Movies From the Black Lagoon: Hard Revenge Milly

Movies From the Black Lagoon
Hard Revenge Milly - 2008, Unrated
By Tom Doty
Weekly Contributing Writer

A gang of nihilistic thugs meet their match when they cross the titular woman in this gory revenge melodrama from Japan.
The action takes place in a bleak future that has seen the collapse of Tokyo and the rise of Yokohama City. When we first meet Milly she is making short work of a goon after luring him to an abandoned warehouse on the pretense of buying drugs. Milly may not look all that tough but she doesn't have to when she rocks a nasty sword that springs from her elbow. She effectively disarms the bad guy by slicing his shoulder in two like she was carving up a Christmas ham.
Flashbacks lowly reveal that she lost her husband and infant to gang called 'The Jack Brothers." She seeks out a retired weapon smith, Jubei, who has seen it all and tries to convince her that vengeance is a bad way to go. When Jubei realizes that Milly is going forward with or without his assistance he relents and helps her come up with a few gadgets that James Bond would be afraid to try.
Milly's plan is simple. Lure one thug to his death and then stash the body at an abandoned apartment building that she can then booby trap until it's a roach motel for thugs. Next she uses the guy's phone to get the rest of the gang on her trail and they promptly show up. Sadly they have done so many bad things that none of them can remember her except for their vicious leader.
Milly makes short work of the gangsters in a series of excellently staged battles within the apartment complex. She doesn't just put them down. She puts enormous holes in them, sets fire to one, and even decapitates a victim so quickly that their torso fires several shots before dropping to the floor. It is all an appetizer for her showdown with the boss. They go at it for almost a half hour in one of the bloodiest seesaw battles ever filmed. It's an exciting conclusion that rivals the last confrontation in Quentin Tarantino's "Kill Bill: Part One."
This is one of the goriest films I've seen of late but it's nothing compared to some of the splatter that is currently coming out of Japan. These films have been doing better in America than at home so expect more. These gory thrillers are just one cycle of genre film form a country with a rich tradition of embracing genre material. Next week the Lagoon will begin a month long tribute to Japanese cinema with a quartet of excellent releases that showcase some of the best brain candy you'll ever treat yourself too. Till then look for "Milly " on DVD. Not only is it a fun flick but also it is so short (about an hour) that the DVD also features the sequel 'Bloody Battle" wherein Milly teams up with a young lady who also has an axe to grind with a very bad dude.
Best Line: "You probably are whacko but your nose is normal."

Tom Doty occasionally emerges from the Lagoon to check his e-mail and to read to children every Wednesday at 10:30am at Borders in Hagerstown. If you'd like to get a message to him, write to: dotyfox@myactv.net.