Closing day seven at Toronto After Dark 2012 was the insanely over the top and ridiculously hilarious Dead Sushi. Directed by Noboru Iguchi, the man behind great Japanese splatter flicks like Robo-Geisha and The Machine Girl, this one was everything I was expecting and a little bit more.
Keiko (Rina Takeda) works for her father making sushi, but he’s convinced that she’s too much of a woman to make truly great sushi. She decides to run away one day, and winds up working at an Inn where a strange homeless man begins unleashing living killer sushi. Keiko, with the help of an egg sushi that has been shunned, will have to stop the onslaught of flesh eating sushi before they can breed and take over.
Yeah, the sushi breeds. That’s just a small example of the kind of insanity you’ll find here. Of course, if you’re familiar with Iguchi and his previous work, only one thing will come as a surprise here, and that’s how funny the film is. Humour has always been a part of these Japanese splatter flicks, like Tokyo Gore Police or Mutant Girls Squad, but none of those films have managed to be really laugh out loud funny. Dead Sushi has almost as many successful jokes as it does over the top gore scenes. The audience loved every moment of this one. It’s a good thing the film is subtitled or it would have been impossible to hear certain scenes over the laughter of the crowd.
The only real downfall of this film is the excessive use of CG blood. Early on, the gooey red fake stuff flowed freely. Now, it’s almost entirely made up of CG, with a splash of the fake stuff so it actually lands on people. We discussed the pros and cons of this process, mainly that it’s easier to use less fake blood in case of multiple takes, but that doesn’t mean we have to enjoy the CG stuff. It always looks terrible, and with the excessive amount of blood that sprays around in this film, it makes no sense how little gets on everybody. Fountains of blood will literally spray from areas, but nobody around this mess gets bloody. It’s painfully annoying, and unfortunately, Dead Sushi may have the most amount of CG blood that I’ve seen in a long time.
There really isn’t much more you can say about this one. At this point, people have probably seen at least one Japanese splatter flick and decided whether they enjoy them or not. The stories are always unusual, and usually lacking in any real sort of development, and the over the top violence is the main selling point. This one isn’t steering off that course, so it’s easy to know if it’s for you. Even with the extreme use of CG blood, Dead Sushi is one of the better films from this sub-genre, miles ahead of the rather disappointing Robo-Geisha and Mutant Girls Squad. Once this finds a home on DVD, get some friends together and start drinking before you put it on and you’ll have a highly entertaining evening.
Under the marquee – Will