Joshikosei Zombie (Japan 2010)

Rating: *
Alternate Title: School Girl Zombie Hunter
Review Date: 11/25/11
Cast: Ai Takabe, Mariko Kajiwara

Ugh. Not the worst Japanese horror film I've seen, but definitely in the bottom tier. You know you're in for something special when the production company is called Movie Gang Production and their logo is a naked CGI girl with big boobs. Unbelievable. The version I saw wasn't subtitled, so here's what I came up with. A supernatural serial killer is going around turning young school girls into flesh-eating zombie sex slaves. In a nod to "Blood: The Last Vampire" (2000), only one person is capable of destroying these undead monsters, and she herself is one of them. Her name is Ailen (Ai Takabe), a young girl in a high school uniform whose steely gaze and soft monotonic voice indicate that she's a serious ass kicker. She works for an older male handler who is part of an organization that is dedicated to eradicating monsters, and he's also responsible for injecting chemicals into Ailen in order to keep her from reverting to her monster self. She has super-human strength, but also likes to fight with a magic katana and a revolver. The katana is magic because she keeps it hidden up her skirt, and the blade somehow telescopes out of the handle like a lightsaber.

The latest victim is Yoko, a shy and timid friend of the film's main character, Misaki (spunky Mariko Kajiwara). When Misaki goes out looking for Yoko, she gets attacked by zombies and Ailen comes to her rescue. It turns out that Yoko wasn't devoured by the undead after all, but rather sold to a bunch of gangsters as a zombie sex slave. Here's where things start to get weird. The leader of the zombies is another teenage girl, who was tortured and raped in high school and craves revenge. And while it's not entirely clear, Misaki and Yoko may have been the ones responsible for her torment. The final showdown between Ailen and the villain is a confusing mess, highlighted by some evil zombie girls using their intestines to tie Ailen up. After this fight, the REAL villain shows his face and then disappears while Misaki reflects on everything that's happened.

As you might expect, the production values are awful and the film looks downright terrible. The acting is poor and the cinematography and editing are a complete joke. The visual effects are laughably bad, and the fight scenes are all sped up in post to obscure any actual contact between combatants. As a common element of Japanese B-movies, this one also features a shrieking gay man as a sidekick. What's up with that? The film can also be interpreted as a cautionary tale of homosexuality being a "social ill" and responsible for the zombie outbreak. I caught a slight hint of that, but that might be attributing too much symbolic depth to this piece of trash. Definitely a disappointing outing, and one that actually makes "Onechanbara" (2008) look good.