A gang of amateur Japanese jewel store robbers make a deal with a local
Yakuza crime boss to sell him
their newly acquired loot. The crime boss
suggests a deserted meeting place, namely an abandoned U.S. army base.
is, of course, a double-cross: the crime boss has no intention of paying. (Not wanting to indulge in any cultural stereotyping
here, but the Japanese are very courteous people indeed:
instead of killing the gang outright, the crime boss just tells them to
leave. "That's rather sweet of him," I thought.)
Unbeknownst to all of them, secret experiments using green liquid
in beakers (heh, heh) to re-animate dead people had been conducted at the
base. The military advantages of doing this is so obvious that they aren't
even explained by the movie (just on the logistical side it would be
fantastic: no retraining and re-issuing equipment since you could keep the
same personnel on - forever!)
However, the army shut the highly secret experiments down since the green
turns its test subjects into brainless killers. (If you're nasty about the
military then you might argue that this shouldn't really present a problem
to them.) Or that's what they thought: a doctor involved in the research
has been continuing the experiments without their permission.
Or at least that is what I gathered from the general gist of things. One
character, a Japanese doctor who supplies a lot of expository dialogue,
speaks his English lines in such a thick accent that I simply couldn?t
understand a word of what he was saying. (It
was so bad that I wished his English
dialogue also had subtitles!)
Everybody else in the movie seemed to understand him though. Then again,
they had the benefit of working from the script.
Shutting the base down is unfortunately more difficult than it seems since
(predictably) the place has been overrun by the Living
Dead. Soon the
army, yakuza, jewel robbers and zombies are all battling it out for
survival. It's Reservoir Dogs meets
A Japanese zombie flick? Yeah. People more knowledgeable than me claim
that the Japanese are practically keeping the horror genre alive through
edgy movies such as the original Ring and the like. Well, okay . .
Anyway, I was prepared to dislike Junk (1999) from the start. In
the week I watched it I suffered through some very,
very bad no-budget
horror flicks sent to me as DVD screeners by sadistic film company reps.
Damn you - I am honour-bound to review all those screeners! These
Vampire Junction was particularly bad. I had long laboured under
the misapprehension that the absolutely worst director in the business was
one Albert Pyun (of Nemesis,
Knights and Cyborg
fame). Oh how mistaken I was ? that would one Jess Franco, director of
Vampire Junction, probably the worst film I have seen in my entire
In the end I found Junk entertaining and watchable, probably a
consequence of having Vampire Junction lowering one?s standards.
Sure, Junk is a no-budget affair recycling Romero zombie movie
the rate of one a minute or so, but clocking in at a brisk 80 minutes it
is energetic enough to sustain one's interest. So, there's some overacting
and the gore and nudity is over-the-top and fake (not the nudity, the gore
I mean), but it all adds to the fun. Zombie and gore fans should check it
out. It ought to make a nice double-bill with the recent
Beyond Re-animator sequel.