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In the year 20XX a mysterious scientist discovers a way to bring back the dead . . . only it turns one town into a zombie-infested hellhole. But when the world falls into ruin, only one woman, her trusty katana and sexy bikini can save them. And as she takes down one zombie after another, she also pursues the younger sister she wants to take to task for killing her father. Written by
This is probably another case of the description being better than the movie, but not for lack of trying. Chanbara Beauty is a video game adaptation of OneChanbara and another entry in the latest trend of Japanese over-the-top action/horror hybrids. If it's a win as a VG adaptation that has more to do with how low the likes of Uwe Boll and Paul WS Anderson have set the bar in the VG field than how inherently good Chanbara Beauty is.
The plot is thinly stretched and silly, with various subplots filling in the backstory of the characters. Not that it matters really cos it's all about the bikini splatter here, right? Sure the movie delivers lots of katana splatter as dozens of zombie extras in crude makeup get hacked and slashed, but everything is so CGI heavy it takes some getting used to. The action scenes are reeking of video effects: CGI blood, gun flashes, smoke, fast forwards and all kinds of live action anime silly SFX. There's probably some wire work involved as well and the choreography and swordfighting is surprisingly decent.
Chanbara Beauty is bursting apart in the seams but it's entertaining enough to warrant a view for exploitation hounds. If you can stomach the cheapo video SFX (which are becoming a staple in Japanese flicks lately), you'll probably have a good time, but not without a yawn or two in the middle. It plays like a less gory, less insane, less action-packed, less well-made version of The Machine Girl but if you want your fix of Japanese action/horror exploitation this one's OK I guess.
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