(Source: Kadokawa Pictures)
(Source: Kadokawa Pictures)

This one has Fantasia all over it.

Hiroshi Shinagawa was on hand to bring us the North American premiere of Deadman Inferno (also known as Z Island). As movies go, this one has so much into it that it would have just fallen on its face where it not for a rather well balanced cast and really a magnificent script. Each of these characters have enough charisma for you to like them. Yes, even the retired Yakuza boss receiving one of his henchman back from a long stay in prison. Additionally you get two seemingly innocent schoolgirls who happen to be martial arts experts, an inexperienced but dedicated island cop and more gore and humor than you can shake a boomstick at.

A drugdealer has cut off his ties to the Yakuza, or so he thinks, and is trying to develop a new drug. Unfortunately, it turns people into zombies. With two rival Yakuza gangs joining the frey, this movie could have easily lost track of itself. Fortunately we get well defined and even likable characters that we care about. Unfortunately, quite a few will get killed, bitten, maimed and so forth before the movie is over.

Besides all the stabbing, shooting, slicing and biting that this film has to offer, there’s a rather solid plot that relies often on the characters just plain bickering among themselves while the zombies close in. Watch as all characters in turn try to report the situation back to the mainland without saying the word zombie.

Recommended for zombie fans who want humor thrown in. I’d also say it’s a good starting movie for first time Fantasia moviegoer. It has all the necessary elements to delight the audience, and for this one you’ll want just the right one. Crazy but well done and with very decent special effects, this one will easily make you want to book the next boat to the mainland. Stay for a bite.

That will do for now.

(Sources: Fantasia International Film Festival)