“X-Men, as directed by Peter Jackson. And not LotR Peter Jackson. Brain Dead Peter Jackson.”
It makes sense that this stems from a drunken agreement between the three co-directors at a film festival, because this is the sort of film you would only make under inebriated terms, and it’s probably true to say that drunk is the best way to watch this. That’s not a bad thing per se, just that its loopy sensibilities and over-the-top antics would seem to go particularly well with a few beers. Rin (Sugimoto) hits her sixteenth birthday not too happy, being bullied at school. However, the bullies have a surprise in store, as it turns out Rin is half-human, half-Hiiko, with her father being from a mutant race with extraordinary powers. They have largely been hiding from humanity, but are now fed up of being persecuted, and under the leadership of Kisaragi (Sakaguch), are about to declare total war on us. Rin, along with Yoshie (Morita) and Rei (Takayama), are to lead the strikeforce, though Rin is less convinced over the need to target all of mankind.
This is right up there with Brain Dead in terms of the goriest movie ever, with fountains of blood, real and digital painting the entire screen, including the lens, though rarely affecting our heroine’s sailor-suit school uniform. Which, one assumes, is part of the joke, for everything about this is so amazingly excessive, it’s impossible to take any of it seriously, even as it is played completely straight-faced. The talents, for instance, include a waitress whose breasts each sprout a sword and a cheerleader, concealing a chainsaw in a place power-tools are not normally located. No explanation for any of this is ever given. It just is, and you either buy into it or you don’t. Yet there’s also a moment or two of poignancy, as Rin struggles to decide whether to align herself with a human race which has largely rejected her, or her new “family,” weird and incredibly ultraviolent as they may be.
While the gore is certainly present in buckets, as we’ve seen, that isn’t enough by itself to make for entertainment, and the insane imagination on view here is equally impressive. This is particularly true at the end, when Kisaragi reveals his final form. Let’s just say, breasts that squirt acid milk is one of the lesser of his talents. This kind of lunatic invention makes the film work, and while you undeniably need a large tolerance for arterial spray, and some of the FX are rubbery, to say the least, it is thoroughly fun schlock, unlike anything produced by even the most warped Western company.
Dir: Noboru Iguchi, Yoshihiro Nishimura, and Tak Sakaguchi
Star: Yumi Sugimoto, Suzuka Morita, Yuko Takayama, Tak Sakaguchi