Imagine the crazy splatter-ness of Tokyo Gore Police, the steampunk aesthetics of Tetsuo the Iron Man, and the mid-transformation, flailing-tube dogs in The Thing and you may be half way there to visualise how OTT things are in Meatball Machine.
Yôji (Issey Takahashi) is a lonely menial worker who sits out on his lunch break watching a girl, Sachiko (Aoba Kawai). He discovers a bizarre, tortoise-like shell while walking near the dump one night, but unfortunately for Yôji, just as he is making headway with Sachiko, the object possesses her, turing her into a ‘Necroborg’, controlled by an alien parasite.
The plot here is as crazy as the visuals, but there’s a lot of fun to be had watching the various infected people battle it out in gory fashion. The cyberpunk imagery and sci-fi mythology add a silly but entertaining aspect to the proceedings, with the action cutting between the outside world and the little aliens controlling the battles inside the Necroborgs during the conflicts. Meatball Machine benefits by using mostly physical effects, which are not overly convincing but that adds to the enjoyment. There is a moment of ocular trauma so icky that it would have Lucio Fulci jumping with approval, though.
Meatball Machine is a recommended cult treat for horror fans who like their gore to be on the wild side. There’s a love story at the heart of the film, but don’t worry, it doesn’t slow the action down nor get in the way of the bloody onscreen massacre.
Release Date: April 12th. You can also win a copy here.