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Cinema/TV, Film Notes

Film notes – Kyonyû doragon: Onsen zonbi vs sutorippâ 5 (Big Tits Zombie 3D)

My notes on the Japanese film Kyonyû doragon: Onsen zonbi vs sutorippâ 5 (Big Tits Zombie 3D)

The English-language export title deserves acclaim for blatant upfront hardsell – it’s not so much a name as a menu, and pushes the ingredients this cheap confection is built around.  Yes, there are tits, they are big, and there are zombies (lots of them – though no one single big tits zombie stands out) and there are hokey red-and-blue cardboard sunglasses 3D scenes (at least on my screener disc – the London theatrical showing was ‘flat’).  Based on a manga by Rei Mikamoto, it opens with a quote from Sergio Leone (with an outrageously misplaced apostrophe in the English screed) and occasionally drops names like Bataille and La Rouchefoucauld, but a snarky aside about ‘too many films about girls with big swords killing zombies’ places this as a parody of the (scarcely serious) Chanbara Beauty videogame and film series.  Though the Japanese title (which translates as The Big Tits Dragon: Hot Spring Zombies vs Strippers 5) suggests this is Zombies vs Strippers 5, there’s no relationship to the American film Zombies vs Strippers (aka Zombies! Zombies! Zombies!), let alone Zombie Strippers (which was – no kidding – purportedly adapted from Ionesco).  If there were four earlier films in the Big Tits Dragon series, they’re hard to find out anything about – so I’m assuming that this is a variant on the sequel-to-nothing gag that wore out back in Surf 2.

 

So, what about the film?  It’s short at 76 minutes, and opens with a girl vs zombies action scene – in which, evoking Leone, one skilled girl tries to charge another (who is stuck with an unreliable chainsaw) a thousand yen for every zombie she takes a sword to – which is later repeated in its entirety to bump the whole thing up to feature length.  Then, we flashback to the set-up, which is that some girls who work in an underpatronised Japanese hot springs strip club (by Asian standards, their breasts are larger than average – but Russ Meyer’s fans will be disappointed) come across a Book of the Dead (a la The Evil Dead) while rummaging about in a chamber of leftover occult objects in the cellar (where there’s a handy well that leads to Hell).  A reading unlooses a plague, and lots of extras show up as zombies, but it boils down to a spat between the two longest-lasting stripper heroines – Chanbara Beauty lookalike Rena (Lena in the subtitles) Jodo (Sola Aoi), who wears a fringed Shane jacket, and Ginko (Risa Kasumi), a chick in black leathers — and scarlet-haired, wrist-cutting emo goth occultist flake French maid stripper Maria (Mari Sakurai), who’s always hated them and is behind the evil stuff.  Nene (Tamayo), kimono-clad den mother stripper, has a suppurating pulsing CGI leg-wound and is doomed.  A Blue Demon (Minoru Torihada) – who is, obviously, not the Blue Demon of Mexican wrestling fame — pops out of ‘the well of souls’ to claim the wicked girl, and all the zombs drop.  The End.

 

Director Takao Nakano (of the four-film ExorSister series, Sumo Vixens, Sexual Parasite: Killer Pussy and cheery-sounding Hoppu suteppu janpu!/Hop Step Jump) is clearly an auteur, but I suspect further viewings of his backlist would be an exercise in monotony.  It’s shot on non-filmlook video, on a very few interior sets, and the effects are a blend of barely-rough draft CGI and old-style video nasty on-set splatter: typical of the use of 3D, naked girls, gross-outs and is-that-supposed-to-be-funny? humour is a matched set of scenes where, first, a naked girl (Io Aikawa) is covered in food and perverts (including a dwarfish boss-type Ginko somehow drunkenly sleeps with) snack off her with chopsticks and, later, the same girl lies in the same position and the same perverts (now zombies) eat her internal organs.  We do get some 3D dancing entrails and a lively bobbing severed head, plus plentiful sword, gun, living sushi, zombie drool and gurning action in the mostly brief dimensional sequences (those tinted glasses tend to give you some 3D but at the expense of monochroming the picture red with ghost images).  The dialogue is peppered with fannish and high culture references (including an unhelpful lecture on George Romero delivered while a girl is trying to close a door on a crowd of clutching hand ghouls) but it’s otherwise not far removed from Troma.

 

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