Colin Le Sueur

Colin Le Sueur

colin@colinlesueur.com
Colin Le Sueur

Junk (2000)

IMDB page for Junk Junk (aka Junk: Shiryô-gari)
Japan 2000
Director: Muroga Atsushi
With Shimamura Kaori, Asano Nobuyuki, Ehara Shu
Language: Japanese
IMDb Link

With a name like Junk, you know the director’s just asking for trouble. That said, this film delivers exactly what the title promises (in a good way). Those looking for a progressive zombie film, something socially critical like Dawn of the Dead or something cutting-edge and original like 28 Days Later, will be very disappointed. However, for those looking for an old-fashioned, flesh-eating zombie v. yakuza extravaganza (I know you guys are out there), Junk fits the bill.

Several times while watching this film, I got a sense of deja vu. Had I seen it before? Nope, but Junk borrows from so many different films that I couldn’t help but feel I’d seen it before, because I had, several times over. From the T2-inspired opening titles (with music), to the Reservoir Dogs-style bank robbery, to the Versus theme of yakuza fighting zombies, Junk is anything but original. That said, it was still an enjoyable film.

The acting, especially among the English-speaking actors, is bad. I think they just rounded up the only gaijin in Japan available in their price range (likely volunteers) and slapped an Army uniform on them. The special effects are bad, but in a bloody, low-budget way. Junk has a lot of gore (with some decent looking zombie effects, as well), but never takes itself too seriously as a horror film.

Finally, the story is pretty laughable and cobbled together from so many different films that you’re never sure exactly what the tone is supposed to be. Is this a straight horror film or a tongue-in-cheek homage? Likely a little of both.

Though some might say that Junk is aptly named, this film is actually a good laugh and a nice addition to the Japanese zombie genre.

Colin Le Sueur
Sunday, December 10th, 2006
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