does mush of what it sets out to do. The main goal is to showcase the karate skills of the stars, with plenty of real karate action and moves. Forget your wire work and CGI. The amount of prep work required must have been enormous for such a low-budget affair. Rumors abound that stunt people had to go take MRIs for having so many kicks to the heads and were really upset that the fighting was all “real” and they didn’t do takes where punches and kicks were pulled.

One constant stylization that High-Kick Girl uses is the different angle slow-mo instant replay. Many of the more brutal hits are instantly replayed from an alternate angle slow enough for you to enjoy them. This happens often enough that it probably added 20 minutes to the length of the film

Many of the characters are given introductions with their names when they first appear on screen. One problem is the fact the intros are in Japanese with no subtitles. I can read some of the characters, so there will be a few actual names below, but some of them I didn’t catch.

Kei Tsuchiya (Rina Takeda) – A real-life blackbelt in karate who will kick you in the head just because she can. This girl kicks high, thus the title, Kick High Girl. Wait, that’s not the title!
Yoshiaki Matsumura (Tatsuya Naka) – Tatsuya Naka is a real life Karate champion, as in a former All Japan Karate champion who is now the Japan Karate Association lead instructor.
Kei’s buddy (???) – Kei’s buddy who documents her attempts to beat up everyone in the universe.
Ryuzoku (Sudo Masahiro) – Matsumura’s former associate with a grudge. Ryuzoku is part of a larger mob of goons who all hate Matsumura, and he gets to him by going through Kei and using her to track down his foe.
Genga (Amano Koji) – Leader of the gang (the Destroyers) with a grudge against Matsumura. What this grudge is, I don’t know thanks to the no subtitles, but my guess is Matsumura

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