Another Japanese edition of our weird movie reviews. Tonight we feast on the soul of Tetsuro Takeuchi director of Wild Zero. All images belong to him and to Synapse Films (publisher), and we’ll dig our fangs into them for educational purpose, to educate our uncoolness into this gore-fest of badass-ness. Enjoy.

Mr. Towelhead reviews:

wild zero_cover

WILD ZERO

Wild Zero was released in 1999 by Synapse Films, its directed by Tetsuo Takeuchi and the story written by Satoshi Takagi. Its a so called zombie-apocalypse-horror-parody, and that’s what it is exactly. It has gathered a certain cult status… at least in Japanese territory I suppose, since I only got a hold of this movie from a J-fan insider. For Mexican terms I guess you could say its a “El Santo contra las Momias de Guanajuato”. Or the Spaniard version “La Matanza Caníbal de los Garrulos Lisérgicos”. This bares my ever-lasting shame as a Mexican who’s only seen the J-versions of these zombie-apocalyse classics.

CONCEPT

Its a horror parody… party. The basic idea is… well its a cluster f* of horror-zombie-movie elements. There is a protagonist, from whose eyes we witness the chaos while he is being helped and lectured by the members of a punk-rock-something band: Guitar Wolf. And by the way. Every time you read Guitar Wolf try to put on a cool-headed “Japanese-speaking-English” accent :D

On that note, the members of Guitar Wolf band are the heros of the movie. They are cool, stoic and an unstoppable zombie/alien and evöl manager killing machines.

Make room for the heros. I mean look at them!

wild zero_band

Cult, Trash, Parody. It’s all meaningless in the face of Rock and Roll.

STORY

The protagonist… or better said, the dude we follow wants to go to a Guitar Wolf concert when all hell breaks loose as an alien invasion makes the dead rise as zombies. Makes sense? Of course not! :D But that’s the beauty of it. Crazy element of horror movies are thrown at you with no other purpose than entertain you. In how ridiculous they are, and its funny (and awe-inspiring) to see actors and supporting cast acting in all seriousness despite the make-up and locations look so cheap.

There is a sub-plot about the evil manager who, basically is evil, looses a finger or two because of the rebel band Guitar Wolf and hunts them through the movie, just like there are other sub-plots about characters caught up in the middle of the chaos. But the main plot, because yes, there is some sort of a story behind. The dude we fellow (who is following Guitar Wolf) tries to survive, while kind of protecting a girl he just met, and they fall in love. There are other “love” related plots around, like an old couple falling for each other… a second time… as zombies. Ah! So cute, even in un-dead, love is eternal.

And the main love-related-message our protagonist has to learn (thanks to Guitar Wolf of course) is that love has no boundaries. Our social-imposed stereotypes are meaningless in the face of true mother f* rock n’ roll true love.

“Love has no borders, nationalities or genders.” Guitar Wolf 

wild zero_love

O.k… if you say so :S

And then the leader of the band slices a UFO with a laser beam. Neat.

ILLUSTRATIONS

Well, we are not talking about a manga, but the images of the movie, along with the visual effects are purposely cheap. The make-up of the zombies,  set decoration and the lights-effects of alien technology, everything has an improvised quality to it, almost trying, hard that is, to imitate low budget. While at the same time actors are really giving it all. The Guitar Wolf cast remain serious and stoic even in the middle of this parody, while the other main characters show fear and scream as if truly threatened. Which was impressive and made the whole Wild Zero experience hilarious.

Parody or not, Wild Zero has more than your daily doses of blood and gore.

wild zero_gore

To be honest with you there is a TON of blood and gore. Fake as hell but still a lot! Going along the lines of movies like Robert Rodriguez Planet Terror (2007).

VERDICT

There is not more much to say. It’s a parody, its enjoyable and if you like Weird Japanese Movies you’ll love it. It’s a good point to start getting into Japanese humor or weird/cult movies in general. Even for westerners or weird-movie-goer-beginners it’ll be a neat ride as the movie isn’t TOO WEIRD. Its… safely weird you could say.

Mr. Towelhead is ‘appy:

8 / 10

Wild Zero is one of my all time favorites but I can understand it’s not for everyone. It’s an over-the-top exaggerated horror parody with the only goal to entertain you. If you like big budget horror films be ready to be disappointed. If you like movies like Scary Movie… Well, what is wrong with you? Wild Zero is far from refined, but fortunately it does not rely on stupid-fart-humor. It has cult status and it has earned it.

P.D. Scary Movie. Seriously, what is wrong with you?????

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