Monday, March 1, 2010

Girls in swimsuits vs. zombies =
Idiot proof concept? Alas, no.

Attack Girl's Swim Team vs. Undead (2007)
Starring: Sasa Handa, Yuria Hidaka, and Ayumu Tokitô
Director: Koji Kawano
Rating: Two of Ten Stars

All teenaged Aki (Handa)wants to do is to fit in at her new school. However, on her first day, the student body and teachers are turned into zombies by a mysterious virus... except for the swim team who are immune because of their exposure to chlorine in the pool. Now, they must fight off the undead (and mad scientist rapists) if they are to stay alive. Good thing Aki's been trained to fight undead from a young age.

That is one cool cover image, wouldn't you say? It certainly sold me on the film. That and the promise of boobs and bloody gore. Unfortunately, it is like the majority of American horror-themed softcore porn flicks, except with a better marketing department creating imagery to sell it.

The biggest problem with this film is that cheapness wafts off it like the moldy smell of a wet swimsuit that's been left in a plastic bag for too long. It was shot on video by a crew that didn't understand how to light a scene properly or even place the camera for maximum dramatic effect. It features actresses who were hired first for their willingness to throw off their clothes for on-camera nudity and simulated sex (both consensual and forced) and for their acting talents second. The make-up and special effects--from most of the gore effects to some very poorly done CGI explosions--is strictly amateurish and on a level that shouldn't be seen outside films made by high schoolers with extra time on their hands. Finally, most of the fight scenes are badly choreographed and even more ineptly filmed. It will probably never cease to amaze me how many filmmakers who think they know how to make actions films underestimate the importance of camera placement when it comes to making it look like the actors are actually beating on one another.

The movie is not all bad. It moves along at a fairly fast pace--faster than most American movies to this type--and there are a few scenes that do work. The scene where a zombified teacher starts killing students with a ruler and the one where another teacher goes at our swim team heroines with a chainsaw are fairly well done. The same is true of a couple of the sex scenes.

And then there's the vagina laser. One mustn't forget the vagina laser.

If you want to look at young Asian women in little or no clothing while getting a fair dose of blood and gore along the way, you'll find what you're looking for in this film. Just be aware that it's all presented in a fairly lackluster way. (Except the vagina laser. There's no way to present that in a lackluster fashion.)

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