TADFF 2012 – Sushi Girl

by: Martin Kessler

Sushi Girl (2012) – Kern Saxton

The short that came before the film was a beautifully constructed stop-motion animated movie called Bydlo. It felt like watching some ancient legend. I  recommend any lover of animation should seek it out.

Since Quentin Tarantino first made a splash he has never had a shortage of imitators. For the most part the films that try to duplicate his unique dialogue, shocking violence and non-linear story telling end up being dull failures. Once in a while one of them manages to be original and well executed enough to be entertaining and worthwhile, as is the case with Sushi Girl.

The cast is great, studded with cult stars who seem really invested in their roles. The titular sushi girl, played by  Cortney Palm, spends most of the movie as a silent spectator to the  film, lying naked and covered in sushi and only gets to show off her solid acting talent in the film’s finale. Noah Hathaway and James Duval both give very solid performances.  Tony Todd has a monumental screen presence and it seems like a crime that he has not had more leading roles. Andy MacKenzie is very believably imposing in his role. The real treat to watch is Mark Hamill as a flamboyant gangster who he plays over-the-top in all the right ways. There are also some fun cameos in the film by Danny Trejo, Michael Biehn and Sonny Chiba.

There are some creative details that make the film stand on its own surprisingly well. The jewl-heist-gone-bad story is very entertaining and engrossing, and the violence is quite effective and shocking. It is difficult to pick out any weak points in the film.

Sushi Girl manages to fall into the contradictory category of: a very original ‘unoriginal film’. It is impossible to say whether or not Sushi Girl will develop any sort of cult following, but it certainly has the potential to.

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