Friday, 18 January 2013

Review - Wild Zero (1999 - Dir. Tetsuro Takeuchi)

The DVD cover of this is way better than the actual film with such quality statements as 'Rock'n'Roll JET-MOVIE', 'Brutality of Screen!!', 'THE GREAT PSYCHO OF THEM ALL!' and - my favourite and no doubt Brian Lumley's - 'Trash and Chaossss!!!!'. The film was never going to live up to the cover. And it doesn't.

Ace is a greasy Rock'n'Roll wannabe. We meet him at a popular music concert of the top pop combo 'Guitar Wolf'. Things all go a bit awry when alien spaceships fly overhead - shot in shocking-special-effects-o-vision - and somehow zombies appears and start attacking everyone. He soon gets together with love interest Tobio and tries to escape the zombie horde.

Easily the best part of this film is a character simply called Captain. He is introduced to us a very nasty man. One of his lackeys beats a prostitute about the face and then gives her some coke (not the fizzy variety that comes in useful when you want to burp in a small child's face). This doesn't fit the tone of the rest of the film, feels unnecessary, and things would have been improved if it had been edited out. Back to why Captain is so great; he has a bowl cut, a little goatee and wears hot pants. Yup, different varieties of hot pants. Filthy little pervert.

The members of 'Guitar Wolf' also get in on the action. They play themselves Guitar Wolf, Bass Wolf and Drum Wolf. Shame that there isn't a Bugle Wolf. Oh well, we can but dream... Initially we only see them performing, but later on they get to attack zombies with guns and electrically charged plectrums. Plus Guitar wolf has got a cool motorbike that has a two-foot flame coming out of the exhaust. Really, Guitar Wolf is only in the film to look cool. And look cool, he does.

The special effects range from pathetically weak gunshot wounds to heads blown off in full cheap CGI. Nothing in between and not much variety. The zombies are inconsistent. Sometimes they attack swiftly but when Ace or Tobio is in danger they mill about the place and really take their time. Ace is held by about four of them at one point and they still don't bother to have a nibble.

It has an air of stupidness that is hard not to like. Ace is so gormless that you can't help slightly liking him. Tobio is a fairly useless and always needs rescuing and is the subject of one of the strangest bits of homaging that I've seen. They threw so much at the screen - zombies, afros, random guitar riffs, spaceships and, of course, hot pants - that there had to be some entertainment value. And there is a bit. Worth seeing for Captain alone.

(Average rating for the season so far = 6)

If you like this you could also try:
Versus, Helldriver, Vampire Girl vs. Frankenstein Girl.

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