Sunday, January 29, 2012

Tokyo Zombie

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!

Tokyo Zombie - 4 out of 5

You got to hand it to the Japanese, they really know how to do unique--or weird, depending on your perspective.  Sure their video games are really messed up (I highly recommend Katamari Damacy) but their movies sure are one-of-a-kind.  Tokyo Zombie is based on a manga written in 1999 and turned into a film in 2005 about a zombie outbreak that occurs in Tokyo thanks to a huge mound of garbage, human remains and toxic waste that has been dubbed Black Fuji.  When the outbreak occurs, two human survivors and jujitsu enthusiasts declare they are going to make a run for Russia to make it as fighters but fate intervenes and their dreams are crushed.  To make due with the bad hand they are dealt, the richest of the Tokyo citizens build a city and use survivors (all poor) to be their slaves.  The strongest of the slaves are thrown into a pit and forced to fight zombies for the amusement of the rich folks.

Kind of racist to call it Black prefers Africa-Japanese Fuji.

Tokyo Zombie is a terrifically witty and hilarious film that is simultaneously riding the rails of a dark comedy and flying off said rails into absurdist territory as animated sequences and scenes that look like they were lifted from one of Japan's strange video games are inserted into the film.  The only real detraction the film has is the fact it feels like two short films made into a single feature length one through the use of centering the story on the two jujitsu enthusiasts Fujio and Mitsuo.  The first half is all about their survival as the zombies start to rise and the second half has the feel of an entirely different film (a much more whimsical and fantastic one) as the rich made their haven for zombie fights.  However, to call this a detraction isn't the most fair as it really isn't that much of a distraction as it fits with the overall slapstick feel of the film--it's just by the second half of the film, it just turned up the slapstick to 11.

Believe it or not, this van is quite common in Japan.

It's like the UFC...only less homoerotic and more zombies.
Tokyo Zombie is silly, funny and all around entertaining to sit through.  Unlike American zombie films, the emphasis is humor and comedy rather than blood or guts.  Also unlike most American zombie films, there is production value in everything from the look and presentation of the film to the actors involved.  It's clear some effort was put into the film and not just an excuse to get zombie fans to dish out their hard earned cash for some bad acting and even worse make-up effects spewed onto film and a bad script.  Finally, I highly recommend after watching the film with its original audio and English subtitles that one goes back and watch them with the English re-dubbed audio.  There's something magical about the bad English audio in a Japanese film.

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