For the entire month of April, Cinefessions will once again be locked inside The Asylum, reviewing tons of releases by the famed studio. Every weekday throughout April you will get another Asylum review. April’s podcast will also be devoted to films from The Asylum.
I picked Asian School Girls partly as a two-fer: it’s an Asylum film for April, but it also got it off my Pull List for Instant Cinefessions. This is an original Asylum film, not a mockbuster of any sort. Unfortunately, that means it could go one of two ways, either really good or really bad. This leans more toward the bad end of the spectrum, but it’s not entirely a stinker. I think it’s meant to be like an exploitation flick from the ‘70s, so it has that vibe going for it, but they never really capitalize on this, and it feels really flung together at points, like they had no idea what to do to up the ante from what they’d done earlier in the film.
Our plot, as it were, involves four teenage Asian high school girls who were taken hostage by a Los Angeles crime syndicate, drugged, raped and then let go with little memory of what happened, only that it was not pleasant. This plucky band of schoolgirls decides to fight back any way they can, even with the power of seduction, by infiltrating the strip clubs where their attackers are known to hang out. They get some limited training that’s completely unbelievable in that it would ever work in any way, and set off for some revenge.
Asian School Girls would honestly be a great revenge film with a bit more realism and a higher budget. The whole movie looks like it was shot with stock HD cameras with little to no setup time. The sets are really bare bones, and the night shots fall apart technically thanks to poor lighting. That’s just the look of the movie. It feels like a really low budget exploitation flick, which I’d like normally, but it appears they were aiming for something higher than that, and fell way short.
As far as actors go, the four leads in this aren’t too bad. The problem with this, and most Asylum films, though, is that the supporting cast they pack in to act off the leads aren’t even remotely in the same acting arena. They aren’t up to par at all. While our four leads at least have something gelling them together, they get next to no help from the supporting cast, and the film falls apart that much quicker as a result. They did a much better job with casting in the other two films I’ve already reviewed this year, and it just feels like this one paid the price.
There are a few decent action sequences, but the plot and most everything else surrounding Asian School Girls isn’t all that great. If you’re hoping for some kind of kick ass revenge flick, you’ll also be let down because, though this has all the earmarks of a revenge flick, they just couldn’t – or didn’t – follow through on giving any kind of satisfying pay off. This is one of those Asylum films that can be a fun romp, but you’ll have to completely check out before you turn it on.