Review: Dead Sushi / Cert: 18 / Director: Noboru Iguchi / Screenplay: Noboru Iguchi / Starring: Rina Takeda, Shigeru Matsuzaki, Kentaro Shimazu, Takamasa Suga / Release Date: September 23rd
Director Noburo Iguchi certainly has a penchant for the strange. With his previous works including the likes of The Machine Girl, RoboGeisha and Zombie Ass: Toilet of the Dead, it comes as no surprise that Iguchi’s fishy tale may not be for everyone. The focal point of our story is Keiko (Takeda), the daughter of a great sushi chef. Failing to match her father’s achievements in sushi making, not to mention martial arts, the shame drives her to run away and start a new life. Becoming a waitress at a hotel, she soon comes up against a threat that will push her skills to their limits: killer sushi!
As crazy as it sounds, the film is exactly what you would expect from Iguchi. Played out like an Asian Troma film, there’s Evil Dead-style POV shots, there’s horrendously clichéd sound effects, there are ridiculous backstories, and there’s living, breathing, biting, flying sushi. If you threw Critters, Little Shop of Horrors and Takeshi’s Castle into a blender, Dead Sushi is what you would end up with. Ooh, and make sure to add in a few outfits and monstrosities that look like discarded villains from the Power Rangers TV show. If that wasn’t crazy enough for you, Keiko is often found musing out loud in her attempt to rationalise what is going on around her, almost as if she’s channelling her inner Jessica Fletcher from Murder, She Wrote. And if you want even more craziness, there’s a sushi sex-scene, a few zombies thrown in for good measure, and lots and lots of inventive martial arts action.
The acting and direction is just as nucking futs as the bizarre plot. Fast cuts, rapid body movements, over-aggressively delivered dialogue, and, of course, bad dubbing are all present in Dead Sushi. So much so, even the kissing scenes and eating scenes are accompanied by badly dubbed, squishy sound effects, not to mention the English audio track sounding like the South Park guys doing their best George Takei impressions. And then there’s a scene showing an ancient Japanese kiss… let’s just say ‘two people, one egg’ and leave it at that.
Still, if you can handle all of the above, you will get a lot out of Dead Sushi. It most definitely is not for everybody, but those with a leaning towards Troma films, particularly stuff like Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead and Terror Firmer, will lap up the bat-shit-crazy nature of the film. I mean, what’s not to love about sushi that bites back? Sure, there’s no logic, there’s no sense, there’s no rational trail of thought, but Dead Sushi is a fun, action-packed crazy tale that certain genre fans will love.
Extras: Four featurettes / Trailer