“High Kick Girl” is Appropriately Titled

Rina Takeda stars in the most aptly named film since Snakes on a Plane.

Can we just take a moment to revel in how completely !@(&*#$% awesome the recent onslaught of kickass girly martial arts films hitting the international market is? There’s Chocolate, from Thailand, featuring the stunning muay thai stylings of Jeeja Vismistananda. Hong Kong’s national Shaolin Quan Wushu champion, Jiang Lu Xia, will blow your mind in Coweb. Denmark’s Fighter, directed by Natasha Arthy and choreographed by Chinese stunt actor Gao Xian, stars an impressive Turkish kung fu newcomer named Semra Turan. Now, Japanese will-o-the-wisp Rina Takeda has arrived on the scene to make us go SQUEEEE and wiggle and jump up and down and cackle.

Watch her flaunt some formidable (and flexible) karate skills in this teaser for High Kick Girl. The concept sells itself, really:

Via Trixie Bedlam, thanks.

I mean, come on, what more could you want from the trailer for a movie called High Kick Girl?

Just in case you’re still feeling skeptical about Takeda (or the cutie pie seifuku stuff), fear not: according to recent reviews cropping up all over the internubs, Takeda, like the three aformentioned ladies, can really fight, and the choreography is off the hook. I’m so there.

35 Responses to ““High Kick Girl” is Appropriately Titled”

  1. Jon Munger Says:


  2. Mer Says:

    Kickass lady powarrrr. I’m totally busting out The Heroic Trio RITE NAO DOOD. (Different vein, same RAWRGH sentiment.)

  3. AlisonY. Says:

    I can only wish America would catch up and do empowerment schtick like this.

    Actresses here are only lucky to get main roles in crappy romantic-comedies (as long as they’re straight, white, and skinny first of course.)

    THIS is about as close as we can get to girls starring in their own movies and kicking ass right now: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IHjLCg_tJi8

    I feel sad now.

  4. BlueAnchorNatasha Says:

    I lol’d and did the deviant giggle bit, some of these look interesting! I just dont speak danish.. augh.
    And I cant kick quite as high as I used to.. its been like 4 years since karate. auuuugh.

  5. andy r. Says:

    looks cool

  6. Phil H Says:

    Man, I forgot about Chocolate, that looked really good. Hadn’t heard of the others though, Coweb also looks like it will be really good(love them monkey bars fights), Fighter might be a bit heavy on the drama for me, and with a premise like that, High Kick Girls can do no wrong.

    Are we intentionally omitting the inevitably terrible Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li?

  7. Mer Says:

    Phil H, in the vein of “if you don’t have anything nice to say…” no comment. ;)

    Oh, wait, I thought of something nice to say: Kristin Kreuk is gorgeous.

    Oh! One more nice thing: Dion Lam is the choreographer, so at least THAT part won’t be too bad…provided the editor’s not a spaz.

  8. Knot Says:

    FYI for everyone, I just did a bit of poking around and noticed that Chocolate seems to be getting a US theatrical release in February, per boxofficemojo.com. No idea how limited/wide of a release we’re talking here, but I bet it’ll be fun to see on a big screen.

  9. Jamie Says:

    Heh, this reminds me of a movie I saw called Yo-Yo Girl Cop. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0781084/

  10. R. Says:

    My martial arts film loving man would love this as much as I do. ^_^

  11. Phil H Says:

    @Mer – Fair enough :)

  12. Alice Says:

    The music in that little trailer makes it seem like this is quite the happy-feeling-inducing film. So I may be getting a sliiiightly incorrect impression, but I’m excited to see it nonetheless!

  13. Ben Morris Says:

    Martial arts aside if the trailer’s comedic timing is representative of the film then this will be great.

    My only (very minor) complaint with this post is that I wish the film’s title had been kept below the jump; the trailer is even funnier if you aren’t aware of the title going into it.

  14. Tequila Says:

    Cute girl kicking people…I can get behind that. Been in the mood for some martial arts fun anyhow…

    As far as the Chun Li movie…given Chun Li was a puberty defining moment for many a man my generation I MUST see the movie. Even if no woman alive can have the Street Fighter III era Thighs Of Delicious Doom.

    Now the real debate is…who of the Coilhouse staff would have the best martial arts skill in a full on brawl?

    Lets examine this shall we?

    We have Mer…she’s like the secret master who lives in some out of the way village or as a hermit on a hill. You’re never quite sure how powerful she can be. Yet you know underestimating her would be a mistake. Totally capable of the dreaded Theremin Death Touch!

    Nadya…definitely the dedicated fighting monk. All quiet and cool meditating and working away until pushed too far by a corrupt warlord, then IT’S ON! Her mystical eye captures enemy souls freezing them for eternity.

    Zo…easily the wandering samurai swordsman. She goes about her business peacfully until confronted by local yakuza or a ninja ambush. With her Brushes of Death she paints masterworks of slaughter sending them all to hades…or worse…Utah!

    For added color…

    Mildred…the drunken master who fights fueled by the spirits of ages past. Is she passed out or simply waiting to strike?! No one ever knows…her fabled Sewing Needle Strike is legendary.

    David Forbes…the gaijin dog who uses modern science and western inventions to best his opponents. Be it using strange black powder fueled firearms or the horrid Christmas specials of popular western myths, one can never predict his attacks.

    So as you can see…it’d be quite the battle.

  15. Paul Komoda Says:

    I likes me dat High Kick Girl trailer!
    Yes, Mer….Heroic Trio RAWKS…..!

    Hey Nadya, Tequila hit the nail on the head…….you’re a “Fighting Monk”.

  16. Mer Says:

    Al, you’re amazing.

  17. Nadya Says:

    Fighting ‘munk!!!

  18. Mer Says:

    Hahahahahahaahahaha!! Sweetie, is that you at your day job?

  19. Nadya Says:

    Yeah! Kicking ass and takin’ names! Stealth-munk!

  20. Mer Says:

    Alison, what’s your opinion of Tarantino’s vengeful chick flicks? I’m of the opinion that Death Proof, Kill BIll, and even Jackie Brown (while derivative of more “pure” flicks from past decades) have plenty of empowerment schtick, and may even be the catalyst for this international wave of girlpower martial arts films.

    If anyone reading this thread who likes to watch movies about beautiful, funny, scrappy ladies hasn’t seen it already, I can’t recommend the documentary “Double Dare” enough:

  21. Nadya Says:

    Mer, thanks for posting this! I am such a huge fan of Zoe Bell! I’ve seen bits & pieces of Double Dare, but never the whole thing. Will watch.

  22. pedro soenen Says:

    I love this, but then I got the feeling that I had already read about this some time ago, with more or less the same words. And I had.

  23. Nadya Says:

    pedro soenen, I’m sure it’s not the first time that 2 people in the blogosphere had a similar idea for a post title or even a write-up. Anyone familiar with Mer’s writing style on this blog knows that she’s no plagiarist. There’s no question.

  24. m1k3y Says:

    Chocolate is SO.FREAKING.AWESOME!

    Fighter, less so.

    That DoubleDare clip almost brain-bleached that BrideWars one. Sigh.

    Go ZOE!

  25. Mer Says:


  26. Ben Morris Says:

    Nadya beat me to this and her version was more succinct but anyways:

    pedro soenen: I’m not really sure what your point is. After reading the post you linked to I agree that there are similarities. However the similarities are observations that most people who keep up with film and see this trailer would make. Making a snide comment based on this seems to be either coming from an agenda or a tad dense as I imagine any worthwhile post on this film would note these facts.

  27. Mer Says:

    *hugs Sir Lev and Sir Morris*

    A while back, Pedro also decided I was under the impression that Alan Moore wrote The Sandman, and saw fit to correct me… he’s a very helpful backseat driver, is Pedro. ;)

    It’s okay. To be fair, I crapped this post out really fast. Came up with the oh-so-clever-and-original “appropriately titled” and “most aptly named film since Snakes on a Plane” bits all by myself the minute Trixie showed me the clip, but then, in perusing other blogs afterwards while writing this masterful bit of journalism, I noticed the same joke in various places. Perhaps I should have been more distinctive in my own wording. Ah well. Color me unoriginal.

  28. Tequila Says:

    “…Fighting ‘munk…”

    How has Hollywood not made this yet? It practically writes itself!

    Thanks for sharing the other side of your daily life Nadya…you’re much more agile than I thought. Plus look at those furry cheeks…so cute! :P

    My 2 cents on the female empowerment schtick… As much attention as Tarantino gets for his tough women one can’t forget Geena Davis. In A League of Their Own she set the tone for how to do a strong female lead without making them seem male. Too many times “stong female lead” turns into “actress acting like a cliche male action star…”

    In Cutthroat Island and A Long Kiss Goodnight she kicked some serious ass. Both films tanked for a variety of reasons (I still like em dammit) but in the case for A Long Kiss Goodnight critics said “No one buys a Female Action Star in the States” and other such lines. This was the mid 90’s…right before DVD’s allowed for the flood of HK films to be seen by more than movie junkies. It’s still rare to see major actresses take on action roles (but oh how they’ll do romantic comedies till ones eyes bleed…) but at least now it’s possible.

    I’d say the catalyst wasn’t just actresses like Davis taking gambles in pushing what audiences will accept in terms of Female Empowerment on film…but more importantly video games. 1996 saw Lara Croft take center stage in Tomb Raider. That was the game to show a female as an action star could work…and to a whole generation of gamers the idea of “playing as a girl” become a non-issue and downright awesome. Street Fighter did the same with having strong women beat the ever loving crap out of guys and later Resident Evil would show a female character taking on zombie hordes. Probably the earliest and most stealth like was Metroid as its iconic lead is in fact of a woman. Something gamers first learned on the ye old NES by surprise.

    So if anything it’s all those gamers having grown up and expecting to see kick ass women in their entertainment as a whole that’s pushed what we see now. As great as Kill Bill was…I doubt it would have been anywhere near as accepted by a generation not schooled on video games and eastern cinema.

    And for those going “What about Aliens and T2?” True one can’t deny Cameron’s love for kick ass women and they no doubt set the stage for much to come. Still those characters fall into that weird spectrum where they take elements from both sexes and become an mythical hybrid…though I will happily admit Ripley from Aliens was the coolest thing in the world to me as a kid…

  29. Mer Says:

    Tequila…everything you’re elaborating is why I stuck the bit about Tarantino’s stuff being derivative of more “pure” flicks from past decades. I don’t think his movies are the only catalyst, nor am I saying there aren’t a bazillion other examples (we all love Geena, Jill Valentine, and I still worship Ripley for being the most believably feminine/maternal-yet-stoic action hero ever), but you can definitely see particularly strong echoes of Tarantino’s cut-to-the-chase riffs off grindhouse kung fu in this particular trailer. It’s one big hall of homage mirrors, innit? ;) Or a really yummy California roll served in Japan. :D

  30. Ben Morris Says:

    Mer may be on to something about Tarintino’s last several movies facilitating (at least in part) this sudden surge in these films.

    On the topic of filmic precursors to the empowerment in Kill Bill I must mention 1973’s Lady Snowblood (trailer) as Tarintino himself has cited it as the primary inspiration for that aspect of his film.

  31. Tequila Says:

    …and now I’m hungry for California rolls.

    Figured as much my friend but what fun is the internet without geeky pretentious brain explosions like my comment above? :P

    Dunno if you’ve seen “Bruce Lee: A Warrior’s Journey” but if not do so soon! Not only is it one of the better biographies on the man but the last half of the film is nothing but footage from his unfinished The Game of Death. It would have been the ultimate homage/catalyst for modern martial arts cinema. Who knows what the landscape would look like now had it been completed.

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  33. Gloria Says:

    Cute schoolgirl in short plaid skirt doing high-kicks? Kind of cliched? Asia’s been doing better long before: See Stephen Chow’s “Justice, My Foot!” (1992) for an example. It’s not a martial arts flick per se, just a B comedy, but it stars a housewife — later heavily *pregnant* — who kicks ass with as much style and grace as any of these school-age kiddies. Played by Anita Mui, bless her soul.

    The best part of these kind of roles is that they’re just a throwaway — normal, expected, nobody blinks an eye. (The joke there is that her husband, a highly literate lawyer, can’t fight for beans, and she provides a lot of the muscle, but there are no laughs when she starts swordfighting.)

    I find them much more refreshing than the star trailers we’re supposed to point at and say loudly, “Look, she’s a woman!”

  34. Mer Says:

    Gloria, what can I say… I like ’em all. :)

  35. sam Says:

    Rena is amazing, she’s a real karate champion and she’s cute on TV shows too