October 17, 2005

Takashi Miike's ZEBRAMAN (2004) - review

(2004, Japan)

Well, given the choice, I'd rather watch a low, low budget Asian film over a Hollywood blockbuster. This film was just so much fun, beautifully acted, eccentrically mad plot, great visual gags, killer fight scenes... It's like an episode of ULTRAMAN or KAMEN RIDER, but aimed at an adult audience.

It's 2010. ZEBRAMAN is a seventies TV superhero idolised by a Yokohama school teacher. When strange men in masks start a series of local rapes and murders, who you gonna call..?

Director Takashi Miike is so versatile that his films can never be predictable, given the extremes he's gone to in the recent past. You're never sure how far he's going to go in terms of plot twists or sexual or violent extremes. He might even start telling the story with CGI, stick-figure animation or plasticine figures.

ZEBRAMAN is of course very restrained for Miike, that doesn't mean to say the film would be rated at less than an 'R' for violence and sexual content. On many occasions, it looks like it's going to get very dark, very quickly...

DVD UPDATE March 2008
Zebraman finally gets a release in the US on region 1 DVD from Tokyo Shock...

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