Toronto After Dark – Dead Sushi – Noboru Iguchi

Wednesday night is Sushi Night at the Toronto After Dark Film Festival, the first film was Sushi Girl, a wicked little crime thriller (which currently stands as my fave film of the festival so far), while the follow-up film, Dead Sushi, is the latest in the Japanese gore/horror/comedy trend from the makers of Robo Geisha and Machine Girl.

It’s also my least favourite film of the festival. It is so inane, so absurdly stunted that you can actually enjoy it, if you have the right audience to view it with.

Happily, there was a rowdy festival crowd who knew exactly what they were getting from this film, blood-thirsty, murderous, fornicating sushi, tuna-fish-men, gigs of CGI blood and an adorably sexy lead in Keiko (Rina Takeda).

Keiko leaves home, and her father’s sushi bar, fearing she will never be talented enough to create sushi like Papa (Jiji Bu) does (though he’s made sure she has been trained in the martial arts). She ends up working in an inn as room service just as a company retreat is taking place. The company however has problems, it seems one of the lead scientists they fired has perfected a serum that reanimated dead tissue (shown with a deer head in an homage to the buck’s head in Evil Dead II) and he’s injected it into a flying squid that spreads it to the sushi being served.

The dialogue is over-the-top melodrama, as well as descriptive of the action being currently performed, in case you weren’t able to follow along. At one point one of the characters says this is the point where nothing makes sense anymore. He’s wrong, that point was reached fairly early in the film.

Still, the audience had a good time screaming Danger! or Sushi! at the behest of the director. Laughter, cheers and applause accompanied the film throughout.

The film is often laugh out loud funny with its humour, absurdity, effects and kills. Sometimes it comes out of nowhere – a couple of the Inn’s girls do a ‘sexy’ dance as they get ready for body sushi, and the Inn’s Mistress demonstrates her robot dance. Yup.

Then there’s Keiko’s sidekick through her fishy adventures… A reanimated egg sushi she calls Eggy. Seriously.

The movie is just delightfully absurd and is well aware it’s not going to change the world, it’s just here for a good time. And it did provide it, though I’m not sure I could recommend it for an evening’s entertainment at home.

If you’re a fan of the Japanese horror/comedy/splatter films this may be right up your alley.


You can find more Dead Sushi here, and on Facebook and Twitter.

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