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JUNK - Shiryou Gari (Muroga Atsushi 2000)


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JUNK
[Shiryou Gari]

Genre: ZombOObie Fest

review in one breath

The world is a dark place indeed when you can't trust heavily mustached U.S. army generals in charge of secret experimental laboratories tucked away in the interior of Okinawa Island. And pity the naive Japanese biochemist whose deep sense of loss and sorrow over the recent death of his (amazingly) buxom girlfriend causes him to blindly follow the evil schemes of aforesaid general aimed at developing a fluorescent green elixir which brings the dead back to life. And pity the entire population of Okinawa when despite great expenditures of technology and man hours, the U.S. army fails to consider putting their fluorescent zombie potion in a bottle with a spill-resistant screw cap. But NO... you say, we ought not judge these soon-to-be-munched scientists with our 20/20 hindsight. For if they had simply put this potion in a spill-proof bottle the entire movie would have come to a screeching halt after only 5 minutes.


In several respects JUNK borders on the campy, bringing audiences dangerously close to sheer incredulity and eye-rolling. The previously mentioned potion spill is definitely one such element. Also on that list are the mullet-haired army squadrons, the continuous sound of WW2 propeller planes flying over the supposed army base, the "secret military research facility" which has "Anzen Ichiban" (Safety First) emblazoned on the front of the building in 8 foot high letters as does every factory in Japan, the yakuza gang which could substitute for a hair style catalog, amazingly agile leaping torsos, and the gratuitously nekked and bounteously bosomed lead zombie who undergoes her own hair-style renaissance at a most unexpected moment in the narrative.

But the overall impact of these idiosyncrasies, the special effects and the narrative is both fun and entertaining. JUNK offers a relatively creative zombie story while avoiding the over-the-top bizarre and often annoying elements of Stacy or the low-budget Z-grade impression of Nama Gomi.

story

Please read carefully as this is a highly complex plot...

There is a small group of novice thieves who after robbing a jewelry store brimming with amazingly cheap-looking baubles, attempts to sell their stolen goods to Ramon, the local yakuza. Ramon is likely notorious primarily for his hair fetish, since all of the chinpira (wannabees) around him likewise sport wildly unique yet blazingly noticeably hairdos. Ramon, sly fox that he is, suggests to the novice band of thieves that they meet him at an "abandoned" military complex an hour's drive away.

Meanwhile...

Deep inside a "secret" (!) military complex, the otherwise boastful demeanor of the lead (caucasian/cracker) biochemist undergoes radical modification when a nude, hugely breasted, undead-yet-amazingly-supple zombie latches onto his scrawny neck and tears off a large chunk of flesh. Since this is the closest this geek has ever been to the lips of a naked babe, he dies in utter confusion as to whether he ought to be elated or devastated.

Once the thickly mustached brass at army headquarters hear about the experiment gone awry involving their beloved DNX zombie potion, they send for Nakata Takuchi, (suddenly) the only surviving biochemist who had worked on the DNX project. Nakata is thus involuntarily recruited to go and activate the NUCLEAR WARHEADS inside the secret/abandoned/well-known facility. Although he initially recoils at the thought, his motives radically change after receiving a rather enigmatic message over a glaringly stone-aged version of the "internet". That message was: "I LOVE YOU ......K". After reading this, Nakata is gung-ho to go.

Meanwhile...

Our gang of criminal misfits has arrived at the secret/abandoned military base, with Ramon and his hair entourage following close behind. Lets simply say all HELL breaks loose once they go poking around (followed by chasing each other with guns) throughout the secret/abandoned building complex. Little did these morons realize that their inadvertently kicking over that simple unsealed bottle of fluorescent green zombie potion DNX in a room inexplicably containing a huge number of fresh corpses (??) would result in at least another 60 minutes added to this film's "plot"!

verdict

This subtly nuanced film is profound and thought-provoking, and stimulated me both emotionally and intellectually... NOT!.

It was fun however, and how can you go wrong with a D-cup zombie wobbling around in the nude? How, I ask? How? The special effects are less than special and the budget is undoubtedly shoe-string, but this film's proximity to campiness makes it highly recommendable. Apart from a naked zombie which looked good enough to appear in undead Penthouse, this is a mainstream zombie action flick with at least a couple interesting characters.

This film is available in mainstream U.S. venues. This means it is easy to get a hold of and can be rented for only a few dollars. And ZombOObies are definitely worth the price of a Big Mac.

Version reviewed: Region 1 DVD (includes English subtitles)


Radio Shack, circa 1970

"Nurse! Look at the gazongas on this one, will ya?!"

"One shot of this and she won't be able to keep her lips off me!"

"My God! It's working! My first hickey!"

Having finally been touched by a naked woman, Dr. Dweeb can die in peace.

"Mmm. Sushi."

Notice the great care taken to leave every container wide open.

DOH!

"Whatchu talkin' bout?"

"I should have never rubbed that DNX on my forehead!"

inet addr: 127.0.0.1???
Good luck, Einstein!

Trick or treat.

"Meet me at that secret military base nobody knows about. Yeah, that's the one. And bring hairspray."

The Hair Gang

"We've hidden our experimental facility here in the middle of this highly populated island of Okinawa."

The secret military laboratory ingeniuosly disguised as a delapitaded factory.

Now I'm angry!

Now I'm dead!

Now I'm blonde and blue-eyed?? What the???

Meanwhile, in the room inexplicably filled with rotting corpses...

The only thing missing here is Bill Murray.

This, my friends, is the furious power unleashed by a nuclear warhead!
 

cultural interest violence sex strangeness
Surprising as it may be, this film based on voluptuous, nude zombies, carries very little in the way of cultural enlightenment. Go figure. One scissors through foot. One chomp through neck. One impaling. Plenty of being bitten, eaten and/or devoured by the undead. Bullets flying everywhere. One rolling of head down metal staircase, post-decapitation. One being cut in two at the waist. One being attacked by mysteriously flying torso without lower extremeties. General abuse of one used car salesman. And much more. Nude, buxom zombies! Definitely a recipe for cinematic success! One green skull for a creative and entertaining, albeit low budget zombie flick. One green skull for the several completely inexplicable elements in this story.

1 Comments


my roommates & i just watched junk last night. well... it was quite gory but funny... fast paced... so... i liked it... but had nightmares. why do you watch Japanese zombie films? if you don't pop too much L-Dopa before film depreciation class junk is not junk! it's a low-budget zombie film (from Japan) with plenty of weird, wild, wonderful action. Maybe too much of the naughty zombie lady strutting about, kind of like re-melted cheese, but so what? bring corny tortillas!

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