(Also posted at http://www.revenantmagazine.com/)
It seems like gig season is returning to England, as in the last few weeks I’ve been to a music festival for a weekend and followed that up with a gig in London. I have also picked up tickets for several forthcoming concerts in the next few weeks. All this music could interfere with my Zombie watching, but luckily I have found a way to seamlessly merge the two. This comes in the form of Drumwolf, Basswolf and Guitarwolf in the bizarre Japanese film Wild Zero.
Man alive, this film has everything. Exploding Heads, Lazer eye Beams, UFOs, Zombies, Electic Shock Plectrums, Men in Hotpants, Mute Transexuals, Undead Romance and of course Guitar Wolf: The self proclaimed coolest band in the world, and any band who self proclaims such a thing must be pretty rock and roll.
The film follows ‘Ace’, a huge Guitar Wolf fan as he treks across the country following the band. He accidentally saves them from being fired (literally) by their manager and as a result the band make him a blood brother and give him a special whistle which will call the band to him should he get into trouble. Naturally trouble does follow, in the form of a UFO invasion and the dead returning to life for some reason. Possibly these are just a coincidence as nothing is ever really explained here. So these Zombies go on the rampage, Guitar Wolf are summoned and they all use the power of Rock and Roll to destroy all the zombies and save the planet. Just your average story really. Along the way we meet a transsexual who doesn’t speak or really do anything, (although Ace still falls for her), an arms dealer woman who showers with a gun (which turned out to be quite handy for when zombies invade her bathroom), a gig promoter in the tightest little hot pants I’ve ever seen a grown man wear, and a guitar that doubles as a samurai sword sheath, ideal for chopping up passing spaceships.
The Zombies themselves are plentiful, and are either made on the cheap, or are direct homages to the bluegreen zombies from the original Dawn of the Dead. Most of these creatures are destroyed by a simple bullet to the face, causing their entire head to explode. This happens countless times, but is always comical and welcome.
It is basically just an extended music video for the awesome band Guitar Wolf, and their music and live performances were so superb here that after watching the movie I immediately went and bought one of their albums. A delirious mess of nonsense, volume, distortion and some Rock and Roll thrown in for good measure, just like the film.
Utterly ludicrous as only Japanese Zombie films can be, and all the more enjoyable for it. Bonus points should be awarded for the Drinking Game built into the DVD – every time someone combs their hair, says “Rock and Roll” or a head explodes a drink icon appears on screen as a cue for you to take a swig. Man, if I’d have been playing along I’d have been blootered in the first 10 minutes!
Gore Score B
Norks Score C
Overall Score B+