Gothic & Lolita Psycho (Gosurori Shokeinin)
Director/General Action Director – Go Ohara, Action Directors – Fumihito Minamitsuji & Go Ohara, Screenplay – Hisakatsu Kuroki, Created by Satoshi Hakuzen, Go Ohara & Hiroyuki Sasaki, Producers – Jun Nakajima & Hiroyuki Sasaki, Photography – Nobuhisa Ito, Music – Bloody Bad Romance, Visual Effects Supervisor – Tsuyoshi Kazuno, Special Effects Supervisor – Yoshihiro Nishimura, Art Direction – Shuji Yamashita. Production Company – Ohara Brothers Co, Ltd./DHE Corporation/Pony Canyon
Rina Akiyama (Yuki), Yurei Yanagi (Jiro – Yuki’s Dad), Misaki Momose (Lady Elle), Ruito Aoyagi (Masato), Minami Tsukui (Sakie – Yakuza Girl), Masahito Okamoto (Yuri Gerao), Satoshi Kakuzen (Nightwatch), Fumie Nakajima (Kayako – Yuki’s Mom)
Yuki, a girl dressed in Gothic fashion, targets a group of people, gorily slaughtering each of them in turn using her armoured umbrella with its combination sword blade and shotgun. Those that she targets are the five members of a group who burst into her home wearing black hoods, killed her mother and left her father wheelchair ridden. She has sworn to kill each of them in vengeance. However, the members of the group now start fighting back.
Gothic & Lolita Psycho is another venture into the genre of the gonzo Japanese splatter film that has taken off in the latter half of the 2000s with the likes of Meatball Machine (2005), Attack Girls’ Swim Team vs. the Undead (2007), Hard Revenge, Milly (2008), Machine Girl (2008), Tokyo Gore Police (2008), Robo Geisha (2009), Samurai Princess (2009), Vampire Girl vs Frankenstein Girl (2009), Big Tits Zombie (2010), Helldriver (2010), Mutant Girls Squad (2010), Zombie Ass: The Toilet of the Dead (2011), Dead Sushi (2012) and Bloody Chainsaw Girl (2016), among others. All of these feature copious splatter effects presented in a deliberately absurd and completely over-the-top way.
Go Ohara is a relative newcomer in this gonzo Japanese splatter genre – this was only his second film as director following the previous Geisha vs Ninja (2008). Unlike most of the other directors working this particular vein, Go Ohara doesn’t come from a background in either porn or makeup effects but has previously worked as a second-unit action director. Moreover, it feels like Gothic & Lolita Psycho was merely a passing assignment for Ohara rather than one where he is working out his fetishes as you often get with the other directors. Subsequently, Ohara went onto make the action film Assassin (2011), for instance.
Gothic & Lolita Psycho gives the impression that it was inspired by Vampire Girl vs Frankenstein Girl, which featured deliberately absurd caricature of contemporary Japanese youth fashions. (Gothic referring to the obvious, while Lolita is a very over-ornamented girlish style). The title is somewhat of a misnomer as it is not about a Gothic Psycho so much as it is a Gothic Avenger – the film, for instance, works less as a splatter film than as a nominal revenge film in the vein of Death Wish (1974), Death Sentence (2007) et al. The Lolita part seems to be trying to do the ‘vs’ thing that several of these Japanese splatter films have and, although there is a schoolgirl-dressed killer that turns up in mid-film, she is only one of several characters that the heroine takes on.
The opening scene where Rina Akiyama massacres a group of men in an underground fetish/gambling club with her armoured umbrella hits in with a fairly typical round of the deliberately absurd poses, splatter and action moves of this particular genre. The next set-up, where we meet the schoolteacher Yuri Gerao (a clear parody of the psychic fraud Uri Geller – see the film Mindbender (1996) for his story). He uses his psychic powers to lift up the skirts of a trio of Japanese schoolgirls, whereupon Go Ohara’s camera goes into focus on their panty-clad asses, typical of the adolescent approach of most of the directors of these gonzo Japanese splatter films.
The film however starts to find the nuttiness these films specialise in in a scene where said teacher is using his psychic powers to fly around the school gymnasium as Rina Akiyama attempts to kill him with her umbrella, ending in the eminently silly scene of him perched on top of the umbrella in a lotus position trying to batter at her. A scene with Akiyama fighting off a rap dance crew on a rooftop never much comes to life (and is, for Go Ohara, who was previously an action director, surprisingly dully choreographed). However, the film finally finds the level of surreal dementia that makes these films during the scene where Rina Akiyama fights Lady Elle (Misaki Momose) – the Lolita girl of the title – which has been choreographed with a good deal of kinetic vigour as the two shoot each other up around a kitchen and features OTT devices such as Akiyama revealing a shotgun inside her umbrella ferrule, while Momose wields two handguns with ornamented handles that double as knife blades, not to mention one that has a cellphone in the grip that she stops in mid-combat to talk to her boyfriend on, sitting down to eat some food and continue her conversation with her back turned while tossing the other gun at Akiyama, which keeps shooting at her while spinning through the air like a boomerang. The revelation of the heroine as a demon in the last act seems fairly left field and random, not to mention leaves the purposes of the hooded cultists in killing the heroine’s mother entirely obscure.