I wasn't expecting anything too awe-inspiring from this, just a bit of gory amusement, and I got what I paid for all right. I just am not sure the other two reviewers were watching the same film. For starters, it comes in Japanese with subtitles by someone not overly familiar with English, so I have to admit I got quite a lot of entertainment from the rather bizarre translations. Secondly, the effects are definitely not state of the art; the physical fx are about 80s standard, and the cgi work varies from average to poor. But I never really had a problem watching cheesy 80s effects anyway, so if you find Re-Animator or Dawn of the Dead fun, this should serve you well. The plotline is nothing special either, with a varied group of people including a family on holiday and a gang of bank robbers winding up in a cursed village and being attacked by an increasing number of samurai zombies. There are odd gaps in the story which may well be down to the subtitles, or to the editing on the dvd release, I can't say, but it does roll along quite well, and has a really nice sting in the tail. The zombies aren't on screen for a lot of the time, but personally I found they showed up just often enough to keep me entertained. This isn't the greatest film ever made but it does not outstay its welcome, keeps the action bubbling nicely along and has a liberal larding of odd humour; I shall be watching it again, I'm sure. A reasonable low-budget bloodbath.
on 10 October 2010
When I first saw this DVD in the shops and read its subtitle, "Dead - but still slicing", my initial thoughts were this movie was probably so awful it had to be good. Turns out I was right. Kind of.
The biggest issue I had with this movie is I would have liked to see the zombies take a bigger part. They only ever feel like supporting cast members instead of the title roles. The story of who the zombies are is hidden for the majority of the film, and despite the fact it just pops out at the end to say "hello", it's a good idea. On the other hand, the explanation of another characters seeming immortality is never revealed.
What relatively little action there is is very tongue in cheek, so much so that you'd be able to lick your ear. A character is beheaded quite early on and it had me literally laughing aloud. It wasn't the only time this happened either.
There is no English language option, so if your Japanese is a little rusty you'll be totally reliant on the subtitles. Luckily, they're pretty good. I have no understanding of Japanese so for all I know the translation could be completely wrong. But barring a few typos and the odd grammatical error, they all make sense.
The star rating system Amazon provides is based on whether the reviewer liked the item, which I did. Had it been based on what I thought the quality of the movie was, it would probably only be a two. Should this movie ever be shown on British television, it would be on one of those satellite channels that are so far down the listings that no one bothers with them. Remember this is a Japanese movie meant for Japanese audiences. Have an open mind and put this on expecting the worst movie in the world and you should be pleasantly surprised. And just to be on the safe side, watch it after a quick pint or two, or when you're slightly sleep deprived and giddy.