Saturday, September 4, 2010

Wild Zero: Rock and Roll and Zombies

A Japanese rock-zombie spectacular, Wild Zero (2000) is essentially an extended music video for the band Guitar Wolf.  Consisting of Guitar Wolf, Drum Wolf, and Bass Wolf (since deceased and replaced), the band slouches around combing their pompadours, abusing substances, and shouting “Rock and roll!”  

Aliens are invading Earth and creating zombies left and right (shades of Plan 9 From Outer Space).  What's more, the band's former manager (Makoto Inamiya, resplendent in a pageboy wig and short shorts) is after them.  The rudimentary plot concerns Guitar Wolf’s number one fan Ace (Masashi Endô) and the very special girl he falls in love with (Kwancharu Shitichai).  With the help of a magic whistle, Ace can summon Guitar Wolf's aid when he's in danger - but can the rockers fight off the zombie hordes and their alien masters?

It’s not meant to be good, it’s meant to be trashy camp, and it succeeds admirably, aided by a soundtrack that includes Guitar Wolf's own Ramones-influenced tunes and a suite of others, from Dick Dale to Bikini Kill.  Wild Zero serves up a big helping of dumb fun.  The DVD menu even includes an in-movie drinking game for those who wish to quantify the number of exploding heads and flaming tailpipes with alcohol.  

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