Nobuyuki Asano .... Jun
Osamu Ebara .... Akira
Tate Gouta .... Ramon
Kaori Shimamura .... Saki
Miwa Yanagizawa .... Kyoko/Zombie Queen (as Miwa)
Run time: 90 minutes
In the mood for
a Japanese-Gangster-Action-Zombie flick? There’s something
to be said for gathering the gang around the tube, grabbing
a fat bag of microwave popcorn and watching a movie just
because it’s fun. If you’re not looking for
Academy Award winning material, Junk may be the
fix you need.
begins with the requisite scene of a scientist eschewing
ethics to bring someone back to life. Before you know it,
there’s a zombie epidemic on a seemingly abandoned
United States military base. Meanwhile, a group of jewel
thieves plan a meeting with members of the Yakuza at the
same “abandoned” base. The Beefboy imagines
that you can figure the rest out from there.
This movie is
a mélange of film styles, but skews heavily toward
American movies. I think director Atsushi Muroga watched
Reservoir Dogs, Dawn of the Dead and The
Rock before he began his script. The problem here is
that he’s not Quentin Tarantino, George Romero or
even Michael Bay. Muroga is a serviceable director, but…
he’s bitten off more than he can chew.
With the notable
exception of Kaori Shimamura, the acting is way over the
top, which is not helped by the thin dialogue. Osamu Ebara,
doing his best version of Bill Paxton in Aliens,
is at least entertaining in his vaudeville performance.
Miwa Yanagizawa is a treat in the film, but not because
of her acting abilities.
The gore factor
in Junk is very high. There’s a lot of eating
entrails and neck munching, cavity searches (through dismembered
torsos) and direct shots to the brain pan that leave a pretty
red pattern on the wall. Guns fire endlessly without reloads
(unless that serves the plot). If you like your films served
with lots of marinara then Junk delivers.
Days Later has probably spoiled all other zombie movies
for me, Junk does have some redeeming qualities.
Kaori Shimamura does well with what she’s got, and
she’s not hard on the eyes either. Miwa, the Zombie
Queen, runs around naked for half the film, and she doesn’t
look like any zombie I’ve ever seen! This chick is
some sort of naked pert pale goth hottie cannibal, and the
Beefboy is okay with most of that. Primarily though, Junk
is just a fun movie. I don’t think the director set
out to do anything besides make an ode to western genre
films and have a blast while doing it. Junk is
a movie crafted specifically to be shown at midnight and
enjoyed among crowds of good friends.
The DVD extras are fairly spartan. There is a section where
the press kit for Junk is transcribed for you to
read. Some trailers for Junk and other movies are
included as well. A behind-the-scenes featurette would have
been appreciated, and Miwa’s home phone number would
have been nice too… but you can’t have everything.
out of 10