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Bob Doto [Film Festival 06.21.09] zombies movie review action samurai

Year: 2008
Directors: Taku Sakaguchi
Writers: Ryûhei Kitamura
IMDB: link
Trailer: link
Review by: Bob Doto
Rating: 3 out of 10

There are two types of people in the world: those who enjoy films that depict fountains of blood spraying out of the necks of the recently decapitated, and those who can do without it. Unfortunately for YOROI SAMURAI ZOMBIE I’m in the latter class of people. Such is life, I suppose.

Or should I say, “such is my destiny?”

YOROI SAMURAI ZOMBIE makes a big deal about destiny. The opening scene is of a man obliterating the fourth wall as he stares straight into the camera (and thus the audience’s mind’s eye) musing on the predetermined nature of our life. It’s a dark and stormy night followed only by his untimely (or perfectly timed, depending on where you fall on the destiny debate) decapitation by a zombie samurai who literally claws his way out of the sopping soft earth. There’s A TON of blood. His head gets put on a stake. The crowd laughs and there are a few high fives.

Then we meet a quaint little family meandering down a winding road who are talking about…you guessed it…destiny. It's your basic "If I hadn't heard this song twenty years ago, and if you weren't brushing your teeth at the same time, we'd never have met" kinda stuff. What’s ironic about all this is that it must be destiny that brought me to reviewing a film I can’t possibly like irregardless of how I’d like to feel. So, I don’t feel so bad about yawning all the way through its ninety or so minutes of fetishized gore.

I don’t like films that serve only as vehicles for gore fx. I don’t mean to sound like a carmudgeon, as if to say a film should focus on other more cerebral queries. It’s just not my thing. Neither, however, is that weird look the show the Power Rangers had going on. I don’t know what to call it, but you know how Power Rangers (and many other live action films) have this “look” to them. It’s almost like every last inch is covered in sterile studio lighting or something? That’s sort of how this film felt.

YOROI SAMURAI ZOMBIE also falls into the horror comedy camp. I’m also not into that.

And yet, despite all those negatives, there were some great touches. Highlights include: the family’s cartoon computer GPS screen turning to blood. Then there was the crazy old lady who kept yelling "Everybody dies!" Of course there's the guy in the white suit who keeps saying he's about to die even after he gets run over by a car and shot in the back.

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