A long, long time ago, I came across this Japanese movie called Zombie Ass: Toilet of the Dead. It’s another of those bizarre horror films that are pretty much indescribable. I know there’s a certain cultural demographic in Japan that gets off on panties and the like and although I certainly don’t fit into that demographic, I do like weird movies and so, I finally got around to getting and watching this film.
Is it as bad as it looks? Read on and see.
Karate aficionado Megumi is wracked with guilt over the bullying death of her sister Ai, she’s practiced diligently in order to be able to protect the people she loves. When she goes to a distant lake with a group of friends, specifically to find tapeworms in fish that aspiring model Maki wants to ingest to keep her thin, it’s not just tapeworms that they find, the entire place is infested with a plague of alien design that create scatalogical zombies. Rushing to the perceived safety of the house of Doctor Tanaka and his sickly daughter Sachi, they find that Tanaka has been conducting evil experiments on the alien parasites in order to keep Sachi’s leukemia in check, he’s been forcing her to ingest a new parasitical worm every day and then excrete the old one that has consumed her diseased tissues. When Megumi and her friends arrive, the doctor had just exhausted the last of the local villagers and now he’s set his targets on the high schoolers to gestate the parasitical worms and keep his daughter alive. Unfortunately for the doctor, Sachi has some plans of her own…
This kind of pseudo-fetish-exploitation style movie has been around for a long, long time and they’ve been quite popular. There are movies like 1977’s House which I think fall into this genre, although it really came into it’s own in the early 2000s. In fact, the writer and director of Zombie Ass, as should come as no surprise to fans of the genre, was Noboru Iguchi, the same man who brought us other “classics” like Machine Girl and Robo Geisha. The man knows his camp and he puts things on screen that he personally loves, like horror, sci-fi and particularly women’s body parts, mostly because he was once a porn director. This entire film is just an excuse for the director to engage in fart jokes, scatalogical scenes, a certain degree of nudity and sexual situations and low-brow humor and that’s part of the charm. Nobody expects this to be an amazing movie, it’s low budget and unapologetic.
But that’s really what makes the movie fun. It’s not really a fetish piece, even though it has a lot of fetish elements to it, Noboru makes it so absurd and extreme that it’s a farce of a fetish piece and that’s what makes it funny. Is it a stupid movie? Absolutely. Is it a movie I’m going to want to watch again and again? Probably not. There’s just something in the absurdity of it all that makes it fun though. At the end, we get a final airborne battle between Megumi and the Queen Alien and Megumi fights the entire thing borne aloft on a jet of her own farts, it’s enough to make your head just explode. Half the fun of Noboru’s directing is seeing how far over the top he can go and trust me, in Zombie Ass, he goes entirely and completely over the top.
If you’re a fan of Noboru’s films, you know what you’re getting into. If you’re a fan of off-beat, intentionally absurd and horribly immature films, this is right up your alley. If you’re looking for something intellectual, look elsewhere because this film is definitely not for you. It is crass, it is ridiculous and it is stuffed so full of fart and poop jokes, you’ll be amazed one movie can fit so many and after you stop watching, you’ll swear you’ll never watch another Noboru Iguchi again, but upon later reflection, I think you’ll realize that it’s just so ludicrous that instead of being a glorification of fecal fiction, it’s a send up of the whole Japanese fascination with panties and bodily functions. You might not be able to watch one of those silly fanfic anime shows the same way ever again.
It gets an average score from me, but who knows, after I’ve let this thing stew in my brain for a while, I might change my mind and decide it’s better on a fun factor alone.