Posts Tagged ‘Japan’

I don’t know if my Zombie Movie Night expectations were ever as low as they were for the two offerings in the first showing of 2014. Nothing in my zombie list was really calling out to me, so I decided to make an attempt to revive the Golden Zombey category of Best Animated Feature by picking The Amazing Adventures of the Living Corpse. It looked pretty crappy, but how bad could it be? My brother made the discovery that Zombie Ass: Toilet of the Dead was streaming on Netflix. Yeah, it was going to be a long night.

Zombie Ass: Toilet of the Dead

Zombie Ass

Zombie. Ass. Toilet. Of the Dead. Let’s just let that sink in. You know it’s from Japan. Wacky Japanese movies can be great (see Helldriver). They can also be terrible (see Battle Girl: The Living Dead in Tokyo Bay). They can also get into weird, creepy, fetish areas (see Attack Girls Swim Team Vs. The Undead). Zombie Ass straddles that line, and comes pretty close to jumping over it. Luckily, most of it is pretty watchable.

So the story goes that a group of teens are camping in the forest in search of parasites so that one girl can ingest one and fulfill her dreams of becoming a super thin model. Somehow, this great plan goes awry. The parasite she eats turns out to be a mutant parasite that causes zombieism and occasionally sprouts out of the victim’s anus with razor sharp teeth. More butt parasite zombies show up and the group seeks shelter in a local village where they come across a scientist doctor dude and his young daughter, who are more evil than they first appear. There’s also some backstory about the hero’s guilt over not being able to save her younger sister who committed suicide because some school bullies forced her to fart in the presence of others. Spoiler Alert: she overcomes her fear and triumphs over evil with the power of farting in public.

THE GOOD: I know some of that sounds great, but it really comes out weird on screen. Obviously this film does not take itself too seriously, and there are parts that are bizarrely entertaining and funny. It builds some good momentum, but then goes off the rails.

THE BAD: The last chapter of the movie is really where it falls apart. The film turns from entertaining and kind of fun to disturbing and uncomfortable. However, if anime-style tentacle rape is your kind of thing, then you might think that the ending is the best part (and I don’t want to hang out with you).

THE ZOMBIES: The zombies start out pretty standard. A whole horde arises from an outhouse covered in shit. I’m not sure how they ended up there or how they all fit down there, but I’m able to suspend disbelief enough to cover it. Again, things get weird at the end, when the tentacle parasites start sprouting from the zombies’ butts, leading them to attack butt-first in a reverse bear crawl.

VERDICT: Not as slimy as Attack Girls’ Swim Team Vs. The Undead, but not nearly as good as the best Japanese zombie stuff. It’s probably best to pass on Zombie Ass. Grade: D+

Current ZMN Rank: #99 out of 134

Golden Zombey WatchDepends on how weak Best Actress is, but Arisa Nakamura might have an outside chance. This was our first non-English film, so Foreign Film might be sparse again. I’ll be looking for Shit Man when it comes time to pick Outstanding Zombie.

The Amazing Adventures of the Living Corpse

Amazing Adventures of the Living Corpse

Based on title alone, you’d think that this would be a light-hearted, fun, animated romp. You would be dead wrong. There is nothing amazing about the boring-ass adventures of the living corpse. I feel compelled to summarize the plot, but I know it’s not worth my time. I’ll just speak in incomplete sentences instead. Corpse back from dead. Kills family. Spares son, develops awareness. Goes to underworld. Tries to find son who is in foster care for victims of the supernatural. Flash forward 15 years for no reason. Evil scientist. Fight.

THE GOOD: Nope.

THE BAD: TAAotLC is bad in every area. The animation is terrible and would have looked terrible 20 years ago. It’s clunky, awkward, and is in every way unappealing. The voice acting is horrendous, as is the dialogue. The plot is incoherent and disjointed. Character motivations are all over the place and often don’t make sense. I was wondering why this movie was 3 hours long before I realized it was just a tremendously painful 87 minutes.

VERDICT: Worst. Movie. Ever. Grade: F

Current ZMN Rank: #134 out of 134. It doesn’t get lower than that, you piece of shit. And again, if you’re the worst zombie movie I’ve ever seen, it probably means you’re straight-up the worst movie I’ve ever seen.

Golden Zombey WatchEven if Best Animated Feature makes a comeback, this doesn’t deserve to be on the ballot.

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It’s summer time and the living is easy…unless you’re surrounded by zombies of course. Hard to believe, but we have entered the last quarter of Zombie Movie Night: Season 4. It’s been a pretty solid year so far. We’ve watched some classics and traveled to the theaters a remarkable amount of times. So for July, it was nice to get back to some ZMN staples: one crappy low-budget, straight to DVD movie and one wacky foreign film. Which one was superior? You be the judge! (well, after I judge them)

Humans Vs. Zombies

Humans Vs Zombies

Humans Vs. Zombies is a live-action game that has become somewhat popular on college campuses across the county. It’s kinda like LARP, for people who’d rather run around with a Nerf gun than a foam sword. It’s sounds pretty dorky, but I’m sure that I would have partaken if I were younger and with the right group of friends. Anyway, this film seeks to cash in on the popularity of the game…..I think. It really ends up being a pretty typical zombie movie.

THE GOOD: Decent acting and decent effects for the genre. Slightly better than you’d expect for a movie of this caliber. There’s not much story to speak of outside the main characters running from place to place, trying to find shelter. Pretty standard, but done fairly well.

THE BAD: The characters are really college cardboard cut-outs. Nerd, Jock, Hot Girl, Unattainable Hot/Jerk Girl, Stoner. Yet despite being stereotypes that we’ve all come to know over the course of a million college films, HvZ spends at least 40 minutes establishing their motivations. If it was going to take that much time, it could have at least made the characters interesting.

THE ZOMBIES: The zombies are caused by the shady American government contaminating the ocean or something with oil or something with zombie ants or something with the Iraq War or the Vietnam War. I don’t know, it’s stupid. The movie spends too much time trying to make the zombie apocalypse sound viable, ultimately wasting time and throwing too much stuff up against the wall. The zombies are fast and attack in packs. The zombies and gore look pretty good. Threat Level: 7

VERDICT: Not a bad movie, but not a particularly good one either. If you’re a zombie fan I’ll recommend it simply for the ending that goes from unsatisfying to awesome in about half a minute. Grade: B-

Current ZMN Rank: #61 out of 118

Golden Zombey WatchSomebody might sneak through in one of the Acting categories, depending on which one is weakest. There was some nudity, although a little more would have made it a better contender for Best Nudity.

Tokyo Gore Police

Tokyo Gore Police

Tokyo Gore Police comes from the batshit insane minds that created Helldriver. TGP delivers the same kind of wacky, gory madness, but unfortunately it is not really a zombie movie. It does have some barely-zombie-like creatures; just enough to not be disqualified.

TGP takes place in a future where the Tokyo police force has been privatized and self-mutilation has become so commonplace that television commercials advertise stylish razors for teenage girls to cut themselves with. Ruka is a police officer who specializes in taking down mutated humans called “engineers.” Engineers have the ability to regrow severed body parts as weapons, so if you happened to have the top of your head cut off, you could grow back gun barrels as replacement eyes. Or if someone bit off your penis, it could grow back as a giant dick-cannon. While battling engineers, Ruka learns some dark secrets about the police force she works for, the death of her father, and the origin of the engineers.

THE GOOD: TGP is a funny, disgusting good time. Blood is ridiculously splattered and limbs are flying everywhere. Much like Helldriver, underneath the wackiness is actually some good story-telling and social commentary. Helldriver pulls it off better though, and is the superior of the two films.

THE BAD: TGP contains some of the most disturbing things that I’ve seen on film. There’s really no reason that I ever needed to see a naked human-torso-chair piss on an excited crowd of people. It’s also not nearly as much of a zombie movie as its Netflix description led me to believe. So it lost points for that.

THE ZOMBIES: The engineers can just barely be considered zombies. Some of them come back from what otherwise would be fatal bodily damage and one good guy is turned evil when he mutates, so I guess they count. It really just gets in because it’s related to HelldriverNepotism has infected the ZMN Standings.

VERDICT: Not a bad movie, if you dig over-the-top gore. Its value is definitely dropped for its very shaky status as a zombie movie. Grade (as a zombie movie): C

Current ZMN Rank: #89 out of 118

Golden Zombey Watch: Eihi Shiina won Best Supporting Actress last year for Helldriver, but I don’t particularly like her odds to win Best Actress for TGP. Giant Dick-Cannon Engineer might contend for Outstanding Zombie if he is deemed zombie enough. TGP looks like a lock to be nominated for Best Foreign Language Film, since surprisingly it’s only the third eligible film this season. It could also win an Academy Award for worst nudity…in the world….ever.

Zombie Movie Night, May 2012 asked that age old question: Who makes crazier zombie movies Japan or Italy. Unfortunately, we’ll have to throw this one out as Zombie Mermaid barely qualifies. But, more on that…

Oh! My Zombie Mermaid

Be forewarned, oh lovers of great cinema, Oh! My Zombie Mermaid contains a mermaid, and it contains a zombie, but it does not contain a zombie mermaid. And that’s one of the least bizarre things about this movie.

Successful wrestler, Kouta Shishioh, is having a house warming party. This is a big deal, see, ’cause his wife has always dreamed of having a house (a small house, with big windows, and a small door, and a darling puppy. Trust me, it makes a great song). Unfortunately for Kouta, everything goes to shit when his rival shows up, a jerkass American dude who looks like Albert Wesker from Resident Evil. Wrestling wackiness ensues with broken chairs, tables, televisions, and a giant fish shoved down a man’s throat. The action culminates when a mysterious bomb blows the house to smithereens. House-loving wifey is caught in the blast and ends up in a coma. Even worse while she’s in the hospital, she starts to turn into a mermaid (a surprisingly common occurrence with coma victims, I Googled it.) Kouta is understandably upset by this and he begins to rebuild his house, a move that he is sure will cure his wife. He throws all of his money into the house and soon he can’t even afford to pay his stable of goofy wrestling buddies. In order to make things right, he reluctantly agrees to participate in a Pay-Per-View type event in which he will take on a group of evil murderous wrestlers (one of which being a zombie! ZMN classification satisfied!). The only venue suitable for such an event? Kouta’s new house, which he will lose ownership of if he is not victorious.

THE GOOD: Oh!MZM is wacky Japanese at its finest. There are a number of WTF! moments as well as plenty of times when I laughed out loud. This one is fun and entertaining from beginning to end.

THE BAD: The title is terribly misleading. The subtitles during the opening scene offer an alternate title: Ah! House of Wrestling, which is much more accurate. I was afraid that despite having the word zombie in the title, that it would not be eligible to be listed on the Zombie Movie Night Standings, luckily…

THE ZOMBIES ZOMBIE: Half way through the movie, a zombie wrestler makes the scene. He’s dirty and has white pupils. It seems that he might just be some kind of weirdo, until he starts stabbing himself and strangling our hero with his own intestines. Oh!MZM makes the list by the slimmest of margins.

THE VERDICT: I’d recommend Oh!MZM to anyone who loves wrestling or movies that are batshit insane. If it had more zombies in it, it would have scored much higher in the ZMN Standings. As zombie movie it’s a D, as crazy Japanese movie, it’s an A.

Current ZMN Rank: #37 out of 76

Burial Ground: The Nights of Terror

Burial Ground doesn’t waste any time getting to zombies and boobs, so neither will I! Let’s go!

THE GOOD: Far too often, zombie movies waste a lot of time building stuff up, whether it be character development or tension. BG:TNOT don’t play that! Zombies within the first 5 minutes, nudity within the first 15. BG:TNOT is entertaining in a super-cheesy kind of way.

THE BAD: Unfortunately, once the zombies get going, things slow down considerably. There is no story to speak of and things get really repetitive: zombies show up, people run…only to find more zombies, run and repeat. There are also some really questionable directorial decisions, such as long scenes of zombies walking…..very……very…..slowly, long super close-ups of the actor’s eyes, and the casting of a little person to play a child (although this may have been a necessity based on the fact that all the “kid” does during the movie is put the moves on his mom).

THE ZOMBIES: BG:TNOT zombies are a surprising bunch. They are extremely slow, but seem to put a spell on their victims, as those idiots have a lot of trouble evading the barely moving corpses, deciding instead to stand wide-eyed and get slowly choked. As the movie progresses, the zombies raid the toolshed and start to use scythes and axes. They show some impressive teamwork as they employ the use of a battering ram.

The make-up used for the zombies is interesting. Masks are used most of the time and look pretty gruesome, especially when covered in live maggots. Drawn out close-ups allow the viewer to clearly see the imperfections of the make-up, such as seeing the actor’s mouth underneath the mask’s zombie teeth. Despite this, or maybe because of this, I found myself strangely fond of the cheesy zombies.

THE VERDICT: BG:TNOT is not a good movie. It is stupid, cheesy, and crazy enough to be enjoyable. It started quick, but not strong and ends up a C-.

Current ZMN Rank: #53 out 76

Current ZMN Standings