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Film Review: Samurai Zombie

Posted on the 01 April 2013 by Donnambr @_mrs_b

About Samurai Zombie (2008)Samurai ZombieLow-budget Japanese martial arts zombie horror. A family holiday goes hideously wrong when a road accident in a remote forest leads to a young family being car-jacked and taken hostage by a pair of psychotic armed bank robbers on the run. But the thieves soon prove to be the least of the young family’s problems when the group falls prey to an army of undead samurai warriors.

 

Starring: Mitsuru Fukikoshi, Issei Ishida, Tak Sakaguchi

Directed by: Tak Sakaguchi

Runtime: 91 minutes

Studio: MVM Entertainment

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Review:  Samurai Zombie

Directed by Tak Sakaguchi, Samurai Zombie tells the story of a family on a road trip who are in the wrong place at the wrong time. They run into a man in the road (Issei Ishida) pointing a gun at them and though he gets up he is soon shot by a young couple (Tak Sakaguchi and Nana Natsume) who are on the run from the authorities. They take the family hostage and have them drive through a fenced off area which proves to be a source of strange phenomena. The sat nav and mobile phones cease to work, their screens turning blood red and then the family car breaks down. The father (Mitsuru Fukikoshi) is sent to get a fresh tire when the abductors threaten his daughter (Airi Nakajima.) In his absence the mother (Keiko Oginome) has to keep the abductors sweet and protect her daughter and young son. This is far from simple though as the family and their abductors have wandered into the remnants of a haunted village and end up facing not one, not two, but three samurai zombies!

There’s a nice eerie feel to the film at the outset as the family car packs in and mobile phones also refuse to work. The outline of samurai warriors amidst the swirling mist is rather effective too but the blood splatter isn’t too far behind. I don’t want to give too much away but basically blood hits the earth where three samurai warriors are buried and they emerge one by one to attack the traveling family and their abductors. Guns seem effective to a degree on the samurais, flooring them at least, but they do seem unstoppable. In the abandoned village an old woman is wandering around and warning the group that they are all going to die. There’s usually one around who no one listens to. The most curious part of the film is the man who is run over and shot in the opening scene. He keeps getting up and pursuing the group as well, insisting he is going to die but he never does! Strange.

 

The film is heavy on the gore with those samurai swords removing fingers as well as heads with a ridiculous blood splatter to follow. The flight path of lopped off heads is a tad questionable as well but boy is it funny. The characters are an intriguing bunch and although it might not seem it there is a back story to these samurai warriors which is revealed at the end. This is actually a clever plot twist and really rescued the film from being utterly pointless for me. This will never win any awards for greatness but as a horror film there are some worthwhile moments.

 

Samurai Zombie is a flawed horror film but the ending saves it from obsolescence. A decent group of characters, especially the abductors, keep things ticking over while the samurai warriors stagger around the ghost village trying to pick them off. This is an okay but silly horror film with a conclusion worth waiting for.

Verdict: 3/5

(Film source: reviewer’s own copy)

Film Review: Samurai Zombie | Thank you for reading Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dave

 


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