Give Me My Money
Cast: Hiroki Taguchi, Hiroshi Ikeda, Ken Watari
Special guest review!
By Michael Sullivan
I'd like to clear up a misconception about Japanese
It's not just over the top sleazy anime, Godzilla, and commercials
American celebrities pushing products with ill-advised names (like a
with the name Calpis). No, no, no, there's more to it than that. Why,
are TV shows featuring women breaking forks in half with their asses,
great innovative products like Beauty Toilet, and off the wall films
Flower Cheerleaders, Violent Street, and
Me My Money!
All three of the films above are extremely obscure but
Cheerleaders and Violent Street are both a
more known so let's shift the focus on the little talked about and
much forgotten GMMM!
Opening with a wild animated credits sequence that's
by a catchy surf rock theme it's all revealed to be a comic book that's
being read by Chad Everett(!?!) Chad notices the camera puts down the
book and tells us, "Life is an unending hourglass of pain." He then
on to tell us about three different people. The first is a murderess
Meiko (Hiroki Taguchi). We find out that before her father died, he
that she wear an awful girly-looking dress complete with a pinafore, in
order to keep her innocent. So in order to take out her frustration,
is murdering men who resemble her father. The second is an unsuccessful
gambler named Macki (Hiroshi Ikeda). The main reason the guy is so
is because of his unnatural fear of bugs, which not only makes him
but also makes him spray a can of bug spray every five minutes. The
person is Macki's brother Yoshi (Ken Watari), who's convinced he's
The film cuts back to Chad who says, "Fate can kill a
horse, rip a tree in two, and bring three people together." (I'm
that Chad's supposed to be the film's narrator, but after these short
here, we never see or hear from him.) And so our story begins with
tying a man in a chair and skinning him alive. As brutal as this sounds
it's actually done so stylistically it seems as if it's an ad for
(albeit with more blood). In an incredibly contrived twist, the man
Meiko killed was actually Macki and Yoshi's father. Macki tracks her
and threatens to slit her throat, but just as he's about to kill her,
makes her an offer: "Help me rob banks or I kill you!" She accepts.
Macki's main idea behind the bank robberies is
Pull anything strange enough in front of people, and they'll be too
to notice the actual robbery. For instance, Yoshi dropping ducks from
ceiling while Meiko tap dances and throws fire crackers, M & Y
giant paper mache masks, who start smashing their giant fakey heads
until the heads crack open and doves fly out, and my favorite, Yoshi
up like a silent film villain and tying Meiko up in velvet bank ropes
midgets in tuxedos and Frankenstein masks dance around them.
Not surprisingly all of this weirdness pays off and
numerous successful robberies the trio becomes increasingly cocky and
get to peek inside their subconsciousness. Meiko sees herself as Peter
and convinces Macki and Yoshi they can fly only to see them splatter on
the pavement after tumbling off the roof (Meiko happily winks and gives
a thumbs up after this.) Macki sees a swarm of insects all with Meiko's
head, and then proceeds to smash them with a hairdryer(?), and Yoshi's
disturbing combo of Christmas and sexual imagery.
But quicker than you can say comeuppance, their latest
robbery goes from bad to worse. The diversion involving an unending
of costumes is a failure and Macki hallucinates that everyone in the
is a horsefly and frantically fires away at the customers. Soon the
swarm in on them and this is where the film's most ridiculous and
twist pops up....
Just as the police are about to arrest the trio, the
is stepped on by a giant bear/lizard who is duking it out with a
Yes, the film actually abandons the bank robbery plot, kills off all of
its characters, and the remaining half hour of the film is a parody of
Godzilla films and Herbie the Love Bug. To accurately describe
of the movie would mean doubling the size of this review, so all I'll
is that it somehow manages to be even more off the wall than the first
hour, if you can believe that.
******End of Spoiler Alert******
With the horrible dubbing, the Chad Everett appearance,
and numerous references to American pop culture, it's not surprising to
find out it was made specifically for American audiences.
no American distributor was crazy enough to pick this up, so it only
in some foreign markets, where it performed dismally and eventually
This is one ridiculously disjointed film which seems
it was made that way on purpose. Full of weird moments like Meiko
a guy with a tape recording of his own heart, pointless close-ups of
being lit, and a montage of their crimewave has a superimposed shot of
them marching in place in majorette outfits. Satirical moments are
followed by dead serious moments of M & Y mourning the death of
father or Meiko's brutal slaying of a bank guard. Stupid, nonsensical,
but never dull. This is the nadir of Japanese art film weirdness.
Check for availability on Amazon.
See also: Godzilla VS King
Ghidora, (Indian) Superman, The Star Wars Holiday Special