June 12, 2010

Killing Machine: She Only Seems Crazy, Indie Fans

Killing Machine is one of those movies that never quite lives up to the insanity of its plot synopsis. The story is invitingly nuts: A high school nymph (Lee So-yun) earns extracurricular money by hooking with the faculty then falls into a brief relationship with one maniacal teacher (Kim Dae-tong) who rapes her, impregnates her, shoots her, mutilates her, hires a super-seamstress to stitch her back together, then turns her into a robot assassin. Trimmed of the excess footage showing the victim/vigilante standing/staring or running through poorly lit interiors, director Nam Gee-wong's Killing Machine would've probably run a zanily enjoyable half-hour. As is, this artsy exercise in cyberpunk surrealism runs closer to an hour. That means you often have to wait through stretches of filler to get to the weird imagery like a post-op fembot's gunblasted breast leaking green goo and gnarly wires or a Metropolis-inspired rebirth during which thick electric cords pump new life into the recently dismembered girl. It's no B-movie beauty a la Hera Purple or Terror Taxi but Killing Machine is at least an attempt to think outside the box. Good things come in small packages but good things in oversized packages tend to feel disappointingly small.

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