Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Tarô Suwa, Eri Otoguro, Chise Nakamura, Manami Hashimoto
Director: Yohei Fukuda
Genres: Action & Adventure, Indie & Art House, Horror
The movie adaptation of the hit Onechanbara video game series! In the year 20XX, scientifically created zombies roam the world in record numbers. Despite this, Aya is determined to track down her father's killer, a person ... more »
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Woopak | Where Dark Asian Knights Dwell | 07/12/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The film is based on the manga that became a popular PS2 game in Japan. Directed by Youhei Fukuda, the film "OneChanbara the movie" (called Chanbara Beauty in Hong Kong) features three of Japan's top pin-up girls in very significant roles. Eri Otoguro is a scantily-clad woman in a cowboy outfit and a bikini while Chise Nakamura is in a sexy schoolgirl uniform; both sexy women wields katana swords--joined by Minami Hashimoto who plays a biker chick clad in hot leather with a sawed-off shotgun. Do I have your attention yet?
In a post apocalyptic future, the D3 corporation had performed devilish experiments to raise the dead. These undead creatures started preying on living humans and the humanity is on the brink of extinction. Aya, (upcoming sex siren Eri Otoguro, U.S. remake "Shutter) is the heiress of the ancient Imichi clan of assassins. Aya cuts her way through zombies created by mad scientist Sugita, on the path to vengeance in search of her sister Saki (Chise Nakamura, Cursed Songs 2) to avenge the death of their father at the hands of her own sister. Joined by longtime companion, Katsuji and a leather-clad, shotgun-toting woman named Reiko (Minami Hashimoto), Aya is determined to come to a resolution on the conflict between her and her sister Saki. Aya is an amazing swordswoman, Saki is her equal with a Katana sword --what would be the outcome?
The film isn't to be taken seriously at first glance. I haven't read the Japanese comic nor have I finished the game; but it is so obvious that this film has been inspired by a comic and the effects are very reminiscent of the video game. The Swordplay is a blend of "Dynasty Warriors", the effects can be compared to "Fist of the NorthStar" and even "DragonBall Z". When Aya unleashes her "inner" power or mystical "Chi", her surroundings are set to explode--dirt is being spewed forth and rocks are flying. The flashes and light trails emulates the sword strokes, limbs and blood hit the camera view and extreme close-ups are used to express pain. The fight choreography by Go Ohara is quite good and hard-hitting--and contain a very good amount of Blood, while GORE is omnipresent in the zombie feasting buffet. I rather like the birds eye view of Aya`s encounter with a zombie army and the final encounter between Aya and Saki is very exciting and fun to see. The fights are the film's main draw aside from the sexy female trio. Anime-inspired fighting poses is the trio's forte and boy, do these women look good when they wield a sword.
"OneChanbara's" plot is very simple and is quite similar to other Japanese films of this type. I do commend director Fukuda's decision not to dawdle too much on Eri Otoguro, Chise Nakamura and Minami Hashimoto's "star appeal" and charisma. The film's screenplay does have a lot of emotion. The past is told in the form of flashbacks and there is a lot of emotion to be had. The loss of a loved one due to them becoming the "undead" has a lot of emotional potential and the director does manage to flesh them out. Killing a loved one is quite difficult--especially when one is guilty for their current situation.
The zombies in the film aren't your usual "shambling" undead. They are fast-moving and some of them have been enhanced to perform martial arts and to wield a weapon. There is a zombie who looks like a "Go-go Yubari" reject and one who looks like he is a "Jin Kazama" reject from "Tekken 4" video game. These change of mood doesn't hurt the film but rather shows its roots from the pages of manga. The zombie make up EFX is very similar to other Japanese movies in this genre and their faces have that pale-gray hue. The main villain himself is a cardboard anime villain. Dr. Sugita is the head of a corporation intent on playing "God". The sibling rivalry between Saki and Aya is decently developed and builds up its climactic climax. Reiko is a little underdeveloped and Katsuji seems like a minor plot device to lighten the mood somewhat.
The film is a little "campy" at times, but it doesn't lose its forward momentum. The film is very simple and the plot has been built around the encounter with zombies and the action sequences. There is some sex and nudity to be had--but I was disappointed that Eri, Chise and Minami kep their clothes on. The film is very action-packed and fast-paced. Despite its weaknesses in storyline the film is never boring and does provide the expected entertainment from a manga-inspired movie. Make sure you remember the source material when you are watching this film--Youhei Fukuda is no Ryuhei Kitamura but he does manage to put together a film that does justice to its roots.
Still, a katana-wielding woman in red bikini with a cowboy hat, scarf and leather boots proves very sexy. Eri Otoguro is the right woman for the job; joined by Minami Hashimoto and Chise Nakamura--these three Japanese women can make any man's blood boil with excitement.
"OneChanbara" may not be a film for everyone but it sure is fun to watch!
Recommended! To fans of the game and to fans of Japanese cinema [3 ½ Stars]
2 Stars & A LOAD OF FUN!
Brian Lueth | Chicago, IL United States | 09/18/2009
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Onechanbara has no socially redeeming values or artistic merit, there's barely a coherent story and the dialogue is "meh" but folks...c'mon...THERE'S A HOT JAPANESE CHICK SWORD FIGHTING IN A BIKINI! Really, does this have to "say" something at all? Can't it just be what it is? I say, HECK YEAH IT CAN!
Onechanbara: Samurai Bikini Squad, adapted from the PS2 video game series, is a rompin', stompin' sleazy good time! It guarantees to put a smile on your face with tons of gore, nice buns, zombie beatdowns and some savage schoolgirl-on-samurai girl action! Does it need more? It could have used a bit more story but that's not going to drag this entertainment experience down for me. Onechanbara is just plain fun; pure and simple entertainment with a hint of exploitation and a healthy dose of comedy.
I'm buying this so take that however you like. In my opinion this is a keeper through and through! If you're a fan of films like Meatball Machine, Tokyo Gore Police, Machine Girl and Yoroi Zombie Samurai, give this a shot. The FX/CG were solid, the action was beautifully choreographed and it's all thrown at you non-stop."
Where's the bikini?!
S. C. Walstad | Denver, CO USA | 09/16/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"A movie starring a hot babe wearing only a red bikini with cowboy hat and boots who hunts down zombies with a katana, what hot-blooded heterosexual male WOULDN'T want to watch that film. Well, this isn't THAT film. Sure, our heroine Aya does wear a red bikini, but she spends over half of the movie wrapped up in a blanket, only revealing her divine body during the battle sequences, which are sped up so fast and covered over with so much special effects that I couldn't tell if they were actually fighting each other or having a dance off. Talk about wasted potential. This is a film that would definitely have been better served up as an anime rather than a live action film. For one thing an animated actress cannot complain about it being too cold or feeling exploited.
As for the storyline, the flow of the movie, the fight sequences, the dialogue and the acting, they are average. It is the zombies that save this movie for me. Their make-up is superb, and though they are at times your standard slow, lurching, twitching zombies, they can be fast and they can fight. There is also none of the over-the-top cherry syrup blood spray that you get with Tokyo Gore Police, just a brief crimson splash which I feel fits better with zombies. Though personally I would have preferred the blood to be darker in color. I especially liked the homage to Silent Hill, intentional or not, with the nurse zombie in the hospital. Other effects in the movie are also enjoyable: the blood spatter on the TV screen, the body parts being flung out of the fray, and the video game effects like the special attacks and the character boosts. Combined with the 3 hot ladies in this movie, and I actually give this movie 3 1/2 stars. More stars would have been granted of course if the ladies' outfits had been scimpier and more revealing.
The last point I would like to make is my pet peeve of the movie. With all of the money they spent on the special effects and zombie make-up, why couldn't they spend a few extra dollars to make Aya's tattoo look real. I have gotten better looking tatoos out of a Cracker Jack box. Seriously, I thought the tattoo was going to come off at times. But being that nit-picky allowed me to notice the biggest blunder in this movie. In one scene of the final battle with Saki, her tattoo suddenly transfers to her right arm, the bandage is now on her left arm, and the slash on her face has temporarily been healed. Bad, editor, bad. I hope he had the decency to commit seppuku."
Lust in Translation? 2&1/2 Stars, at Best
Edward Lee | 09/11/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"You know going into a film titled ONECHANBARA: SAMURAI BIKINI SQUAD that this probably wasn't directed by Martin Scorsese, but wouldn't it be neat if it was? Actually, if you don't expect this to make much sense, then ONECHANBARA is a reasonable piece of fun / cinematic cheesecake, though the script does lay on the 'family' metaphors a little too thick for its own good. Based on a video game, ONECHANBARA tells the bloody story of two sisters separated since a tragic death of their father in a post-apocalyptic world now populated by zombies that, for the most part, behave like traditional stumbling, bumbling zombies until the script calls for them to use karate and display other feats of athletic prowess. Throw in a chubby sidekick, and you have yourself a video game ... or a grade B motion picture adaption of one. Still, the zombie deaths are a'plenty, so the blood never lets up ... and the lead actress does look good in a leather cowboy hat and her fur-lined bikini. (Call me a pig, if you like!) By the end, you'll have very little idea of what all of this really means, but, if you keep in mind that this was all based on a video game, you won't feel all that bad."