Directed by Takeuchi Tetsuro, 98 min. starring Guitar Wolf, Bass
Wolf, Drum Wolf, Masashi Endo, Kwancharu Shitichai, Makoto Inamiya,
Masao Sato, Taneko, Yoshiyuki Morishita, Shiro Namiki, Naruka Nakajo,
My. God. The Japanese spirit of rock n' roll, my friends, was not
killed off by the twee tones of Cornelius and Pizzicato Five. There,
beneath the surface, lurked all along a menacing, don't-give-a-fuck
thing totally the opposite of, say, Shonen Knife. This
is dirty, this is raw, this is rock n' roll in its truest sense,
The Kids against The Man, one-two-three-four LET'S GO, make sure
you look cool at all times, black leather at the ready.
so it is that Guitar Wolf, self-proclaimed coolest band in the world
and makers of the world's loudest album (it's true - play Jet
Generation at anything approaching normal volume and your stereo
will beg for mercy, mere seconds before shaking itself to bits)
appear in what is actually their second movie. It's a knowing B-movie,
with bits nicked wholesale from dozens of others - try Rebel
Without A Cause, Brit motorcycle schlock-horror Psychomania,
Plan 9 from Outer Space, Night of the Living Dead,
Close Encounters of the Third Kind and Godzilla -
and that's just for starters.
plot, as it is, is paper-thin and knowingly meanders. Twenty-something
rocker Ace (Masashi Endô) has a penchant for dirty garage
rock and often is seen looking blissful in the front row of a Guitar
Wolf show. Show ends, for some reason Guitar Wolf end up in a Mexican
stand-off with club owner the Captain (Makoto Inamiya). Somehow
Ace ends up in the room, distracts the Yakuza aiming at the band,
Guitar Wolf (the guy, not the band... confused yet?) shoots off
a couple of Captain's fingers, escapes, some zombies appear, kill
some more Yakuza, somehow a female arms dealer gets involved, UFOs
fly round the sky... tum-ti-tum-ti-tum.
look, the plot doesn't really matter. Yes, there's lots of blood,
drugs, beer, gender confusion, swearing, guns, zombies and motorcycles.
The point is, this movie does exactly what you want it
to do; it doesn't want to scare, it doesn't even want to gross you
out; it's just a shlocky Japanese zombie flick. No deep meanings
like BattleRoyale or even
Ring. It's an action
flick, the zombies mere cannon fodder. It's an excuse for Guitar
Wolf, Bass Wolf and Drum Wolf to neck beers, comb their hair, ride
flaming motorcycles and look goddamn cool. It's an excuse to put
in every B-movie cliche you could ever possibly imagine.
And it's an excuse to play rock and roll VERY LOUD and not run into
danger of pissing off your parents.
Masashi Endô puts in a ...performance as Ace, standing out
only because everyone else is so wooden. (Thank the Lord, people,
that Guitar Wolf was not cast as the lead, because, while he excels
at standing looking cool, he could be acted off the screen by the
king of wooden-ness, Keanu Reeves). Ace, you see, revels in not
saying a huge amount but taking great chunks out of zombies with
a crowbar instead. Such a character does not require great swathes
of acting talent, just a good yell and the ability to make comical
facial expressions. And, in that department, Endô does just
as is required, as does Makoto Inamiya who plays the Captain, who
is just plain creepy.
could waffle for hours and hours about the shortcomings of this
movie. Check out imdb.com and you'll find many who have. But it
really doesn't matter. This is much more similar in spirit to Tim
Burton's Mars Attacks, in that it knows exactly what
it's referencing and not really caring. Never taking itself too
seriously, it revels in a sense of we're-making-this-up-as-we-go-along
as the plot lurches from one badly thought-out set-piece to another.
But with zombies in blue make-up eating people, BIG explosions and
crude computer graphic effects, what's never lost is the spirit
of adventure, of rock'n'roll, tongue in cheek all the way.
it's sloppily written and edited. There's continuity errors the
size of Omaha. And yes, it seems like it was written into the contract
that there MUST be a shot every six minutes with Guitar Wolf (guy
or band, doesn't really matter) looking really cool. But who cares?
Wild Zero does exactly what you expect it to do, no questions
asked. It's very gory. It's very cool. It's really very funny in
places too. Playing with cliche, Wild Zero drips with attitude,
takes no prisoners, and, if you ever wanted a movie to sum up the
essence of rock'n'roll, this is it.
Apple Rating for this film:
Entertainment value: 11/10 - ROCK'N'ROLLLLL!
Sex: 0/10 - too many zombies and too much gender confusion.
Guitar Wolf Cool Poses: on average every 5.3 minutes
Shlock Factor: 10/10
Flaming Bikes: 1
Flaming Mics: 1
Is Rock and Roll over, baby?: Rock and Roll never dies.
Wild Zero Wallpaper
You can download this wallpaper here: [800x600]
Wallpaper credit: Alex Apple, 2002
Snowblood Apple Filmographies:
- the official site with a trailer
is the main fansite for the movie
- official German distributors
- sounds like Midnight Eye had a blast too
- long review, fantastic, but with spoilers
Artsmagic are going to release the DVD in the UK