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"Zombie Hunter Rika" was actually a fun enough movie, I just have a hard time believing that these type of zombie movies are really what passes for horror, or even more so as zombie movies, in Japan. But hey, guess that must be a cultural difference.
The story in "Zombie Hunter Rika" is about schoolgirl Rika who travels to a small town to visit her grand father, but upon arriving there with her friend, they find the town overrun with zombies. Battling the zombies and discovering the reason behind the outbreak becomes a race against time, as the US have launched missiles to destroy the contaminated region.
For a Japanese zombie movie, then the effects were actually adequate. They have a tendency of painting the zombies ashen gray and dark around the eyes in their zombie movies, as is the case with "Zombie Hunter Rika" as well. So don't expect it to be Romero style zombies shambling around here. There were some minor gore and mutilation effects on some of the zombies, and it worked out well enough. I especially like the eye on the doctor. The killing of zombies were adequate as well, some alright effects here and there. Lots of blood though. There were some laughable effects as well, such as the super-fake latex grafted arm that Rika received; it just creased and wrinkled up in all the wrong places as the actress moved her own arm inside the prosthetic. And when the doctor had consumed on of the people, the size of the skull on the forest floor was so small and could never have come from an adult male.
The people cast for the movie were actually doing good enough jobs with their roles. Nothing overly memorable here, to be honest, but still, they did good enough jobs, which is more than what can be said for many low budget zombie movies produced here in the Western world.
One thing that I did enjoy and find amusing in "Zombie Hunter Rika", was the in-you-face spoof of the 2008 Japanese zombie movie "Oneechanbara". Having some male zombie hunter in little clothes and a cowboy hat brandishing a katana was just hilarious. And it was a real clever spoof on the whole thing that "Oneechanbara" is about (though "Oneechanbara" was a good movie, don't get me wrong).
Moving on though, "Zombie Hunter Rika" was actually fun to watch, because it throws you into the zombie mayhem right from the very beginning, and the movie is fast paced, keeping up a good pace all through until the end.
Speaking of the end, that had me shaking my head in disbelief and I was laughing at it. It was without a doubt the worst ending to a zombie movie that I have ever witnessed, and I have seen a lot of zombie movies in my 35 years.
"Zombie Hunter Rika" is a good addition to any zombie aficionado's DVD collection, especially if you also like Japanese movies. Just don't compare it to the zombie movies we are used to here in the Western world, because the Japanese zombie movies are more comical and over the top.
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