Sunday, November 29, 2009

Zombie Self-Defense Force (Naoyuki Tomomatsu, 2006)

Zombie Self-Defense Force (2006).

Part one of the Nihonbi trilogy, Naoyuki Tomomatsu's Zombie Self-Defense Force starts off with a long monologue where the director speaks about how Japanese WW2 veterans have been treated, and war crimes commited by the US in Japan during WW2 and Iraq in present day. Taking into consideration what film you are watching makes the speach a little harder to take seriously and when it's all tied up with the line that there are good things about America too, like George A. Romero, it's obvious where this is going.

The story is simple, a UFO crashes, turns every dead person in the area to zombies, and a group of random people, some of them members of the Japan Self-Defense Forces, are stuck in a house in the country side and have to battle it out with the zombies. Sound familiar? Tomomatsu also manages to include a legend about a super patriotic soldier from World War 2 who is buried in the woods and has never been able to rest in peace because of the way that Japanese soldiers are remembered, and a cyborg, an alien, and a zombie baby along with references to Kinji Fukasaku's Battles Without Honor and Humanity (1973) and a bunch of other films.

I don't really have much to say about Zombie Self-Defense Force, the acting was bad, the effects were cheap and the story was a mess, like it should be in a film like this. Tomomatsu keeps the action going almost throughout and the films does move at a better pace than its sequels, still I think this will be the last of these lowbudget gore films I'll watch in a while, somehow I always get my hopes up, expecting something more than just blood, but they never deliver. It's like they have all the right ingredients but it never adds up to a good whole.