The trailers of other films from Switchblade Pictures preceding Zombie Self Defence Force gave me a bad feeling. Movies with titles like Attack Girls’ Swim Team Versus the Undead might sound like instant classics, but the previews that followed looked like they were made using cheap home movie cameras from the 80s. Realizing the trailers were probably representative of the film I was about to watch, I resigned myself to an hour-and-a-half of bad soft-core porn horror, cracked a KitKat and settled in.
The “film” (and I use that term loosely) opens with a lengthy patriotic spiel about how Japan should have its own military and stop being America’s pet. The narrator finishes his monotologue (not a typo, I figure it’s the best way to describe the boring monologue) in saying that he is not trying to bash the U.S., and in fact likes lots of American things, especially George A. Romero.
On cue, a CGI UFO that makes Ed Wood look like George Lucas blasts through the patriotic speech’s background, heads toward Earth and – uncannily predicting the future of the entire movie – crashes.
We’re introduced to three groups of people, all situated in or near the forest in which the aforementioned UFO has crashed: a group of Japanese soldiers on a training mission; a photo shoot for the not-scantily-clad-enough pop star, Hitomi (which Google reveals is played by porn starlet, Mihiro); and a boarding house manager and his mistress. Aside from Hitomi’s supreme bitchiness and the odd panty shot, none of these people are even remotely interesting. When the UFO crashes, one soldier wants to go investigate immediately, but besides that, the crash is not considered all that important by any of the other characters. Not important, that is, until the dozens of corpses lying beneath the forest floor (because that’s the most obvious place for there to be dozens of corpses) start coming to life with a hankering for human flesh. (Ain’t that always the way? I mean, zombies are SO predictable!) The cast is quickly whittled down to just a few survivors, and when death for those last few seems imminent, it is revealed that there is hope. That hope lies in a top-secret military weapon with a “blaze of patriotism in [its] heart” and a penchant for kicking ass.
I won’t ruin it for you by revealing what that weapon is… just in case you’re actually insane enough to watch this movie despite my recommendation (which, by the way, is NOT to watch it). Suffice to say the weapon is not THAT kick-ass (seriously, it is not worth watching the movie to find out).
I feel silly even addressing acting and production quality, but here goes. The film’s picture quality looked a little worse than the last home movie I made using my digital camera (that just happens to have a video function). Maybe it would be comparable with a cell phone video? There was nothing to the “sets,” and I assume most of the budget went toward blood and guts, which were actually mildly gross (let’s make that a complement, I’d hate to have absolutely nothing good to say about this movie). In short, it made Ed Wood’s Plan 9 from Outer Space look like Star Wars (again with the Wood-Lucas comparison, sorry Wood).
For the most part, the acting was poor, but then who watches these movies for the acting? A couple of the actors were passable at times, but nothing really worth gushing (pun intended) over. About 15 minutes into the film I looked at the back of the DVD hoping to god it was short (76 minutes, thank you!) About 30 minutes in I started wondering if any of the nasty pornographic scenes from the other previews on the DVD would make their way into this film. About 45 minutes into the film I started desperately hoping they would. No such luck. All I got were a few Hitomi panty shots.
I was actually tempted to simply write a haiku about Zombie Self Defense Force. My reason being that I didn’t want to spend any more time reviewing it than its writer did writing it. Let’s give it a try to sum things up:
Zombies and gore good
Zombie Self Defense Force bad
Do not watch this film