Monday, June 1
A.K.A. Junk: Shiryô-gari
Directed by Atsushi Muroga
83 Minutes (uncut) / SP VHS bootleg from the Japanese Toei VHS / 1.85:1 Widescreen
Thieves take refuge in an abandoned factory after a botched robbery and unwittedly unleash hordes of zombies. Happy Happy Joy Joy.
I've been feeling like a rudimentary no-frills zombie flick lately and this "Junk" brings it in spades. The first half hour is a lot of gangster flick set-up hot air, but the action rarely relents once the rancid pancake-faced flesheaters begin busting through doors. Muroga knows low-rent action and gunplay, mixing energized zeal in with the gory tissue-munching shamblers. There's some Americans actors playing U.S. military men and as always the case when stuck in a Japanese film they're terrible.
The influences are obvious with shades of Re-Animator, Reservoir Dogs (Muroga directed the "Japanese RD", Score, in '95), and oddly enough 88's Zombi 3. The score even strongly quotes Stefano Mainetti's music for Zombi 3 for the big "undead-rising" sequence. There's also refreshingly zero CG in any of the generous spattery practical effects.
You could do much worse and at a brisk 83 minutes it's a solid jump-off point into a marathon zombo all-nighter if the mood should strike.
VHS Picture: 6/10
VHS Sound: 8/10