Toronto After Dark Film Fest: Sushi Girl

Many, if not most films these days are designed for a very specific audience, in fact Hollywood has made this into a science. This film was made for the After Dark Film Festival audience.

Firstly the casting has appeal for everyone from fans of sci-fi, horror and action films, the film stars Tony Todd (Candyman) and Mark Hamill (Star Wars) with cameos from Danny Trejo (Machete), Michael Biehn (Terminator) and Sonny Chiba (Kill Bill). Then the plot covers all the bases, Duke (Tony Todd) has invited his former heist crew to his soon to be opened brothel decorated in a pan Asian sensibility, to eat sushi off a naked woman. The agenda is simple, after a failed heist six years ago loot went missing and one of the crew (Fish) went off to jail. That teammember is now out of prison and Duke along with the rest of the crew want to know what happened to their money, innevitably suspicions arise.

All of the characters in the film are also delightful caricatures played with such giddy zeal by the cast, you have the dramatic leader of the gang Duke, the merciless attack dog Max (Andy Mackenzie), the brainy psychopath (Hamill), the unpredictable drug addict (James Duvall) and the new guy Fish (Noah Hathaway). For most of the movie they play in this stylized setting where sushi is served on a beautiful woman however there are flashbacks of the robbery where we get to see them in the real world in a more hyper realistic setting that offsets all the style that keeps the film from devolving into camp.

So blood, boobs and badasses the three b’s that will satisfy any genre film fan boy and the cast doesn’t hurt. In fact mark Hamill’s performance is a true highlight especially for anyone who is a fan of his voice over work as the joker in the Batman animated TV show and films, furthermore it will be an all out shock for anyone who only knows of him as Luke Skywalker. The film also does more than wink at itself and past movies, it does offer up something original and is much more unpredictable than you might think of a film that is so steeped in genre and caricature.

Sushi Girl
Directed by: Kern Saxton
Principal Cast: Tony Todd, Noah Hathaway, Andy Mackenzie and Mark Hamill

Written by Jason Poynton

Jason works on his feet all day, so when he gets some downtime his greatest joy is to settle in at a movie theatre and see a couple movies back-to-back, or in the the case of film festival season race around the city and see four or five in a day. Of course after the movies it’s time to eat and drink and talk it out with some friends.

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