From Noburu Iguchi, director of Zombie Ass: Toilet of the Dead comes this Japanese horror comedy inspired by Alexandre Aja’s Piranha 3D and Attack of the Killer Tomatoes. Those with lesser constitutions where comedy horror is concerned have probably already stopped reading, as well they might. In fact even people who love the early gore comedies of Peter Jackson such as Bad Taste and Brain Dead may come away from Dead Sushi with the opinion that it was all far, far too silly. Japanese horror comedies really are a subgenre to themselves, often characterised by ridiculous situations, over the top gore and almost non-stop screaming and shouting. In fact probably the best way to enjoy them is to consume a vast quantity of caffeine or other suitable stimulant and vibrate insanely along with all the principle players. At least you can be guaranteed to sleep well afterwards. Titles like Vampire Girl vs Frankenstein Girl and Tokyo Gore Police can safely be avoided by all except the most avid enthusiasts of demented entertainment, and if you liked those, you’ll probably love Dead Sushi as well.
The film begins with Keiko (Rina Takeda) being taught how to be a sushi chef by her father who explains that apparently the art of preparing raw fish is just like practising martial arts, with similar levels of violence. Unable to satisfy her father’s high demands Keiko leaves home & gets a job working in an inn as a waitress. On her first day the establishment is visited by a party from Komatsu Pharmaceuticals. Unbeknownst to everyone the tramp lurking outside the building is actually an ex-Komatsu scientist employed to find ways of reanimating dead tissue. He was successful but the goat he reanimated ran amok and he was blamed for the carnage it caused. By way of revenge he shoots up the sushi in the restaurant with his serum and pretty soon everyone is getting attacked by tiny pieces of flying fish that have grown teeth and are basically little finger puppets. The rest of the film is a combination of outrageous situations, over the top gore and enough bra, breast and nudity gags to make the unwary wonder if they’ve wandered into Carry On Sushi. Whether or not you will enjoy this will depend a lot on whether or not you find any of the following funny; naked Japanese men being spun round by something attached to their penis while they scream ‘This is so utterly embarrassing’, talking egg sushi that gets bullied by the other sushi, the previously mentioned rogue employee dying and being reincarnated as a massive tuna (i.e. a bloke in a costume) or a battleship made of California roll that flies through the air attacking people. The presence of blood drenched naked Japanese girls will be mentioned here because it’s possible there may be someone out there who might benefit from that knowledge. There’s no point in telling you the climax because as well as possibly spoiling the film it makes absolutely no sense at all anyway. To get the best from Dead Sushi watch it after something like Martyrs to really appreciate the totally unsubtle insanity of the entire enterprise. Strictly for people who like this sort of thing, and for those who’ve never tried by about two minutes in you’ll know if it’s the thing for you.
JOHN LLEWELLYN PROBERT
“Utter insanity from start to finish, Dead Sushi can only exist as a midnight movie. Completely impervious to standard critique, Iguchi’s film knocks the batshit-nuts-o-meter straight off the scale as it pulls out an ever more ludicrous series of events and images that will leave you stunned, confused and slapping your thighs in laughter all at once.”