Friday, September 17, 2004

Zebraman


If you think this posted picture is cool then this movie is for you. It is accessible cult cinema which is still pretty out there. A distracted and nebbish grade 3 school teacher makes a superhero costume for himself because he is such a huge fan of the cult TV show (cancelled after only 9 episodes) Zebraman. Zebraman fights crime and aliens from outerspace, often looking like seafood, with the help of his Zebracycle and his busty nurse (You guessed it, Zebranurse!)with a huge phallic needle (with two liquid chambers...you get the image).
When the costume is complete, he tentatively goes out of his house to try it out. He buys a soda. The scene is hilarious. Unbeknowest to him, the aliens do invade and it is up to him and his often ripping and tearing homemade costume to become the new hero for the city of Tokyo.
For those familiar with mad-cap horror/yakuza/bodily-fluids director Takashi Miike, this is a gentle charming family film.
Zebraman is full of comic surprises and old-fashioned heroism with the occasional softened Miike moment (one particular face-punch, the results of a signature back-kick, or the birth of a green alien baby). It is also geek love at its most sublime that is perhaps best appreciated with a 1200+ midnight madness crowd.
Its biggest strength is capturing the joy of watching those ernestly bad superhero/spy/sci-fi/adventure films from the 50s-80s without feeling false or condescending. A man in a rubber crab mask and a Giant Green Marshmallow Blob(tm) attacking a building doesn't hurt either.

2 Comments:

Blogger grace said...

i need to watch this movie...

6:40 PM  
Blogger Kurt Halfyard said...

If there was ever a Miike picture that could possibly secure a North American deal of some kind (meaning theatrical release at least in the big cities). It is this. For anyone who watched too much Ultraman, Power Rangers and other Live action Japanese sci-fi shows it is a real treat. (Much the same was Kung-Fu Hustle is a treat for those who like old Shaw Bro's Kung Fu films). They are both gentle (even loving) parodies of the source material that is bounded by the same genre rules and enters the genre itself as a top entry

9:44 PM  

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