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5/20/2019 5:12:12 PM

Tokyo Zombie trailer

Martial arts? You’re fighting zombies!”…

This line, delivered in exasperation to deflate the pride of one of Tokyo Zombie’s jiu-jitsu practicing protagonists, pretty much sums up all the virtues—and limitations—of writer/director Sakichi Satô’s 2005 film. In other words, what a cool premise: pit skilled fighters against the undead and maybe you get some of the insane appeal that Fulci mustered all those years ago when he had a zombie square off against a shark. On the other hand, when the zombies themselves take too much of a backseat to a host of other dramatic, comedic, and generic concerns, at one point has one not really furthered the subgenre?

  

  

Such competing emphases reveal Satô’s fascinating, if somewhat contradictory, intentions: to create a straightforward (if wacky), genre-splitting anarcho-gorefest that rocks the built-in audience for such a movie… and to fashion something more than just a fun, straight-ahead zombie-flick, to break the rules so much that he’s departed the recognizable playing field. The end result is that while certainly Tokyo Zombie is a worth-seeing collection of riffs on the well-worn themes of Romeroland, it’s also an uninhibited freakfest of a much more general sort. That is, elements of very broad satire and buddy movies are stressed to such an extent that the zombies are sometimes beside the point.

 

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