Junk: Shiryō-gari (2000)
Japanese horror films are becoming increasingly popular among cinephiles. Perhaps more accessible to Western audiences than such decidedly more Japanese efforts as Kairo and Uzumaki, due in part to the influences it draws from, Junk does offer a few original touches in terms of both gender roles and the intelligence of its undead. Whether it be a female getaway driver who is more willing than her male partner to drive headlong into a horde of zombies or a prototype female zombie whose strength and abilities exceed that of five men, director Atsushi Muroga's refreshing reversal of traditional roles and refusal to take the proceedings too seriously make for a movie ten times as entertaining as the majority of recent stateside efforts. For those who associate subtitled foreign films with deliberate storytelling, Junk will certainly shatter those preconceptions with gleeful abandon. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi … More
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Critic Reviews for Junk: Shiryō-gari
Audience Reviews for Junk: Shiryō-gari
I like Junk: Shiryō-gari. Sure, it's extremely derivative stuff (female super-zombie aside, of course), but it has absolutely no pretensions, delivering fans of your more traditional shuffling undead all the gut-munching, brain-blasting action that they could ask for.
The plot sees a gang of amateur jewel thieves (including sexy getaway driver Saki) bite off more than they can chew when they arrange their meeting with a Yakuza fence and his men at an abandoned factory: the derelict building is, in fact, a top secret army base where experiments in raising the dead have resulted in flesh-eating zombies, and it's not long before the criminals are fighting for their lives against hordes of mouldy walking cadavers.
This weak set up is simply an excuse for a series of violent gun-fights and bloody encounters with manky zombies, so it is easy to forgive the silly script, many glaring plot-holes and terrible acting (particularly from a handful of westerners, playing US Army dudes). Director Atsushi Muroga (who also directed jewellery-heist-gone-wrong action flick Score) wisely keeps the action flowing thick and fast, and ensures that gore-hounds are kept happy with plenty of splattery effects.
Eventually, things get very daft indeed, with the aforementioned super-zombie stealing the show in the film's finale: wearing thigh high kinky boots, this surprisingly sexy corpse runs rings around the surviving gang members, before being shot in the head. Unfortunately, this only makes matters worse: the she-zombie becomes even stronger (and, inexplicably, albino!), fighting on after having been completely cut in half!!!
Cool, crazy, and covered in blood, this undemanding undead actioner is recommended to those who want to switch off their brain and simply enjoy some gory mayhem.
Plot? A secret U.S. Army project inolving a high-tech cutting-edge experiment to re-animate dead Japanese people in an abandoned warehouse with a full working staff of two.
Filled with many clichés and a high concentration of inconsistencies, such as zombies who can be stopped with bullets...and then they can't be....and then they can be. I've also learned that you can heal an open wound that's spraying blood just by having girls pour Evian directly to the injury.
Well, at least the filmmakers got the title right.
Back in the day when there wasn't a new zombie film coming out every week I was waiting on seeing this anxiously. That probably added to the disappointment when it wasn't all that shit hot. I think I have an aversion to criminals being the heroes of horror movies, I more often than not despise movies like that. Even in movies I like with this scenario, From Dusk Til Dawn for example, I still don't really care about the scumbag protaganists.
That being said, Junk starts out okay and gets steadily worse as it progresses. Maybe I was too optimistic since zombie movies were rare and I would enjoy it more now that they are a dime a dozen. Maybe I will watch it again and see.
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