Tokyo Zombie

Tokyo Zombie (2005): Japan – directed by Sakichi Satô

Not rated by the MPAA – contains violence, some gore

Note: As I will be out of the country for a period of time, I have decided to inflict upon anyone who reads these reviews a sampling of my earlier work.  These will be shorter, less formal, poorly written, and generally crappy.  They will lack stills and links, and I will apologize in advance for their poor quality.  They have received minor edits to (very slightly) improve readability.  Enjoy.

(review originally published 10/19/08)

Yes, it is as awesome as it sounds.

The funniest zombie movie since Shaun of the Dead, made in Japan and only a year after Shaun, Tokyo Zombie is a film you can’t miss.

The film revolves around a young Japanese guy who works in a fire extinguisher plant with an older, bald guy. All they do is practice jujitsu. One day, zombies start coming out of a mountain of trash called Black Fuji and they have to fight them off. That’s about all of the plot that’s worth explaining, because the film is chock full of fantastically hilarious scenes and general Japanese weirdness that truly make the movie great. It blends the absurd and absurdly violent and the overly sappy and saccharine in a way that only Japanese and Hong Kong films (think The Killer) dare to do.

A couple of memorable sequences: the most hilarious man-parts-biting-off scene ever, as well as a couple of gay teachers always asking for a kiss. Pay attention to the sound effects, too, such as when a head gets kicked off and flies three miles away. Also, the homoerotic undertones, mostly involving the jujitsu, are quite hilarious.

The soundtrack is similarly great. I don’t know why this film hasn’t found greater success. It still has under 500 votes on IMDB, but maybe the R1 DVD release will fix that. It has a great atmosphere, very washed out and dreary, much like one would expect the zombie apocalypse to look like if it hit Tokyo. The performances are dead-pan and hilarious. I suppose, though, that if one isn’t accustomed to Japanese wackiness, that it might come off a little differently. It’s got a similar vibe, at times, to Visitor Q, just not as straight-up disgusting. And with zombies.

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