Japanese Rock 'n Roll alien-invasion zombie road movie
Trivia In a recent interview with the band Guitar Wolf, the following took place:
Interviewer: So, tell us about working on the movie Wild Zero.
Guitar Wolf: That was no movie, it was documentary, we are glad earth's people knows we are defending it.
...how true it is.
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Wild Zero (2000)
6th Oct 04
Japanese rock band save world from zombies and aliens.
Ace is pretty cool. He has cool hair, a cool leather jacket and cool rock attitude, but he's nowhere near as cool as his favourite J-Rock band, Guitar Wolf. They're playing on the night this movie begins and that's where Ace is heading. He can't wait. As the radio blurts out a dull news report of meteor sightings in the next town, Ace combs his hair. Again. Dreaming of rock stardom, he checks himself in the mirror one more time and hits town.
The gig is brilliant, a flame fuelled Japanese rockabilly assault on the senses - way to loud for anyone's own good. Afterwards Ace heads backstage intent on meeting his heroes, but he gets more than he expected. He inadvertently saves them from a drink, drugs and gun-fuelled death at the hands of 'The Captain' - the super-camp Beatles wig and drawstring hot-pants wearing night club owner. He's trying to rip Guitar Wolf off. 'Rock and Roll is dead!' - he says. 'LOCK 'N LOLLLL!!!' - replies Guitar Wolf and the guns come out. Before you know it we have a stand off that Quentin Tarantino would be proud of, which is where Ace stumbles in. His clumsy interference saves our J-Metal heroes and costs The Captain a couple of fingers, and for his efforts Guitar Wolf gives Ace a whistle and proclaims him his 'Rock 'n Roll blood brother'. Then the band hit the road - on to the next town and the next gig. Cool.
What follows now is perhaps the most unconventional movie you are ever likely to see with your own two eyes. I first saw Wild Zero at a midnight showing as part of the London Sci-Fi convention of 2001, with two skeptical mates and a bottle of whiskey. 'Three large diet cokes please!' What a great choice - I knew we were on to a winner when the organisers explained that they'd arranged for the volume in the theatre to be turned up a notch, and that we should just sit back and enjoy the ride. Wow - I was expecting good stuff, but I wasn't expecting the best Japanese Rock 'n Roll alien-invasion zombie road movie ever made. Trash and Chaos? You betcha. I promptly forked out the equivalent of 33 quid in yen on the Japanese DVD from cdjapan.co.jp, and it is perhaps the best 33 quid I've ever spent. Over the following two years, before the official UK and US DVD release, I introduced maybe a dozen people to Wild Zero and I never got any negative feed back. Oh, except once, and she was a girl who didn't like subtitled movies. Or zombies. Or Rock 'n Roll for that matter, so what does she know.
Anyway, there are sooo many quite frankly brilliant things I could tell you about in Wild Zero, I don't know where to start. More importantly, I don't think I actually should; this amazing piece of movie making has to really seen for yourself to be believed. I'd like to tell you about the band, their amazing onstage performances and how Guitar Wolf has a motorbike which spouts flames, while Drum and Bass Wolf (yes, all members of Guitar Wolf are named after their instruments) have a car and comb their hair a lot. I'd like to tell you about the gun crazy arms dealer lady who spends most of the movie prancing around in a burberry leotard and heels combo. I'd like to tell you about the abundance of head explosions, the guitar-pics-of-death sequence and about Masao's stunning display with a pair of butterfly knives followed by a totally bungled gas station robbery. I'd also really like to tell you about the young Pop Idol wannabe's beautifully dead-pan renditioning of the then hit Love, Love Beam for The Captain. And I'd absolutely love to fill you in on the bizarre love story that Ace and Tobio share, the mid-fight guitar tuning antics of Guitar Wolf and his eventual and inevitable showdown with The Captain, but at the end of the day it just wouldn't be fair. You've just got to see it for yourself.
I'll tell you this, though. Wild Zero is one of those rare movies that build throughout, as in each scene is actually better than the last. By the end, you've reached such dizzying heights that you'll hardly be pausing for breath, and when it's over you'll be left feeling exhausted, drained and well up for watching it again. And you will - the only film I've watch more times than Wild Zero is Star Wars, that's how much I rate it.
Wild Zero is everything that eatmybrains.com was set up for. It's loud, crazy, gory, funny, and it's pure rock and roll. It's wonderfully shot and brilliantly under-acted, but more than that it's just fucking brilliant fun. I don't think you can do much better than this - eye candy for the soul and a reminder of why which watch this kind of shit in the first place - which is why Wild Zero gets our unquestionable five star white hot treatment.
Versions Loads, although the Region 1 DVD has a drinking game on it.
26th Apr 04 Itís not all bad of course. This is Tarantino, after all, and there are plenty of highlights. Action scenes are handled very well, (the fight between Black Mamba and Darryl Hannah in particular, is a poke in the eye to any who doubt that),