Junk: Shiryô-gari (1999) 1 brain1 brainhalf brain

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Shiryô-gari, or as it is known in the US, Junk, was a decent enough zombie flick, but nothing to write home about. The plot was decent, if not very original, and the director and special effects crew knew what they were doing when it came to fighting, shooting, and gut-munching. The acting was painful at times, mostly from the American military characters in the film, and the dialog was a major distraction. Apparently the director, Atsushi Muroga, couldn't find any Americans who could speak Japanese, so in the film he just has the Americans speak English. The one Japanese character that has to interact with them, Dr. Nikada (Kishimoto Yuuji), alternates between responding to their English in Japanese (yet somehow they still undertand each other) and responding in English that is pretty heavily accented, so it's hard to tell what he's saying.

The film centers around four jewel thieves that are meeting with some Yakuza at an abandoned military base to sell some loot from a recent heist. The heroine, Saki (Kaori Shimamure), used to be a nurse but turned to a life of crime after being hit on by too many patients. Unbeknownst to her, her three cohorts, and the Yakuza, the base they are meeting at has a couple of the undead running around. Made from a military experiment gone awry (of course), these zombies have been quietly hanging out, waiting for victims. The American military becomes aware that something is wrong at the base, however, and they contact the doctor who started the experiment, Dr. Nikada, to see if he has some advice on how they can stop the zombies. The criminals at the base start mucking around, and a lot more zombies get created accidentally, until both the jewel thieves and the Yakuza are fighting for their lives. In the meantime, Dr. Nikada and the military are trying to figure out how to contain the problem.

The movie is fun to watch, but you will probably not have too much trouble guessing what is going to happen ahead of time. There are a few surprises and twists, but mostly it's a zombie popcorn movie.