Hello to all those faithfully reading and hopefully enjoying this effort to make even the worst horror movie more watcha... aw, screw that - I'm not that good. If a movie makes you cringe because yet another batch of unlikable teens that are pushing 30 are inching toward their deaths, having a party no one does anywhere ever, a paranormal movie is boring you to tears with unending pans of empty rooms, or thanks to CGI technology when people finally bite it, their blood squirts everywhere except on the victim, the ground, the people next to them... you're in good company and this is the right place for you.

Monday, June 10, 2013

IT'S A BIRD... IT'S A PLANE... IT'S スーパーマン

Deddobōru (Deadball) (2011) Japan

Wow do I know how to pick 'em. My first attempts at foreign films while my brain has been the consistency of mush and I get two of the strangest films I have ever seen. And I've seen strange STRANGE stuff. Now Tormented had this weird, bad dream quality to it. This movie was like watching a live action cartoon. 

A caution however - while most of the splatter is heavily CGI'd and doesn't even look remotely real, there is a lot of it, and an attempt to include some old fashioned gore too - although in a comic fashion. I thought we had a real gem of a movie here but, like Tormented, this movie should have ended a half hour before it actually did. In fact, it really seemed like they came up with an ending at the spur of the moment and none of it made sense.

It had a great start. Jubeh (Tak Sakaguchi who is apparently reprising a role he played in a movie called Battlefield Baseball) is a teenager who, when younger and playing baseball with his dad (who looked like he was 80) discovers that his right arm is so powerful (not to mention that he can lift his leg up to his head and jump a mile into the air) that it literally can kill - it destroys his father (his face is a bubbling mess - don't ask me why it bubbles) and there is a crater about the size of a football field. His younger brother sees it and is scarred for life, eventually being adopted by another family.

Jubeh kind of goes nutzoid and while the movie doesn't show any of it, goes on a spree, killing over 50 people in one week. He only kills 'those who need it' but the justice system isn't made that way, so to reform school he goes. There they know of his arm and want him to play on their baseball team. Right about now I was getting some feeling of The Longest Yard but the sight gags were entertaining enough. 

A running gag that was really silly was that almost every time someone asked Jubeh a serious question, he would look at them, stretch his hand above his head and when it came back down there was a lit cigarette in it, which he would draw on before answering. Another was his appearance - leather, a serape, cowboy boots and spurs. So we kind of have a combo of TLY and a spaghetti western - um, I guess that would be a rice western.

Here's where it lags and is funny in spurts but you have to wade through the not-so-funny parts to get to the silly. The school is run by a Nazi Japanese woman (?!?) who is as sadistic as Nazis are supposed to be. She is basically setting the team up for execution by the most brutal girl's baseball team known - the evil St. Black Dahlia High School (The Black Dahlia being famous, of course, for being murdered in Hollywood - cut in half - and her murderer never found.) in very skimpy and stupid looking outfits. Eh, guys will appreciate them I'm sure.

Jubeh is befriended by a young boy I swore must have been a girl named Shinosuki (I was dead on with that one, she is played by Mari Hoshino) and again we go through lags between giggles as they adjust to life within the reform school. How and why they expected Mari to pass for a boy I do not know.

The game commences and it quickly becomes apparent that this is not for points on runs scored, but for murders committed and their ingenuity. A complicated plot muddles up this part of the movie, which ends finally when Jubeh confronts his brother who has been made into a cyborg (the movie says android, which is not correct but oh well) and everything is blown up... but...

The movie should be over but suddenly Jubeh and Shinosuki (who shouldn't be there at all as he/she was blown to bits - supposedly) are now in the People's' Republic of China, who are offering to help them get revenge on Japan and it becomes... weird. Are we talking about all out war between the two Eastern countries over a nasty reform school? A whole country is going to get smeared because of a few Nazis? This is where it feels they simply ran out of ideas and tacked a couple of scenes onto the end just to keep the run time long enough for a movie. Too bad, they almost had something there.