Wild Zero (2000) 1 brain1 brain1 brain

A large part of why I wanted to see Wild Zero was that a site fan had told me that Guitar Wolf, one of the characters (if you can call him a character, he sort of transcends the film), should have the Zombie Oscar title of Best Zombie Killer. After having seen the movie, there is no question. Sorry Ash. Guitar Wolf just has more mojo.

Another reason I wanted to see it was that fellow movie critic Goatdog and I are trying to compile a top ten zombie movie list, and given the buzz about Wild Zero, we had to see it before drawing up the list. I think as I was watching it, I was mentally comparing it to the other contenders, and expecting it to be like them, but different. I was completely unprepared for how much it's own movie Wild Zero is. The viewer will be reminded of various other films while watching it, but Wild Zero is by no means derivative.

The story is set in a small town in Japan that has been struck by "meteorites" (actually, flying saucers) that are turning the inhabitants into zombies. A young rock-and-roll wannabe, Ace (Masashi Endoô), runs afoul of the zombies while at the same time meeting the girl of his dreams, Tobio (I believe played by Kwancharu Shitichai, but I'm not sure; someone correct me if I'm wrong). Ace is aided by his heros, the band Guitar Wolf (played by Guitar Wolf), who alternate between being mystical guides for Ace and kicking zombie/alien ass. Guitar Wolf the band is actually made up of Guitar Wolf the guitarist, backed up by Bass Wolf and Drum Wolf. The main task of Bass Wolf and Drum Wolf in the movie appears to be to coolly comb their hair.

There are several other subplots, but one central theme is a rather unexpected message about love transcending boundaries. Now that I think about it, though, love was also a central theme in Versus, Bio Zombie, Cemetery Man, The Return of the Living Dead 3, and Zombie Doom. Wait, no, not Zombie Doom. At any rate, Wild Zero has more to it than zombie action.

This is definitely not your typical zombie film, but that's all the more reason to see it.