Monday, November 26, 2007

Wild Zero

Wild Zero; horror comedy, Japan, 2000; D: Tetsuro Takeuchi, S: Masashi Endo, Makoto Inamiya, Guitar Wolf, Drum Wolf, Bass Wolf, Kwancharu Shitichai, Haruka Nakajo, Shiro Namiki, Taneko

Young lad Ace constantly wears a leather jacket because he is a big fan of rock band led by Guitar Wolf. Once he accidentally enters the office of a gangster who threatens Guitar Wolf with a gun that rock n' roll is dead. In the confusion, Wolf saves himself, wounds the gangsters and gives Ace a whistle with which he can call him whenever he wants to. On some gas station girl Tobio gets saved by Ace from robber Masao. But in a nearby town a meteor crash causes zombies to start chasing after people, including the young couple. Guitar Wolf beats the gangster and uses his sword to slice a UFO that was controlling zombies into half. Tobio is a guy but Ace still falls in love with him/ her.

This unpretentious achievement is truly trash in every sense of the word, but it enjoys cult status. "Wild Zero" is so bad and so amateurishly made that it is mysteriously hilarious and thus it is almost guaranteed that the viewer will in one scene burst into laughter, but it cannot be exactly said why the story is so funny because the whole film is just so damn weird, from zombies who walk stupidly through the UFO and a gangster in his underpants up to cars throwing flames out of their exhaust pipes. Not since Ed Wood's "Plan 9 from outer Space" was there anything like this. In the exposition, the clumsy hero Ace saves the life of Guitar Wolf (who plays himself!) from one gangster who looses two fingers in the shootout. The grateful Guitar Wolf gives Ace a whistle in the best manner of old cartoons ("Whistle when you're in danger!"). Suddenly there's a completely amateurish cut to a scene of a gas station somewhere in a desert in which Tobio enters, so two auto mechanics ask her if she works there because nobody is there. Then there's another over-the-top nonsensical switch to three journalists in a car, one of which almost robs the station, and then one about two mobsters in a limousine who bump into zombies on the road. It seems the authors deliberately crafted everything in a sloppy way to create the impression of a parody, especially in the scene where Ace is trapped with Tobio and surrounded by a horde of zombies, yet says: "This is God's will to meet us here!", or the one where Wolf and the gangster are wrestling and sparks flash below their shoes! The naive charm is often disrupted by exploding heads of zombies, yet this mad story is surprisingly one of the funniest movies of all time, despite or maybe just because of its dazed tone.


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