The Bottom Line
- Likeable characters
- Uneven blend of humor and drama
- Camp touches are an acquired taste
- Starring Tadanobu Asano, Sho Aikawa, Erika Okuda, Arata Furuta, Hina Matsuoka, Satoshi Hashimoto
- Directed by Sakichi Sato
- Rated NR
- DVD Release Date: April 7, 2009
Guide Review - 'Tokyo Zombie' DVD Review
Two slacker factory workers -- dimwitted, afro-clad Fujio and bald, bossy Mitsuo -- find themselves at ground zero of a zombie invasion when bodies buried in a garbage dump known as Black Fuji come to life. Using their jujitsu skills, the duo fights their way through the undead throng.
They become separated, however, and five years down the line, Tokyo is a wasteland with a small minority of wealthy citizens living behind a wall, enslaving the poor and forcing them to fight zombies for sport (Land of the Dead anyone?). Fujio uses the skills that Mitsuo taught him to become a champion zombie fighter, but his life feels incomplete without his bald mentor.
Tokyo Zombie is an acquired taste, an offbeat blend of horror, comedy, drama and animation as only the Japanese can do. Although humor is hard to translate, the Beavis and Butthead-ish leads are universally goofy and likeable. That said, those familiar with films like Happiness of the Katakuris know that there is a surreal, random nature to Japanese humor that challenges your tolerance for the absurd.
Those expecting classic zombie action might be disappointed with the limited amount of gore amidst the cartoonish violence, and those seeking laugh-out-loud comedy might be disappointed by the dark streak that melds slapstick with serious topics like pedophilia. The bleakness shouldn't be surprising, though, given it's written and directed by the guy who wrote the sadomasochistic Ichi the Killer. And like Ichi, Tokyo Zombie is admirably "out there."
Special features include interviews and behind-the-scenes features.