Article

JUNK

 



Junk

Starring: Kaori Shimamura, Yuji Kishimoto
Director:
Atsushi Muroga

Edition Details:
Region 2 encoding (Europe, Japan, South Africa and the Middle East including Egypt)
; PAL, Widescreen, Main Language: Japanese, subtitles: English

Special Features: Chapter Selection, Filmographies, Biographies, Movie Stills, Warrior Artwork, Trailers, ? Original Promo Material

Movie:
Disc:

 

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.

It 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 goo 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 goo 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 Resident Evil!

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 movies were Gut Pile (2001) and Vampire Junction (2001).

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 life!

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 clichés at 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.


 



 

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