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"Samurai Zombie" was a rather nice movie, and it totally surprised me when I finally sat down to watch it. Being a zombie aficionado, of course I had to add this movie to my collection, just took a while to get around to watching it. Which turned out to be a mistake, because I was missing out on a great movie.
Normally Japanese zombie movies tend to be sort of goofy and spoofs on themselves, and quite often extreme to the point of ridiculousness. "Samurai Zombie", however, was a more serious zombie movie that didn't touch the usual goofy elements in Japanese zombie movies. "Samurai Zombie" was darker and more brutal in its story and appearance.
The story is about a family that get taken hostage at gun point by a man and a woman whilst out driving in the remote countryside. But the countryside is cursed and a walking dead zombie is up and about, searching to living to fall prey to his blade. The story progresses nicely and it is like we are right there with the people experiencing their torment and being stalked.
Unlike so many other Japanese zombie movies, the zombies in "Samurai Zombie" were not just Japanese people painted grey in the face and dark around the eyes. No, they had really gone all out in this movie with the costumes and make-ups, and the zombies in the movie looked really nice. There was one thing that was questionable, though, and that the was excessive spraying of blood whenever someone was beheaded, it was just a bit over the top. But then again, Asian movies are known for being over the top, so it was only a minor nuisance.
It was an interesting touch they opted for when the movie was closing up, letting us see the background for the current events of why the zombies were up and killing people. However, personally, I didn't enjoy the way the movie ended at all, it was just a bit too tacky for my liking.
The people cast for "Samurai Zombie" were actually doing great jobs with their roles. The armored samurai zombie was really nice, it was like a Japanese version of Jason Voorhees, which I found to be really nice. I liked that zombie quite a lot. But the people with speaking parts were actually doing great jobs as well.
If you are riding along of the recent wave of ultra-splatter movies from Japan, then chances are that you are already familiar with "Samurai Zombie". However, if you are not, don't expect this movie to be as blood-drenched, gory and extreme as other movies such as "Tokyo Police", "Meatball Machine", "Hellrider", etc. "Samurai Zombie" is in the more 'serious' end of splatter movies, which I found to be quite nice.
"Samurai Zombie" is great entertainment. It has just the right amount of blood (and some over the top spraying) and gore to keep most gorehounds happy. It has a solid story that pulls you in and leaves you wanting more right up to the very end. It has good acting performances that come off as believable and real. But most importantly, it has zombies!
Two rotting thumbs up for "Samurai Zombie".
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