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Nikkatsu subsidiary Sushi Typhoon, the company that brought us outrageous splatterfests Alien vs Ninja and Deadball, clearly believe that nothing succeeds quite like excess: comic/horror Helldriver, directed by Yoshihiro Nishimura (Tokyo Gore Police), is quite possibly their most manic, insane and relentlessly gory effort thus far.
The film stars Yumiko Hara as chainsaw wielding Kika, who is charged with leading a group on a mission into the zombie infested northern half of Japan to find and kill the 'zombie queen' (played by Eihi Shiina, of Audition fame), a former mass murderer who just happens to be Kika's mother Rikka. During their perilous journey, Kika and pals face such absurd threats as a hail of decapitated zombie heads, a multi-limbed creature with swords and machine guns at the end of each appendage and tiny arms in its face, and a zombie driving a car made from dismembered body parts.
Other madness on display includes a battle between a car and Rikka's zombie husband, a zombie baby on an absurdly long umbilical cord, and lots and lots of inventive gore, including a young woman (Mizuki Kusumi?) having both her nipples bitten off, the result being fountains of blood erupting from her breasts.
Obviously, to realistically bring such craziness to life would cost an awful lot of yenclearly more than Sushi Typhoon have to sparewhich is why the majority of the effects in this film (particularly the ones achieved though the use of CGI) look rather cheap and cartoon-like. Fortunately, with the action being so bonkers, this lack of realism is actually quite fitting and does little to reduce the film's overall enjoyment factor.
What does drag the film down, however, is the rather overlong running timeat almost two hours long, such relentless mayhem does become a little tediousand the fact that lead actress Hara, with her lack of curves and over-sized mouth, isn't as attractive as I would have liked: Asami would have made for a much better heroine (and by better, I mean sexier, of course).
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