Wild Zero (2000), or LOCK ‘N LOLL!!!!!

3 07 2009

You know, I generally don’t like it when a movie proclaims itself to be a cult film right out of the gate, but I’ll let this one slide because of it’s ultra-kitschy style. It’s only about a decade old, but look at the box:

Ah, yes, The Great Psycho of Them All! I understand perfectly... Wait, what?

Ah, yes, "The Great Psycho of Them All!" I understand perfectly... Wait, what?

Funny, I thought WE decided what was and wasn’t a cult movie… But no matter! Wild Zero is that movie where you already know whether you’ll like it or not by just looking at the box. Most people would look at that and say, “That looks so dumb! I’m gonna go watch Bad Boys II instead!” But if you have that certain eccentric sense of humor, and aren’t afraid of a little weirdness in your movie, this is actually a pretty accomplished comedy. If you like zombies. And action hero rock stars. And horrible punk music. And she-males.

Wild Zero is about the world’s weeniest hero, Ace. This guy loves rock and roll, especially shitty rock and roll played by lazy musicians (but snappy dressers) Guitar Wolf, the ultimate Japanese rock band! Guitar Wolf rocks so hard they can destroy things with the power of their rocking! They’re amazing (them, not their shitty music), and their powerful rock artifacts might be the only way to stop the evil zombie invasion! Ace loves these guys, and because of his idealistic and heroic defense of rock and roll at a Guitar Wolf concert, the leader of the group, Guitar Wolf, decides to give him a quick motivational speech and a way to contact him if ever he needs help. And when zombies begin to overrun the peaceful streets of Asahi, Japan, Ace is going to need all the help he can get to protect himself and save his girlfriend, who may or may not have a penis!

It’s a wacky frolic through a spray of blood, guts, and rock and roll! Or, as Guitar Wolf so eloquently puts it, “Lock ‘N Loll!” There’s plenty of strange characters, eccentric dialog, and unfathomable situations for even the most discerning cult movie fan! If you like Priscilla, Queen of The Desert, Cannibal Holocaust, and Ichi the Killer, you will have a film-gasm when you see this movie!

This is a violent movie, so when I say that it frolics through blood and guts, I mean that in the sense that they drive a Mack truck filled with gore right into your living room. It’s no worse than your typical zombie film, but for the uninitiated, this might be kind of a shock. The special effects don’t really convey the carnage of agonizing death or zombification in a terrifying manner, though, so maybe I’m just erring on the side of caution. I didn’t even mention the horrific death scenes in Ichi the Killer in my review earlier this week, so what am I even typing this for? Am I a fucking idiot? Why do I keep typing? Nobody wants to read this inner monologue crap! What is with me today? Gee, I hope nobody reads this embarrassing script; luckily this is just a rough draft… [Editor’s Note: Oops!] [Editor’s Other Note: I AM the editor! Oops!]

The characters are a mix between your typical B-movie archetypes one would find on the Sci-Fi Channel around 2:30 AM and a concert documentary about Guitar Wolf. Everyone else in the movie (including WACKY civilians, gruff military types, and Ace’s he/she love interest) are kind of banal, used only as foils to show us just how great Guitar Wolf and, to a much lesser extent, Ace are. They’re flimsy, indifferent cardboard cutouts, and that’s fine as long as either Ace or the greatest rock band in the world is on screen. Often times they’re not though. Guitar Wolf disappears through the entire middle portion of the movie, Ace has an existential crisis (what a surprise; this guy is a flake and a total wuss. I have socks that can stand up better than this guy!) which renders him AWOL, and we’re left to fend for ourselves with the piddly ancillary characters.

So if you’re one of THOSE types of people (like me), you might enjoy this film. It’s kitschy, it’s weird, and it’s absolutely crazy. It’s not perfect, but if you’re in the vein of zombie-punk horror comedy, you will find that this cult movie is made especially for you. And in the spirit of the greatest guitarist of all time, Guitar Wolf (suck it, Frank Zappa!), I give Wild Zero 7 1/2 “Brutalities of Screens” out of 10, and to you I declare a hearty “Lock ‘N Loll!!!!”

Tomorrow’s feature is a surprise, so don’t peek underneath the wrapping paper until then!!!

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