Plot: Madame Lu (Mari Honjo) has plans to take over the assassination market and that ambition involves a trio of martial arts experts, all of whom Lu plans to turn into her own personal death machines. A special serum has been administered to each of these warriors, which makes them impervious to pain and injuries, they can even withstand repeated gunshots. Now that Lu has her minions, she dispatches them to take out the rival hit squads and they do so with ease. No matter if the situation calls for hand to hand combat, explosives, or driving a bulldozer, this trio of bad asses can do whatever it takes. When Lu sends them to wipe out an entire karate school, the result is a blood soaked rampage with dozens dead, but one survivor. Frank (John Lowe) is able to make it out alive, but of course Lu quickly sends her death machines to the hospital to finish him off. With the police on the case and Lowe out for revenge, can even Lu’s death machines withstand the heat?
Entertainment Value: If you love breaking glass, martial arts overload, and just one bizarre scene after another, buckle up for Death Machines. A trio of martial arts quasi zombies are on the loose, unleashing a torrent of action and death, while a lone survivor plots his vengeance. The movie blends action, martial arts, science fiction, and even a little horror with outrageous results. The focus leans toward the action/martial arts side, with numerous fight scenes, including the aforementioned karate school massacre, which is a lot of fun. The cast here is ridiculous, led by Mari Honjo who sports some epic wigs and has perhaps the strangest vocal performance of all time. The rest of the cast is populated with colorful, memorable characters as well, with John Lowe also as a stand out as one handed Frank. Not much makes sense here and there’s no real point to the story, but that never dampens the entertainment value. If you can appreciate off the wall, inexplicable cinema, this one is a must see.
A couple of brief topless scenes, including an awkward stripper who never has change for the jukebox. The highlight is a brief, but fully nude scene in which breasts, bare ass, and bush are showcased. Despite some reviews that promise “topless women aplenty,” there isn’t that much naked flesh here. There’s some minor blood here and there, mostly from gun shot wounds. The epic karate school massacre has a lot of swordplay, but no real kinetic bloodshed. Just stains on the victims and such. There is maybe the worst hand being chopped off scene however, which is awesome. Instead of blood, we are blessed with countless fight scenes, so it balances out. Madame Lu stands out in terms of dialogue, if you can understand her, that is. Frank has some interesting exchanges as well, though he is overly fixated on his phantom hand. On the craziness scale, this one earns some solid points and is consistently outlandish. The strange characters, the insane amount of glass breaking, invincible martial arts warriors, and lingering freeze frame finale are just part of the fun here. If you’re looking for a movie that doesn’t even come close to normal, this one will serve that purpose.
Overall Insanity: 7/10