Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Battle Girl: Living Dead in Tokyo Bay (1991)

Directed by Kazuo Komizu
Starring Dynamite Kansai, Shinobu Kandori, Katsuhiro Fukudo

"You are...so gross!"

A paper mâché meteor slams into Tokyo Bay, instantly submerging most of Tokyo. That's not the worst of it, though. The dust and debris, combined with the outer space "heavy metals", causes a chemical reaction called "Cosmo-Amphetamine" (!), which reanimates the dead as kill-crazy "Flesh robots". These green-blooded ghouls feast on the living while the military attempts to seal off the area. K-Lo, the daughter of a high-ranking Colonel, slips quietly into the warzone to retrieve the special "Battle Suit" her father stashed for her. Seems that a renegade colonel has set up a mutant "Human Hunters" squad inside Tokyo to massacre every shuffling creature, whether they be still-breathing or undead. It's up to K-Lo, the Battle Girl herself, to make it safely to the survivor camps and bring the still-living back to safety beyond Tokyo's doomed borders. But with zombies, human hunters, and crooked soldiers all gunning for, does Battle Girl have a chance?

Oh, she'll live through it, sure. The viewer? That's a different story.

Battle Girl clearly aims for a Road Warrior/Day of the Dead mash-up with it's post-apoc punks and mad scientist zombie experiments, but it's so cheap and grubby and sluggish that it's actually a lot closer to bottom-shelf 80's VHS gunk like Neon Maniacs or Warriors of the Wasteland. Filled with ugly make-up and laughable special effects and saddled with a muddy, confusing script, Battle Girl is a merciless, sleep-inducing slog. Even at its bare-bones 74 minute running time, it feels like an eternity.

Undiscerning zom-flick completists may want to check this snoozer out, but sleaze-beasts and skin-fans are encouraged to use the hour and fourteen minutes more wisely. Porn, perhaps, or a nice nap.

- Ken McIntyre

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