HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Black Water: Abyss
Wild Blue Yonder, The
All Hail the Popcorn King
Muriel, or the Time of Return
Selma
Great Locomotive Chase, The
American Anthem
Lion and the Horse, The
Druids
War of the Wizards
Onward
Doctor Faustus
Spite Marriage
Mask, The
Letter to Jane
Quick Millions
Dream Demon
Max Havelaar
Radioactive
Glastonbury Fayre
All Dogs Go to Heaven
Shoot Out
Da 5 Bloods
Sonatine
Kung Fu Monster
Secret Agent Super Dragon
Saint Frances
Boiling Point
Golden Stallion, The
Dragon Force
Anthropocene: The Human Epoch
Luck of Ginger Coffey, The
Junkers Come Here
Ladius
White, White Day, A
Strong Medicine
Bitter Springs
Centipede Horror
Physical Evidence
Fanny Lye Deliver'd
   
 
Newest Articles
Bat-Damn: Was Joel Schumacher's Batman Really That Bad?
The Beat Goes On: Takeshi Kitano Collection on Blu-ray
Dream Treats: Scorsese Shorts on Blu-ray
It's Only Money: Laughter in Paradise on Blu-ray
A Regular Terpsichore: Dance, Girl, Dance on Blu-ray
Teenage Trauma: Baby Love on Blu-ray
The Happening: Pet Shop Boys It Couldn't Happen Here on Blu-ray
Who Watched The Watchmen?
The Golden Age of Colonic Irrigation: Monty Python Series 4 on Blu-ray
Lady of Pleasure: Lola Montes on Blu-ray
Take You to the Gay Bar: Funeral Parade of Roses on Blu-ray
Hit for Ms: Mark Cousins' Women Make Film on Blu-ray
Look Sinister: The 1000 Eyes of Dr. Mabuse on Blu-ray
Star Wars Triple Threat: The Tricky Third Prequel and Sequel
I Can See for Miles: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes on Blu-ray
Too Much Pressure: The Family Way on Blu-ray
The Alan Key: Alan Klein and What a Crazy World on Blu-ray
A Japanese Ghost Story: Kwaidan on Blu-ray
The Zu Gang: Zu Warriors from the Magic Mountain on Blu-ray
Reality TV: The Year of the Sex Olympics on DVD
The Young and the Damned: They Live By Night on Blu-ray
Mind How You Go: The Best of COI on Blu-ray
Der Kommissar's in Town: Babylon Berlin Series 3 on DVD
The End of Civilisation as We Know It: The 50th Anniversary
The Whalebone Box: The Andrew Kotting Interview
   
 
  Chanbara Beauty Slay 'Em, Cowgirl!
Year: 2008
Director: Yohei Fukuda
Stars: Eri Otoguro, Chise Nakamura, Minami Hashimoto, Taro Suwa, Satoshi Hakuzen, Ai Hazuki, Hiroaki Kawatsure, Sari Kurauchi, Tomoya Nagai, Tomohiro Waki, Tetsu Watanabe
Genre: Horror, Action, Martial Arts, Weirdo, FantasyBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: Was something in the air last year? 2008 saw the release of several horror movies where bikini girls battled zombies, including the eponymous Zombie Strippers and the slapdash Zombies, Zombies, Zombies. Add to that list Chanbara Beauty, a feisty Japanese effort that bests both with its Asian fusion of splatter, samurai swordplay and sex appeal.

A genetically-engineered zombie virus is sweeping Japan. Surprisingly epic shots - given the low-budget genre - show Tokyo cityscapes and vast swathes of countryside where shambling flesh-eaters are shot by kill-crazy vigilantes. Their bullets bounce off a lone, hooded super-zombie who promptly ravages survivors with devastating kung fu. Leaping to their rescue comes enigmatic Aya (babelicious Eri Otoguro), clad, rather like Raquel Welch in Hannie Caulder (1971), in a fetching cowboy hat, poncho, and knee-length boots. Unlike Raquel, Aya often whips off her poncho to reveal a slinky red bikini and, wielding a laser-blasting samurai sword at lightning speed, splatters zombies everywhere. God bless Japanese exploitation!

Gun-toting biker chick Reiko (Manami Hashimoto) joins the fray, searching for deranged zombie creator Dr. Sugita (Taro Suwa), while Aya is also seeking her long-lost sister Saki (Chise Nakamura). It transpires that Saki slew their parents and reborn as a sexy, mini-skirted, samurai schoolgirl, now serves as Dr. Sugita’s protector.

Chanbara Beauty’s videogame plot betrays its origins as a series of RPGs created by Tamsoft and D3, name-checked here as the villainous progenitors of the zombie virus. Yet woven into the turbo-charged action, limb-ripping undead atrocities and admiration of nubile lovelies, is a surprising amount of philosophising about moral choices and some affecting drama. It draws upon typical chanbara (samurai movie) themes of revenge, comradeship, and the nobility of self-sacrifice and unlike so many low-budget zombie movies, calls on its heroes to display humanity and compassion. Bereaved single mother Reiko adopts a stray orphan as her surrogate daughter, whom she refuses to kill when she is zombified. Portly comic relief Katsuji is attacked by a zombie version of Go-Go Yubari from Kill Bill (2003), whom he poignantly recognises as the sister he failed to protect. The plot itself plays out as a series of traumatic events designed to draw out icy Aya’s latent humanity and concludes with a life-affirming smile.

First and foremost this is a glossy exploitation movie about scantily-clad super-babes fighting freaky flesh-eaters, and on that front delivers in spades. Counterbalancing their use as lush eye-candy, the film succeeds in making three popular, Japanese pinup girls into credibly athletic action heroines, while hyperkinetic camerawork gives the samurai fights real punch. Sparks fly from clanging swords and Amazonian heroines fly through the air. An ill-defined plot twist flounders as it reveals the “cursed blood of the Imichi clan” (namely Aya and Saki) is of vital importance to the zombie experiment - whatever that may be. Nonetheless it precipitates a leap into the outer limits of anime influenced insanity. Zombies are swept aside as sexy samurai girls glow with red and blue elemental energy, hurl fireballs or fling tornados with magic swords. Sexy, action packed and oodles more fun than those po-faced Resident Evil movies.

Click here for the trailer

Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

This review has been viewed 6738 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Paul Smith
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
  Mick Stewart
Enoch Sneed
  Dsfgsdfg Dsgdsgsdg
  Hannah Prosser
   

 

Last Updated: