ASIAN FILM - Article
11:03 - 13th December 2013, by NEO Staff

Chanbara Beauty

If The Walking Dead is missing anything, it is a zombie-slaying girl in a bikini, feather boa, and cowboy hat. Fortunately, Chanbara Beauty is here to rectify that deficiency. In a world overrun by flesh-hungry zombies, sword-wielding bikini-clad Aya (Eri Otoguro) is on the trail of her lethal little sister, Saki (Chise Nakamura), with a score to settle. Shotgun-slinging biker Reiko (Manami Hashimoto) is hunting Dr Sugita (Taro Suwa), the evil genius who unleashed the virus that turned mankind into brain-munching monsters, and when Reiko reveals that Saki is working as Sugita's bodyguard, the two warrior-women team up to bring them to justice.

Chanbara Beauty is based on a videogame, and was directed by Yohei Fukuda. It's a low budget affair, and the special effects are not going to impress James Cameron any time soon, but that's the great thing about zombies - all you need is make up and people who can groan and shuffle at the same time. They might be dead but they can still multi-task.

The action scenes are the work of Go Ohara, who later directed the no-frills slugfest Geisha Assassin, assisted by Fumihito Minamitsuji and Naohiro Kawamoto. The trio does a fine job of turning their leading ladies into furious femme fatales, even if Reiko's shotgun never seems to run out of ammo. Aya's bikini actually makes some sense in the game - her powers are fueled by her skin being splashed with blood, but that's never explained in the movie, and mostly the outfit is an excuse to show off Eri Otoguro's figure. The film is not shy about dishing the fanservice - if bikinis aren't your thing, there's Reiko in her leather biker outfit, and Saki in her schoolgirl sailor uniform. The end result is Resident Evil on a shoestring, complete with a mad scientist and beautiful girls kicking undead butt.

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