Thursday, September 30, 2010

This Movie is All Wet

Attack Girls’ Swim Team vs. the Undead
Dir. Koji Kowano
It tells you a lot when the longest sustained sequence in your 78 minute film is a 10 minute teen lesbian make out session with heavy handed hints of incest. Kinda makes the Luke and Leia kiss seem tame, doesn’t it? Hell, this makes Luke and Laura look like the fucking Seavers.
While I have no objection to an honest sexploitation film, 2007’s direct to video Japanese farce Attack Girls’ Swim Team vs. the Undead (aka Undead Pool) can’t decide whether it cares more about the zombies than it does perpetuating the pinku eiga fetish of the Japanese school girl. Ultimately, the indecisiveness means it fails on both accounts.

Zombology: Boy, sure are a lot of people with the sniffles wandering the unnamed girls’ school. Better go to the office to get your shot from the creepy, masked doctor. What’s that? You feel even worse now? Ultimately, the shots render the teens brainless skull munchers while teachers, who got their own shot, become psychopathic, weapon wielding death machines. Luckily the chlorine in the swim teams’ pool has rendered a handful of girls immune. And one of the girls just happens to be a runaway teenage super agent trying to live a normal life.

When it bothers to pay attention to the zombies, Attack Girls’ Swim Team vs. the Undead does quite a few things right despite its obvious budget constraints. A juggling zombie teacher decapitates students with rulers while the sexy seductress teacher plies a chainsaw to make an entrail boa to complete her ensemble. Limbs go flying amid geysers of plasma. It’s all done with that uniquely Japanese sense of exuberance and humor.
Then it all comes screeching to a halt about 30 minutes in as we delve into the murky past of new student Aki, a runaway secret agent with a mysterious birthmark over her left boob. Hey, so does her make out partner, Sayaka, who regales us with a post-coital tale of how she has a long lost twin somewhere in the world. The zombies almost completely disappear for half an hour as we get endless flashbacks to Aki’s past, including her abduction by a crazy doctor (hey, waitaminnute…) who trained her to be a killer as well as a sex toy who responds to flute music (don’t ask). I’m sure it’s all meant to be an updated take on the grindhouse style of exploitation films, but the digressions suck any momentum out of the film. Overall, it starts strong but the latter two thirds feel half assed, tacked on and thoroughly pointless.
For stitching together the barely twitching halves of two totally unrelated movies, Koji Kowano’s Attack Girls’ Swim Team vs. the Undead earns a 50 percent on the Hell of the Living Dead shit scale.

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