Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Oneechanbara: Samurai Bikini Squad (2008)

Oneechanbara: Samurai Bikini Squad (2008)
Dir: Yohri Fukuda (Grotesque)

So staying on the topic of over the top J-horror zombie films in the fashion of the brilliantly bad Big Tits Zombie , I decided to dive into this little gem. Oneechanbara is an film adaptation of a manga turned video game turned movie I suppose due to some serious popularity. Now I had the game for the wii and I have to say as far as video game transitions are concerned this one is pretty true to it's source material unlike other game transitions like House of the Dead and Resident Evil. The film takes place in japan 20xx after the D3 corporation has completed a reanimation serum in order to use the dead as productive members of society in some facet but things go wrong  and a zombie breakout occurs. This leads many survivors to hunt the living dead for fun and sport while Aya , her her heavy set male friend Fujitsu and a woman they come across on their travels Reiko seek revenge on the D3 corporation for their own personal reasons we learn about later.
Unlike Big tits zombie , The zombie effects are decent in this one , the fight scenes are well choreographed as the group fights their way to the headquarters of D3 and the cinematograhy is well done and dark thanks to the makers of Grotesque being behind the camera. Apparently Aya is searching for her long lost sister Saki whom aided in killing their father as a child due to her jealousy of Aya's Samurai skill. Saki had been employed and raised by the leader of D3 in order to use their families sacred warrior blood in his reanimation serum in order to make the undead unstoppable warriors, While Fujitsu is also looking for his sister whom had gone missing during the zombie outbreak and Reiko's mission is to revenge her daughter whom she had to kill due to the outbreak and the child being infected. A majority of this film is just fight scenes and long ones at that and they all come off as video game style scenes as Aya's blade disintegrates those she strikes with her glowing sword.
Another thing that separates this film from others in the sub genre is that it sort of takes itself seriously using dramatic story telling and attempts at tear jerking scenarios as opposed to the tongue in cheek humor and over the top gore and that is not necessarily a bad thing but it does make the film a little less enjoyable given the subject matter and the characters. So as expected the group makes it to the D3 headquarters and a huge army of zombies are fought off by our two heroines while Fujitsu goes for the mad doctor who is killed in gruesome fashion by one of his own monsters in a scene very reminiscent to Reanimator .
After the headquarters and Doctor are disposed of the final battle between Aya and Saki begins and this ends up being a pretty decent fight scene in the tradition of classic Shaw Brothers Martial arts films, Though it does get a bit odd once the girls begin to glow and use super powers and wire fighting.

 Also the end is a bit predictable but all in all this is not a bad film and it reminded me a bit of  Versus another zombie outbreak kung fu hybrid film. I do though think this film would have benefited from some more humor and light heartedness. As I stated before The serious approach to the subject matter kind of dulls this one down and just makes it more of a typical Martial arts film than a J-Horror Zombie film especially with the long drawn out fight sequences. You wont be disappointed if you like Martial arts films or zombie films in general but if you are looking for something like Gore Police or Big Tits Zombie you may wanna skip this one.
Overall score: 5.5 out of 10

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