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Fans of the genre will love it, others will hate it...
I love Asian cinema. I love gore from time to time, but I am not big fan of gory flicks.... but this one is damn entertaining. Fans of the genre will surely love it (as well as gorehounds) but other more mainstream audiences will hate it and get confused most of the time.
"Helldriver" is what could be considered "new wave of Japanese grindhouse" and it has everything good grindhouse needs: little to no story, weird moments, lot of gore, violence and blood. There's not much nudity in this one, but gore and blood splatters go over the top in every possible way.
Plot is rather simple: meteor (!?) falls to Earth, turning nearly all people in Japan into some kind of zombie mutants. Kika (Yumiko Hara) is sent to chop the heck out of them and kill mutant leader. Other folks join her in her mission. Now, first part of the movie is bit awkward (in a good) way, having nice amount of social\ politics\religious satire (but gore and action scenes still happen here) and somewhere around the half of the movie, title shows up (not kidding). After that, the movie "really" begins, which is pretty much hack'n'slash after that.
What makes HELLDRIVER great is that movie doesn't take itself very seriously (I was laughing most of the time, even in bloodiest scenes), gore FX are well done, and what impresses me the most are makeup effects on some "boss" monsters. I swear, at least half of the budget must have gone on makeup and fake blood (and this movie has insane amount of blood, maybe even more then Peter Jackson's "Braindead").
Some really cool villains (and original) and great fight scenes (and hilarious at the same time!) with them. Most of the time you'll keep asking yourself "how the heck they are gonna top the last scene" in terms of (un)logic, visuals and action.
Yumiko Hara is also very pretty and looks like Japanese action heroine. Hope we'll see more of her in future. Eihi Shiina (from Tokyo Gore Police, Audition) plays main villain, and she's wonderful as usual. Her scenes are over the top most of the time, but they fit movie perfectly, since Helldriver itself is way over the top in every possible element.
Turn off your logic and remember "it's just a movie". Enjoy the mayhem that happens on screen, and you'll surely like Helldriver.
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