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Tokyo Shock: Dead Sushi (2012)

February 11, 2013

MY CALL:  A mid-level entry to the Tokyo Shock genre which tries to rely on a stupidly clever premise.  It’s alright, I guess.  But the premise doesn’t carry it along as well as the writers hoped.  I’d only recommend this for devout fans of Tokyo Shock.    WHAT TO WATCH INSTEADTokyo Gore Police (2008), Vampire Girl vs Frankenstein Girl (2009) and Helldriver (2010) all do a much better job of delivering weirdly clever monsters/opponents and disturbingly creative gore, deaths and mutations.

Keiko (Rina Takeda; Ninja Girl, Karate Girl, High-Kick Girl) is training under her father (Jiji Bû; Tokyo Gore Police, Vampire Girl vs Frankenstein Girl) to become a sushi chef, which evidently involves some ninja kind of crazy martial arts whose choreography smacks of classic kung fu theater.  However, the training and the demands of her father are too much for her.  So she runs away and finds work at Yumi’s (Asami; Helldriver, Mutant Girl Squad, The Machine Girl) hotel, where some executives have decided to go on a corporate escape.

It takes longer than normal (for movies of this genre) for the wackiness to get started.  This happens when Yamada (Kentarô Shimazu; Tokyo Gore Police, The Machine Girl, Alien vs Ninja) injects a reanimating, contagious disease-bearing serum into a flying squid to exact his revenge on the executives that had him fired.  Once the infected squid comes into contact with some of the hotel’s freshly served sushi, the sushi itself turns into miniature flying killers.

Now, when I think Tokyo Shock I think crazy gore and exploitative tactics.  Director/writer Noboru Iguchi’s (The Machine Girl, RoboGeisha, The ABC’s of Death“F” is for Fart) flick includes decapitation, making out with a severed head, squid-stabbing, the sloppiest sounding kisses ever, provocative sushi eating, man-face to man-crotch, finger to butt, tongue biting, eyeballs popping out of their sockets, sloppy raw egg-exchanging kisses, face-peeling, cannibalism, a naked woman showering in blood, rice zombies (that’s not meant to sound racist), piranha-like sushi swarms, fire-breathing sushi, a guy turns into an over-sized axe-wielding fish monster, tandem vomiting, petrified sushi nunchucks, zombies copping feels and a few entertaining mutilated face prosthetics.

The effects behind the killer sushi is pretty cheap, but perfectly serviceable in a movie like this.  It reminds me of the flying orb effects from Phantasm (1979).  Some other CGI effects are truly awful and inferior even to ScyFy Network movie-of-the-week quality.

Comedic elements include farcical lessons in sushi  preparation and connoisseurship, shy singing sushi that is friendly and supportive, cute jiggling giggling evil sushi monsters, sushi monsters mating and a sushi roll battleship.  Like the effects and the pace of the story, the humor of this Tokyo Shocklet a noticeably not as good as I would expect from the genre.

That’s not to say that the movie isn’t without its moments.

Like when Chef Tsuchida (Kanji Tsuda; Helldriver, Vampire Girl vs Frankenstein Girl) cries out: “When a sushi chef’s pride is on the line the next course he serves in death!”

Or when Yamada becomes infected by his own serum:  “And now I have been reborn as a mighty tuna!”

I’d only recommend this for devout fans of Tokyo Shock.

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