Wild Zero (2000)
By: J.R. McNamara on June 19, 2008  |  Comments  |  Bookmark and Share
Eastern Eye (Australia). Region 4, PAL. 1.78:1 (16:9 enhanced). Japanese DD 2.0. English Subtitles. 94 minutes
The Movie
Director: Tetsuro Takeuchi
Starring: Masashi Endô, Kwancharu Shitichai, Makoto Inamiya, Haruka Nakajo, Guitar Wolf
Writer: Satoshi Takagi, Tetsuro Takeuchi
Country: Japan
External Links
Purchase IMDB YouTube
I love Asian films... no doubt. From Pinky Violence to anime to chop-socky to sentai to kaiju to hentai, I dig them. Sure I am no big fan of ghost stories, and there are only so many films with scary little wet black haired girls you can watch before you start to get a bit ho-hum, but there is something about Asian filmmaking that really appeals to me. I think it is that 'human cartoon' factor, a wackiness that in no way transfers to films from other countries. The fact that the filmmakers don't feel they have to stick to some kind of 'Hollywood-ness' makes them just plain fun, no matter how scary they are!

This film, Wild Zero, is a grand example of that off the wall attitude that makes Asian films what they are.

Aliens are attacking the Earth! Using their strange alien powers they cause a meteor shower that brings the dead back to life, and these re-animated corpses have only one thing on their mind: eat the living! Not everyone is aware of the invasion at first, and we are introduced to our hapless hero, Ace (Masashi Endo) who happens to save his idols, the legendary Japanese punk band Guitar Wolf (as themselves) from their psychotic, drug-addled manager. As a reward, Guitar Wolf (um... the vocalist of the band Guitar Wolf whose name also happens to be Guitar Wolf) gives Ace a whistle, and tells him that if he ever gets into trouble, blow the whistle, and the band will be there to help him.

Of course, Ace requires help very soon after leaving Guitar Wolf, while attempting to save his love interest, Tobio (Kwancharu Shitichi) from the invading zombies... but Tobio has a secret as well, and that will be revealed through the course of the film.

Add to this story a group of moronic garage robbers, a female gun runner, zombies in love, exploding heads, electrified shuriken guitar picks, gore, cutesy Japanese pop star types and the most amazing weapon ever used in a film, one that would please both Shintaro and Yngwie Malmsteen!

The best way to describe this film to those with horror knowledge would be that it is a Japanese remake of Night of the Living Dead with The Ramones as the heroes... and yes, it is a nutty as that. To those without horror knowledge, well I would tell them to sit down, shut up and strap yourself in for an experience that you won't forget.

Put it this way, any film that has the point of view from a penis while it is urinating is going to be one you won't forget in a hurry.

This is, so far, the only film made by writer/director Tetsuro Takeuchi, and I have to say that even though he has experience in making music videos, that this film comes across occasionally as amateurish, and some of the CGI effects are far from perfect. In its favour though is the fact that it's so warped that some of its imperfections aren't noticed on the initial spin.
The film is presented in a 1.78:1 aspect ratio with 16:9 enhancement, and while it is clear of artifacts it is a dull and not very sharp transfer.
There is no other way to say it: this film will torture your speakers - Japanese punk rock loud and proud. Unabashed in its ferocity to the point my cats grew thumbs just so they could block their ears! The soundtrack is only presented in 2.0, but the film actually benefits from it. The footage of Guitar Wolf wouldn't have sounded right in 5.1 super-swishy surroundascope. Actually, it would have sounded even better if the film had been presented on vinyl instead of DVD!
Extra Features
Nothing but boring, crappy extras from Madman/Eastern Eye this time: there are trailers for Wild Zero, Aragami, Death Trance, SPL and a box-set of Takeshi Kitano, though the trailer is only for his film Violent Cop.

This disc also has the master of all crappy extras, the picture gallery. This one features 8... yes, count them 8 images from the movie.... not even worth the disc space.
The Verdict
I tried to think of a metaphor to explain what watching Wild Zero was like, and the closest I could come to describing the experience was that it is like being breast fed crack by your junkie-whore mother... and loving it! This is nonsensical fun at its best.
Movie Score
Disc Score
Overall Score

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