Friday, 16 January 2015

J-Horror January: Meatball Machine (2005)

Meatball Machine (2005)
Director: Yudai Yamaguchi, and Jun'ichi Yamamoto
Starring: Issei Takahashi, Aoba Kawai, and Kenichi Kawasaki
Running Time: 90 min

  I been watching a lot very serious horror films and I'm looking for something a little lighter and fun with lots of blood, in the vein of "Tokyo Gore Squad".  So, I grabbed this because it has the writer from "Versus", which was weird and fun, Yudai Yamaguchi, and the special effects guy from "Tokyo Gore Police" and "Machine Girl",  Yoshihiro Nishimura.  So, this should be pretty crazy.

  Yoji is a lonely guy who goes to work everyday.  He doesn't fit in with the rest of the guys at work and spends his lunch hour, alone, watching his dream girl Sachiko hanging up laundry. creepy.  However, while Yoji is contemplating asking his dream girl on a date, there are these tentacle creatures attacking people and taking over their bodies to create these monster cyborgs that battle and then devour the flesh of the fallen competitor!   !   ! 
  It's after one of these battles that Yoji finds a mysterious shell and brings it home to try and crack it open.  Unfortunately it doesn't open, so Yoji decides to bring it to work the next day and use his drill press on it after work.  Disappointed again when it doesn't crack open, Yogi heads home and sees Sachiko with the guys from work wandering around the city.  Luckily, he follows them because the main douchebag from work takes Sachiko into a dark alley and tries to rape her.  Yoji stops him from raping her but he gets beaten up for his gallantry.  However, Sachiko does helps Yoji get home and appreciates him coming to help her from being violated by his co-worker.
  Back at Yoji's place, Sachiko tells him that she only went with those guys because she was hoping that he was going to be there as well.  Yoji smiles and then Sachiko starts telling him about her scars and how her dad beats her and rapes her, and how she has almost killed him but now she has to take care of him because he is an invalid.  While she is divulging way too much information for a "first date" scenario, Yogi's mysterious shell bursts out and with it's many many tentacles holds down Sachiko and penetrates her.  This is now the worst date ever.  Terrified Yoji watches the shell turns Sachiko, still his dream girl, in to a monstrous cyborg and so, he runs for his life.  Is there anyway to save Sachiko from this horrible dilemma, so Yoji and her can find true love or is it too late for Sachiko and has this dream girl turned into a nightmare?

 This was not the light gorefest that I was expecting.  Still very fun, but it was more of a dark and brooding kind of film than a good time splatterfest.  The story and the characters are sad and have had shitty things done to them but creatures actually use these bad memories and feeling to their advantage in the battle suits, which is an interesting twist in the script and well thought out.
  Most of the battles are enjoyable, lots of gore and blood splattering everywhere.  It looks like directors Yudai Yamaguchi (Deadball, ABC's of Death) and Jun'ichi Yamamoto (Kuchisake onna Returns, Kabuking Z: The Movie) really dug the film "Tetsuo" because they replicate a lot of the effects from it.  Which, I don't think is bad but it just a bit of a more obvious nod with the "Necroborg" suits and the tentacles everywhere.
  I also like the creatures that pilot the "Necroborg" suits.  I think they have a nice charm and personality to them.  They are creepy as hell to look at, especially, when they come out of there shell.  It's pretty gross.

   Even though the film is only 90 minutes, I thought that the final battle went a little long.  It was a little much and getting a bit dull.  The special effects were still great and all but I think it could have been either edited a little tighter or they could have brought more emotion or something into the battle.  Watching to lumbering giants hit each other does get tiresome after a while.
  Other than that, I thought the rest of the film was okay.  Some people may find the story really out there but it's about aliens who invade human bodies to battle one another, it's not Shakespeare, so relax if there may be some inconsistancy.  Also, I like the ending, which could have been a little tighter as well but still very fun and imaginative.

 Although this is not the light bloodfeast I was expecting, it was still amusing and was inventive enough to keep me interested and entertained.  It has a decent story, great special effects and a lot of bloody gore with a lot of WTF moments that only films from Japan can offer.  So, if your looking for an alien infection film with monstrous creatures that look like "Tetsuo" in it, than this is it my friend.


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