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31 Days of Horror: WILD ZERO

It’s not often that a punk band makes a film past the ’70s, let alone a horror film. In their answer to a Japanese Rock ‘n’ Roll High School, Guitar Wolf set out to make one of the most bizarre and hilarious zombie films ever created: Wild Zero. In addition, there’s enough flaming mics, head explosions, ear-piercing guitar squeals, “baby, baby, baby” / “rock ‘n’ roll” belting, and constant hair-combing to make this one of the greatest rock ‘n’ roll B-movie experiences ever made.

Story

After a confrontation between Guitar Wolf — the person, not the band — and their sleazy, short-shorts clad manager, Guitar Wolf — again, the person, not the band — makes a blood pact with a fan named Ace who attempted to help them out. Shortly after parting ways, Ace comes upon Tobio, a gaunt transsexual, stuck in the middle of a poorly planned and executed gas station robbery. Once Tobio wakes to find Ace, who had just haphazardly saved the day, the two are stricken with each other. Unfortunately for the love birds, the blossoming romance will have to wait as they’re confronted by the onslaught of a zombie apocalypse.

Classic-styled bluish grey-skinned zombies, UFOs, head explosions galore, and an impressive, “Love knows no bounds” speech — for a B-movie, anyways — transform what could have been a gigantic hot mess and created a cult sensation. Remember: this movie came out at a time when fans of Asian cinema really had to dig and scrounge to find quality pictures. Only a few ever really stuck their heads above the rest at that time, and for a foreign B-movie made as a B-movie to gain a decent amount of worldwide exposure is pretty incredible, really.

Ultimately, it’s not the kind of film you can walk into expecting real scares, phenomenal acting, or even a congruent story line. This is classic B-movie goodness from beginning to end, with an insane, unique, and oddly captivating story. To say the least, you won’t lose interest in the middle of all the bizarre twists and turns combined with the off-beat style of strange comedy Japanese film lovers have come to enjoy.

Gore & Scares

Well, it’s there, but it isn’t all that good. I mean, you want head explosions? You got it! You want zombies tearing flesh and guts apart, and ramming them in their mouths? Yeah, that’s there, too! But it’s a B-movie made with B-movie grade effects. Long story short, it isn’t scary even in the slightest sense. However, it’s as over-the-top as over-the-top can get, and not all that disappointing of a factor when accounting for the kind of film they initially set to create.

Overall

As a fan of Guitar Wolf even before ever learning of 1999’s Wild Zero, it was easy to notice how many of their off-screen antics had been transferred over to the big screen. With their larger than life, punk rock personas already in place, it was plain to see in just the intro what a ridiculous and awesome experience this was going to be.

While Wild Zero isn’t a film for everyone, it’s definitely worth the viewing for any fan of comedic, satirical, over-the-top horror or even someone looking for a new band to enjoy. The movie is completely ridiculous from beginning to end, and with lines like, “Rock ‘n Roll is not over, baby! Rock ‘n Roll never dies,” you know you’re in for one memorable ride.

Bonus: Wild Zero’s DVD extras contains a drinking game guaranteed to give alcohol poisoning. Although we wouldn’t suggest completing the game per the DVD’s instructions, it’s a pretty neat addition to the film’s humor and well-worth the DVD purchase for.

4 out of 5 stars

4 out of 5 stars

Cover image via

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Categories: Japanese Films/TV

Author:Jen

Founder, Editor-in-Chief at Another Castle | Twitter: @ComradeJen

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One Comment on “31 Days of Horror: WILD ZERO”

  1. 02/19/2015 at 5:08 PM #

    Reblogged this on Rice Cake.

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