Tuesday, October 8, 2019

another five pounds?

Spent the day trying to book a cheap - and fairly central - hotel in Birmingham today but to no avail so gave up and watched 3 From Hell instead.

Was gonna review that but couldn't be arsed so hopefully this'll do instead.

You can so tell how much I enjoy this whole 31 days of horror thing can't you?

Oh and by the way, excuse the short review it's just that my copy isn't subtitled plus it's on VCD so it's like watching thru' a sock.

Seriously, look:

And with that....

Nezulla The Rat Monster (2002)
Dir: Kanta Tagawa.
Cast: Daisuke Ryu, Yoshiyuki Kubota, Mika Katsumura and Ayumi Tokito.


Our story opens with three hip 'n' groovy teens - well two hip 'n' groovy teens and one comedy chubster as is the way with Japanese DTV stuff - investigating a deserted warehouse in the hope of finding any booze or fags.

Tho' why they couldn't  try the off-license or a disco but there you go) when they're viciously attacked by an unseen terror.

Very violently and very loudly.

Meanwhile in downtown Tokyo a mysterious, face paint and Quorn based virus has begun to infect the terminally unlucky cities populace.

Those unfortunate to contract the disease are rounded up by soldiers and either locked in a big cupboard sans their shoes or shot in front of their kids whilst a stoic Japanese doctor looks on manfully.

At his side stands a frail looking soft skinned nurse doing her best 'it's a shame for them isn't it?' eyebrow acting whilst gazing at our heroic (if heroism included just standing by whilst folk get shot) young doc.

Thru' a series of flashbacks told using the ancient art of shadow puppetry (I wish) a fairly attractive female scientist (bespectacled J-Pop cutie Ayumi Tokito best known for playing a sex robot in Shulea Cheang's IKU ) tells us how, a few years earlier the evil US military (boo! hiss!) teamed up with a naive Japanese research firm in the hope of finding a way to genetically engineer soldiers with an immunity to every biological and bacterial agent known to man.

Which makes me wish that some of my work briefs were as simple.

Laugh now!

Unfortunately (as is always the way in these situations) the genetically altered Bubonic plague virus that the scientists have been feeding the lab rats on a daily basis causes one of the pesky rodents to grow to man size, shed its fur and fuck off into the sewers whilst squeaking loudly.

But not before it's eaten most of the research team obviously.
Rather than fill in loads of pesky insurance forms and the like the folk involved reckon the best option is to just abandon the lab and hope no-one notices the big pink rat skulking about the town.

Everything's fine and dandy until the plague ridden rat gets a bout of violent wind that causes its internal gases to mutate into the aforementioned virus and spread to the nearby populace.

Nezulla - Less rat monster more arse botherer.

Luckily for all those involved, Ratty's blood carries the antibodies that could cure the virus (probably) so a crack team of commandos - alongside the original Japanese Pink Ranger and former Minisuka Police star Katsumura - are ordered to infiltrate the deserted labs and capture the killer rat before it's too late (too late for what? the virus is already out and that things been in the sewers for years....nothing like being laid back I guess).

Cue huge amounts of anti-American dialogue (including the classic "Damn those no-good white people") and the introduction of a strict and sexy Japanese woman in league with the evil Americans.

The rotter.

Tokito - bespectacled.

To make matters worse - but the scant running time a wee bit more exciting obviously - it turns out that Ms. Evil and  her nasty Yankee cohorts have set a time bomb inside the complex - well, in Ratty's nest chamber to be precise - timed to go off in an hour or so.
The reasoning behind this?

Her American Employers would rather blow the shite out of everything than have to apologise to 'the dirty japs'.

See? told you so.

So it's a race against time, and stilted dialogue via smoking and male bonding issues for our team as they set out to complete their mission before anything else comes to light that could make their day any worse.

And if that wasn't enough storyline for a 70 minute shocker there's also a cloying subplot regarding the manly doctors love for his nurse.


Director Kanta Tagawa once claimed in an interview that Nezulla The Rat Monster was the  inspiration for Bong Joon-Ho's modern classic The Host but evil film moguls, terrified that the film's stunningly realistic effects and on the nose eco-friendly plot would be too much for audiences to take so left the film languishing on the shelves (or more likely behind the bins) for a few years before letting it loose on an unsuspecting public who were finally  deemed culturally aware enough to fully appreciate this modern classic of monster cinema.

Unfortunately no-one gave a fuck.

Except me obviously.

And then only because I'm a Mika Katsumura completest.

But what of the film?

"I love you....could it be magic?"

Well, I have to admit it's a triumph of idea's over budget, from the fantastically false two piece monster suit (with buttons NOT zips) to the fact that all the killings appear oh so slightly off screen, it's almost as if everyone involved actually knows it's shit, which is a nice change.

It's just that they don't actually seem to realise just how shit it actually is.

Occasionally tho', just as you're about to turn it off, everyone seems to remember that this is meant to be a monster movie and quickly points Nezulla toward the action unfolding onscreen.

It's just unfortunate then that when this occurs he's either reduced to:

Skulking about in a corner.

Hissing in a corner (whilst the human cast ignore/can't see him).


Indulging in drunken fisticuffs and attempting to sodomize the soldiers.

But only those in a corner obviously.

Which gives it the edge over the last season of Doctor Who at least.

It's not all bad tho' because when I was searching online for some subtitles so I could finally follow the plot I did come across these great pictures of a variety of Japanese ladies being chased by rodents so it wasn't a total waste of time.

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