Oh man, Tomomatsu is just plain awesome! And Eat the Schoolgirl sound good. The poster art is great!!!! Gotta see if I can track that one down on rental.
A couple of reviews that I've had half-ready since God only knows when, but didn't finalize until now:
Here’s yet another addition to the hugely popular Japanese direct to video zombie genre. Zomvideo features a small group of office workers who discover old video tapes that instruct them on how to build zombie destruction weapons out of office supplies and survive the zombie apocalypse raging outside.
Zomvideo literally borrows its every idea from movies that preceded it. The film is filled with self-conscious genre film talk, there’s woman in black who’ss a Female Prisoner Scorpion reference (inspired by Love Exposure), and the zombie destruction weapon used near the end is a variation of the lawnmower used in Braindead. Yoshihiro Nishimura’s Helldriver is copied extensively, not to mention Videodrome.
The worst thing about Zomvideo is its post-modern approach, which turns zombie films into a laughing stock because they are “such stupid garbage”. The director has his actors comically overdo every act in order to make sure no one in the audience mistakes this for a serious movie. There is even a zombie character who denies being dead.
Incredibly, though, the film is filled with well done gore effects. Fingers are bitten off, scissors are stack in the eyes, and people are cut in half with chainsaw. The film is full of brutal and disgusting special effects courtesy of Yoshihiro Nishimura’s special effects workshop. Almost everything is handmade, too.
It is hard to say what was the idea behind mixing such “lovely” effects into a film that pisses all over them from the beginning. The film may work for those who love childish pseudo-intellectual comedy and hate horror movies. Genre film fans should avoid it like plague.
The film’s title is a badly translating play on words. In Japanese Zombie is spelled Zonbi. The Japanese language is missing the letter “v”, for which reason “video” is spelled as “bideo”. Zomvideo’s Japanese title, therefore, is Zonbideo.
DVD & BD
Available on DVD and BD in Japan, no subs of course. The screencaps below are from the rental dvd.
Bite Me if You Love Me (Kimi wa zonbi ni koi shiteru) (2011)
If there’s one thing wrong about Japanese high school girls, it’s that they don’t usually love zombie films. Naoyuki Tomomatsu’s romantic horror comedy Bite Me if You Love Me brings some fictional hope to school girl hungry zombie film fans.
The film follows Hitomi, who is a high school girl whose greatest passion is zombie movies. Understandably her friends think there’s something wrong with her, but Hitomi doesn’t care about them. She’s determined to find a boyfriend; though not just any guy, but a living dead one.
Zombies are a bit of tricky topic in Japan because the country traditionally buries their dead by cremation. This makes the corpses unable rise from their graves. In Bite Me if You Love Me Hitomi solves the issue by acting quick. She seduces a guy (by waiving her pants in front of his nose), has him fall to his death from the 4th floor, and then brings him back to life with magic powder. As planned, the relationship begins well and even sex is fantastic thanks to post-death stiffness. However, as time passes the couple grow less affectionate. Zombie becomes a celebrity, and Hitomi meets a charming young man with an axe, Jason Yamada.
The previously reviewed Zomvideo was a prime example of despicable post-modern zombie cinema that tries to turn the whole genre into pseudo-intellectual joke. Tomomatsu’s film is much more successful. It’s a humoristic piece as well, but the jokes and irony come from the director’s heart and love for the genre – for the most part. This is a film that acknowledges its exploitative silliness, but nevertheless feasts in it.
In some ways, Bite Me if You Love Me resembles of Vampire Girl vs. Frankenstein Girl – a film that Tomomatsu co-directed with the better known gore maestro Yoshihiro Nishimura. Bite Me if You Love Me features some to the charming romance-comedy-splatter that Tomomatsu brought to like Vampire Girl vs. Frankenstein Girl, but Bite Me if You Love Me is no doubt the shabbier productiob of the two, from production values to occasionally terrible soundtrack and poor acting. The middle third also tries to be a bit too clever – and fails at it.
Bite Me if You Love Me is a straight to video production as could be expected. Despite its flaws it stands as one of the better films in its genre, coming with some personality and fun ideas. Recommended (with reservations) for viewers with a taste for both zombie films and high school girls. Gore aficionados will also be pleased to see the film’s relatively modest splatter is all hand-made.
R2J without subs. The DVD was rental exclusive for a while, but has since been released on retail disc also. Caps from the rental DVD.