One Chanbara: The Movie

Director: Yôhei Fukuda
Year: 2008
Rating: 6

AKA - Chanbara Beauty

If you have a fetish for CGI gore, this is the movie for you! A constant stream of exploding heads, severed body parts and gushing blood splattering against the camera lens. It is trashy and cheesy in the best of bad film traditions because its intentions are to be exactly that. Good taste is not allowed in this film. There are lots of zombie films around - too many as far as I am concerned - but how many of them have a female zombie slayer in a cowboy hat, sword and red bikini. Or a pistol packing death defying female cleavage showing zombie killer who makes Dirty Harry look like a Boy Scout. When the two of them team up, it is a bad day for zombies. I thought for sure that this had to be based on a manga, but even worse it is from a video game - which is pretty much what it looks like - you can almost imagine the rising score as heads are blown away. It isn't exactly a big budget film as most of it takes place in decaying factories and empty buildings - empty of humans that is - zombies are everywhere.

It all started when a corporation (that seems to consist of one mad scientist) began bringing the dead back to life. As often happens with these experiments on the dead, it went very wrong and they began biting humans who then turned into zombies who bit more people turning them into zombies. It is a vicious cycle. At this point, much of humanity is dead or in hiding. But our girl in the red bikini Aya (Eri Otoguro) was brought up and trained in an elite assassin family and has a sword that has extra powers. Her mission in life is to kill every zombie there is and locate her long gone sister Saki (Chise Nakamura) who has gone to the dark side after killing their father and has retained her school uniform of course. She is working for the scientist who began all of this and is still playing around with the dead.

Reiko (Manami Hashimoto) shows up on the scene with guns that never seem to run out of bullets and a hatred of zombies as large as Aya's - they killed her daughter. After first of course dueling just because that is what female zombie killers do, they team up and go a-hunting. There are a lot of zombies that need killing. It is a miasma of shoddy special effects, lovely eye candy, laughable attempts at emotional poignancy, blank expression acting, hordes of slow moving zombies but a few who have been altered to be very quick and even swing a mean looking mace - and depending on your appetite for nonsense like this rather mindless fun. Every now and then I need a dose of silliness. In a bikini.