One of the most popular programming track at the Philadelphia Film Festival has been the genre-specific Danger After Dark. This year, it has been spun-off into its own mini-festival. We’ll be presenting reviews from some its offerings over the next few days.
Some movie titles are allegorical. Some are poetic. And other titles are strictly descriptive. Big Tits Zombie 3D definitely falls into the last category. There is a cadre of pleasingly proportioned heroines. There are hordes of the shambling undead, driven by the taste for human flesh. And portions of the movie require the wearing of cardboard glasses with red and green plastic lenses. No truth in advertising laws broken here.
The plot, such as it is, is one of the standard variants to be found in zombie pictures. A clueless group of people find an old, mystical tome, read aloud from it and inadvertently bring the dead back to life with a cranial culinary craving. In this case, the clueless group is a quintet of strippers working in a club in a rural Japanese town. The mystical tome is discovered when the bored girls stumble across a hidden underground passage that stretches from their dressing room to the basement of a spooky condemned health spa across the street. Of course, the spa has a suitable sinister background – the owner supposedly killed his family and himself when the business went belly up. The owner was something of an occultist too, with a vast collection of rare books, including the dusty leather bound volume – which of course one of the strippers easily identifies – that sets the plot into high gear.
Although the movie gives a few hints that it is about to bound off into some weird spaghetti western inspired territory, it never actually does. Instead, it shows a strong influence from Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead trilogy. It strives for the same blend of comedy and horror and contains several subtle nods to Raimi’s cult classics and a few overt ones, most obvious being the flying eyeball gag lifted wholesale from Evil Dead 2. Director Takao Nakano a does manage some imaginative flourishes of his own, the funniest of which can be summed up in two words – zombie sushi. Another inspired touch is a denizen from Hell turning up with an attitude more fitting of a bored civil servant than demonic envoy.
Those showing up just for the titillation (pun unavoidable) may find themselves disappointed, as there are only two scenes where any of the characters live up to their profession and lose their tops, and both are over rather quickly. Strangely enough, neither of them are when the girls are performing. Gore fans may face similar disappointment as much of the blood spray is rather unconvincingly computer generated. However, there is one scene where the interests of these two groups intersect, with results that should please both. The 3D use in the film is sporadic and seemingly randomly applied. Some action and horror scenes get the 3D treatment while others don’t. Maddeningly, there many scenes presented in 2D that look as if they may have been considered for 3D but didn’t get it for some reason. Unfortunately, Nakano’s only really effectively uses the 3D in a couple of spots.
But critiques against the film don’t matter much. This movie isn’t Citizen Kane. It isn’t even the Citizen Kane of zombie films. What it is, is a fun and goofy way to spend some time, preferably with a group of similarly mind-set friends.