Zombie Self-Defense Force (Japan 2005)

Rating: *
Review Date: 4/11/20
Cast: Miyu Watase, Mihiro Taniguchi

"Maybe the dead start walking this world when Hell's too full."

The film opens as a tribute to George Romero with a lengthy and unnecessary anti-America hate speech. Then a UFO crashes near Mt. Fuji, which causes the dead to rise from their graves in search of human flesh. Four groups of people eventually converge: a yakuza boss and his flunky, an idol singer (Mihiro Taniguchi) and her photo shoot team, a hotel manager and his pregnant mistress, and a small Japanese SDF team on a training exercise in the woods. They all end up at the manager's hotel and get picked off one at a time as zombies infiltrate the building. The survivors decide to make a run for it at nightfall, but only Yuri (Miyu Watase) manages to survive because she turns out to be a combat cyborg. Sure, why not? Finally, the haunted spirit of a WWII soldier rises from a sacred cave and has a sword fight with Yuri before more UFOs crash and Mt. Fuji erupts. Huh? Whatever.

Honestly, the only reason I bothered watching this mess was because of the lovely Mihiro Taniguchi. She's an extremely sexy model and a surprisingly good actress, but her character is so horrible and annoying that it's really difficult to watch her. Much to my surprise, it's Miyu Watase who ends up stealing the show. She's stunningly gorgeous and her steely-eyed defiance is breathtaking. She also looks great posing with a gun and swinging a sword around. Unfortunately, that's all the movie has going for it, and its brief hints of brilliance are few and far between. It's definitely bloody and gross, but it's also surprisingly tame for the genre. The budget is miniscule, the production values are poor, and its desperate attempts at humor fail miserably. Unless you're a fan of bloody, eccentric, low budget, Japanese horror comedy, there's no reason to waste your time on this one.