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Wild Zero

Review by: 
Head Cheeze
Release Date: 
2000
Studio: 
Synapse Films
Genre: 
Zombedy
Format: 
DVD
Region: 
0 NTSC
Aspect Ratio: 
1.85:1
Directed by: 
Tetsuro Takeuchi
Cast: 
Guitar Wolf
Drum Wolf
Bass Wolf
Masashi Endô
Movie: 
4
Extras: 
4
Bottom Line: 
4

Wild Zero is the film The Ramones would have made if they were;

A) Japanese

B) Clinically Insane.

Imagine Rock and Roll High School, but with less singing and dancing, and more exploding heads, topless women in schoolgirl outfits, and zombie hordes! Shit, yeah, the Japanese know how to party, damnit, and I wanna party with them, especially with the film's stars, the (obviously) Ramones-inspired punk-a-billy trio, Guitar Wolf.

The film opens with what appears to be a full on alien invasion fleet heading toward Earth, and then cuts to a news broadcast about a meteorite crashing in Japan. We are then introduced to Ace (Endo), a die-hard Guitar Wolf aficionado who dresses, acts, and rocks like his favorite band. Ace goes to see the Wolf at a show that evening, and then stumbles into a Mexican stand-off between Guitar Wolf and an evil promoter and his henchman backstage. Ace steps into the fray and provides enough of a distraction for the Wolf to take down their foes and claim their pay. His reward? A whistle from the band's leader...err..Guitar Wolf (the other members are named Bass Wolf and Drum Wolf)...which he is instructed to blow when he's in danger. Little do they know that danger is shambling right around the corner, as the "meteor" crash has somehow sparked an outbreak of bloodthirsty zombies!

Wild Zero is a film so high in concept that it's virtually impossible to describe in an entire essay, let alone a single paragraph, suffice it to say that this flick is essentially an everything-but-the-kitchen-sink zombedy that's equal parts Evil Dead 2 and Pink Flamingoes. It's a film that has rightfully become something of a cult phenomenon in its native Japan, but every time I mention it to folks on these shores, I get a blank stare, which is a shame as this crazy-ass flick is loads of fun. Sure, some of the things the Japanese consider humorous are just downright strange (and, on occasion, actually a little disturbing), but  this is the same country that gave us tentacle rape cartoons, bukkake videos, and Pokemon; would you expect anything less?!?

Synapse Films unleashed this beast on westerners a few years ago, and the DVD (which is still available!) features a very nice transfer of the film, a solid Dolby 2.0 soundtrack, as well as Guitar Wolf bios, a short "behind-the-scenes music video" (don't even ask), discography, still's gallery, and a trailer. All in all, an okay assortment, but wait...there's more!!

The thing that really separated this DVD from the pack was the inclusion of what was, at the time, the first ever DVD Drinking Game! A special Beer Mug graphic appears onscreen, prompting the viewer to drink every time someone combs their hair, says Rock and Roll, or fire shoots out of something. I can tell you that, had I actually played along, I'd have probably passed out in the first twenty minutes of the film, especially after Ace's first "Rock and Roll will never die" speech. Oh, and if you think there are limits to how often fire can shoot out of things, you clearly underestimate the power of Guitar Wolf.

I’ve decided I will not rest until Wild Zero takes its rightful place as the punk rock alternative to The Rocky Horror Picture Show. I foresee a time in which fans will gather en masse, sporting biker jackets and pompadours, with guitars slung over their shoulders. I envision a theater full of “Zeros” screaming the ridiculous dialogue and lyrics (ex; "I've got a wallet on my ass with a rock and roll license") in unison while dousing each other with beer. And it will rock, my friends. 

In the immortal words of Guitar Wolf, “Rock and Roll Jet Party To The Morning!”

Fuck yeah.
 

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