Junk (2000)

Rating: C-

Dir: Muroga Atsushi
Star: Shimamura Kaori, Kishimoto Yuuji, Ebara Osamu, Miha

It’s as if the 90’s hadn’t happened: in terms of zombie movies, this Japanese film owes a lot more to the works of Fulci and Romero, than the fast, nasty zombies of recent cinema, e.g. 28 Days Later. A group of robbers agree to a trade with a fence at an abandoned military base, only – wouldn’t you know it? – the base was home to a secret project aimed at reanimating the dead, which has just gone out of control. Not that the army seem too concerned, sending precisely one scientist and one soldier to deal with the situation. You can imagine how successful that is.

Maybe it’s just me, but when the undead move at the pace of a geriatric sloth with arthritis, you need an lot of them to make a threat. The exception here is the sole uber-zombie – it’s never explained why, but she has a lot better mobility, and the usual method of destruction (“in the head!”) doesn’t apply. Up until then, it’s been the usual, shambling and biting, though these zombies seem to be incredibly light on their feet, given the ease with which they sneak up on living humans. The results are well enough executed, with the traditional moments of excessive gore. There’s just very little here that you haven’t been seen throughout the past couple of decades, and you wonder what the point of the exercise is here. Unless it’s to have a Japanese scientist spouting barely-intelligible English – in which case it succeeds admirably.