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Foreign Horror > Tokyo Zombie (Sakichi Sato)

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message 1: by Alex DeLarge (new)

Alex DeLarge | 226 comments The only good thing about watching this movie is that it inspired me to revisit SHAUN OF THE DEAD and write a review. Otherwise, 1 1/2 hours of my life would have been better spent in a Hospital ER..or a coma. I'm not familiar with the manga it's based upon (and I don't care to be) but this had potential, it just failed miserably.

TOKYO ZOMBIE (Sakichi Sato, 2005, Japan) Tokyo finally spits its toxic sins upon the earth to consume Japan, while two slackers must wrestle their way towards survival. Fujio and the cranium denuded Mitsuo are used to putting out fires…or at least manufacturing instruments that suppress infernal conflagrations. But this apocalypse of the living dead cannot be suppressed, and the two men must use their (limited) wits and Jujitsu training to escape North towards salvation: instead, Fujio accidentally drives South towards oblivion. Director Sakichi Sato has all the elements of a deadly satire to expose the decomposing virtues of a democratic oligarchy (not entirely limited to Japan), with two fine lead actors who imbue their characters with humor and pulsing humanity, but the narrative becomes dead with the introduction of an annoying femme fatale love interest…and never rises to the level of a living (or insightful) allegory. Fujio tries to live up to his mentor’s expectations and become a black belt, but he is empty of talent and always falls victim to Mitsuo’s superiority. When the story jumps ahead five years to the gladiatorial pits of the wealthy survivors, again what could have spoofed Japanese hierarchy is just plain obnoxious, filling the screen with noxious epithets and poor special effects. The plot becomes misogynistic and ripe with homophobia, debasing women and gay men with startlingly inane dialogue and exploitive caricatures: there just isn’t anything funny about that! If you were expecting the choreography of Bruce Lee matched with the satire of SHAUN OF THE DEAD, then you’ve rented the wrong film. This udder failure is like the drink Calpis…think phonetically. (F)

message 2: by Phillip (last edited Aug 17, 2009 12:45PM) (new)

Phillip damn!

just seeing the title of your review on this thread made me excited to learn about a new zombie flick. but thanks for the warning!

it's not like you've ever written a bad review alex (even if we don't always agree), but i think you've gotten better over the past few months. for one, i really like your style, which tends to blend metaphor and synopsis REALLY well. lately it seems to me that your eye has become even sharper, and that you really find the juicy nuggets of whatever film your're viewing and bring them to the light.

in short, i've been enjoying your reviews a LOT lately. thanks for all the words!

message 3: by Alex DeLarge (new)

Alex DeLarge | 226 comments Damn Phillip, you made my year:) Thank you! Maybe it's because I've been immersing myself in early Bob Dylan and re-reading the book BLACK ELK SPEAKS, but I've been seeking the lyrical side of writing as opposed to journalism: like trying to hold water in your hand, I've learned not to clench my fist so tightly. I call my style Cineclectic Tonality which I think of as a type of poetry, conveying information between the words. But I still need to make a specific point about a film that touches me and I'm glad that others are touched also. Sometimes these reviews are lightening quick...and other times they need to gestate and come into the world in their own time. I wish it was easy. THE HURT LOCKER was written in ten minutes immediately after watching, but REPULSION took a few days. And sometimes I don't know when my writing is good or bad anymore, I just hope I at least had a few words strung together like pearls. Again, thanks bro'.

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