The box bills TOKYO ZOMBIE as the Japanese SHAUN OF THE DEAD, but sadly that turns out not to be the case. This is a very low budget, entirely offbeat Japanese comedy, that's more interested in the sport of jujitsu than actual zombies. In fact, the zombies themselves turn out to be a mere plot device, a background for the central storyline which is about the friendship between two demented buddies.
It starts off on a fairly good footing, reminding you of some of the classic Japanese zombie films like JUNK and VERSUS, which all seemed to be filled with loads of chaotic energy and incident. Sadly, as the storyline progresses at a very slow pace indeed, you realise that TOKYO ZOMBIE just doesn't know what kind of film it wants to be. The zombies are dull and the storyline is silly, going nowhere and offering little of the surreal humour I'd expected to see.
It all falls apart for me around the halfway mark, where there's a gap of five years, because the second half just isn't as interesting as the first. The whole idea of the satirical gameshow is just a flop from the beginning and the film concludes with a whimper rather than a bang. The characters are an acquired taste to say the least and the production values are low; I usually like offbeat Japanese fare but not this time. I didn't laugh once.
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