Thursday, March 12, 2009


Below: Guitar Wolf (the band), centerpiece of the film Wild Zero.

Why do the Japanese always do everything so much better than everyone else? Is it the sushi? Something in the water? The fact that you can buy soiled panties out of vending machines over there?
Whatever it is, 2000's Wild Zero, a self-proclaimed "Rock'N'Roll Jet Movie", drives the point home with a vengeance, exploding onto the screen at full throttle and keeping the hammer down for the next hour and a half.

Wild Zero tells the story of Ace (right), aspiring rocker and biggest fan of the band Guitar Wolf, who are the zombie-slaying protagonists of the film. Guitar Wolf (the band) consists of Guitar Wolf (guitar), Bass Wolf (bass, who passed away in 2005 due to a heart attack), and Drum Wolf (drums). It seems that as Ace is in transit to a concert by the band, some aliens have invaded the earth, turning its inhabitants into a horde of flesh-eating zombies. Bummer.
But luckily, the guys in Guitar Wolf are experts at not only rocking but also killing, which leads to many, many gory deaths (most of which involve an exploding head or two). Guitar Wolf takes on the role of mentor and spiritual guide to young Ace, teaching him not only the virtues of "Lock and Loll" but also to follow his heart when it comes to the perplexing issue of transgender romance.

Guitar Wolf (the dude) is WAY cooler than you, and I'll give you three reasons why:
1) He shoots lightning bolts out of his guitar.
2) He uses guitar picks as throwing stars.
3) His motorcycle has a drink holder, which always contains a bottle of booze.

Below: One of a multitude of scenes involving exploding heads.

The selling points to this film are manifold, including (but not limited to) lots of leather and guns, tons of hair-combing, motorcycles and microphones that shoot fire, booze, drugs, blood, and a whole SHITLOAD of Rock-N-Roll. This is pure entertainment, the sort of thing Cecil B. DeMille and P.T. Barnum strove for but never really achieved.
Game, set, and match: Japan. Well played.
Wild Zero is relatively easy to find, but if you can't track a copy down, just stop by my place sometime. As is the case with any movie I review here, I'll totally let you borrow my VHS copy (PS: It has Phantasm on the second half of the tape. Bonus!)

Below: The "message" of Wild Zero, as true in 2009 as it was 10 years ago.


Performance by Guitar Wolf, from the beginning of the film. Try to count how many times he says either "Roaring blood!" or "Exploding blood!":


Peter said...

Fuck yeah, Im glad someone else knows about this flick. I actually scored a Guitar Wolf CD a little while back. Ill put that up in a little while.

Shelby Cobras said...

Right on, duder.