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Tokyo Shock: Sars Wars: Bangkok Zombie Crisis (2004), pre-Tokyo Shock era and it shows

September 1, 2013

MY CALL:  Aiming more towards comedy than shoxploitation, this is a n early and rather tame Tokyo Shock-esque installment.  IF YOU LIKE THIS WATCHHelldriver (2010), Meatball Machine (2005), Vampire Girl vs Frankenstein Girl (2009),Tokyo Gore Police (2009) and Machine Girl (2008)LANGUAGE:  Thai.  I bought my DVD in 2010 and it did not offer an English-dubbed audio alternative.

This contribution to the Tokyo Shock subgenre hails from Thailand, but tries to deliver all of the nonsensical fun of Japanese installments.  Our completely plausible story takes place in the future, when the news assures that Thailand is 100% virus-free–not so much as a common cold!–and will not be affected by the Sars virus.  Cut to Africa: everyone is dead and turning into zombies, a CGI roach crawls out of a Sars zombie’s mouth and flies to Thailand where it bites a man–yes, first reported roach bite like…ever.  Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaand presto!  We have a bad movie!

So this roach flies from Africa to Thailand…

A cute animation depicting what Africa now looks like…

The roach bites this guy…who turns into this tooth-filed menace…who gets stabbed in the neck with an iron.

Our roach-bitten victim becomes a pus-spewing, vomiting, pulsating mess that begins eating cats and infecting the people of Bangkok immediately.  Once infected , they go all Evil Dead with brow and cheek bone demon make-up and develop some heinously jagged teeth.

Then our Sars zombie patient zero starts biting things, which in turn become uglier versions of themselves.

From here the nonsense kicks into high gear.  Unlike the more recently released Tokyo Gore Police (2009) and Machine Girl (2008), the slapstick is not limited to the gore.  Our characters find themselves speaking with all the seriousness of cartoon characters, they dodge bullets with cartwheels, they dance to their own theme music and the toughest characters are Asian school girls (exactly like Tokyo Gore Police and Machine Girl).

The action is quite limited in quality, high in frequency, and often supplemented by weak comedic antics.  Blood abounds, but the rubber guts and severed parts that I yearn for were quite rare.  A CGI zombie baby birth offered a brief change of pace, but by and large the effects failed to find the “shock” that earned this movie subgenre its name.  But hey, there was a strong hesitation to show any nudity–I suppose to keep our attention on the art on display before our eyes.

Here’s the evil CGI Sars zombie baby.

What really keeps this movie down below the ranks of, for example, Meatball Machine (2005) and Vampire Girl vs Frankenstein Girl (2009) is the overuse of CGI effects.  Typical Tokyo Shock films focus on over-the-top blood sprays, wacky monster prosthetics and armor, violent slapstick amputations and WTF-mutant-cybernetic-perverted-weapons, only rarely turning to CGI.  Whereas this installment uses CGI to the point of reliance.  In the beginning of the movie a severed, Sars-animated cat’s tail is eaten by a python, which then grows into some giant monstrosity of a demon anaconda and starts eating people.  This offered a WTF-random element to the movie with CGI and that’s all fine.  However, the snake became a recurring theme, growing bigger and making the low quality CGI more of a blaring flaw than a fun complement.  By the story’s end this snake monster served the role as the video game “last guy”–and it wasn’t impressive or fun. EPIC BAD GUY FAIL!!!!

Perhaps this movie predated the uprising of Tokyo Shock.  However, its nature is inescapably similar and likewise inescapable are comparisons to its newer, much better counterparts.  I feel like this movie would have been way more fun if I saw it back in 2004…before the availability of the higher quality found in subsequent releases.

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