REVIEW – Meatball Machine

31 May


Directors: Yûdai Yamaguchi, Jun’ichi Yamamoto

Writers: Yûdai Yamaguchi
Stars: Issei Takahashi, Aoba Kawai and Kenichi Kawasaki

Being a lover of Japanese Splatterpunk, I was looking forward to settling down in front of Meatball Machine with my cup of tea and a biscuit. I’d been meaning to watch it for a while after hearing that it was the feature length remake of a short film from 1999.

It’s essentially a film about the worst first date in history. Boy sees girl from afar, boy rescues girl from being raped by a co-worker, boy takes girl back to his flat the boy watches girl then being impregnated by a parasite from outer space and turned into a Necroborg who then goes rampaging around town. Our ‘hero’ then becomes in the words of one of the characters, ‘infested’, but with a difference. He seems to be able to resist the parasite trying to control his body and goes off in search of his girlfriend to try and stop her.

It’s got LOTS of gore (although less then I was expecting) and it’s obvious that the budget for this film went on the animatronics and costumes rather then the locations and camera work. But it works. The settings are abandoned railways sidings, grubby back streets and empty factories which work well with all the arterial blood splattering around. There are lots of slanty camera shots and shaky-cam moments, along with the inevitable subversive sexual references that are present in most Japanese splatter punk films

All in all, it’s a bit clunky, very low budget and in the beginning a bit hard to follow. But it’s fun, gory and totally mad. With some of the parasite animatronics reminiscent of The Thing and a plot similar lines as Akira, it entertaining, bloody and fun. Being a fan of films like Tokyo Gore Police and Vampire Girl VS Frankenstein Girl, I was perhaps expecting something a bit more polished with a few more laughs. To be fair, I probably won’t watch it again but I can think of worse ways to spend an hour and a half on a Sunday with a cuppa and biscuit!




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