Junk (Junk: Shiryô-gari) (2000)

Dead evil hunting.
Posted on by

Junk - Dead Evil Hunting

It is sometimes difficult to get away from the long-haired ghost girls in Japanese horror but if you look beneath the mainstream there are often little hidden gems amongst the plethora of superstitious, folklore inspired supernatural J-Horror. One such gem is Junk: Shiryô-gari, Atsushi Muroga's excursion into the zombie genre. Although there is nothing new here with regards to zombie flicks, the relentless splatter-action (despite not always being too convincing) makes for an entertaining and mentally unchallenging gore romp, ideal for an evening on the sofa with a bottle of champagne and a bag of jumbo roasted peanuts. Don't expect any Oscar winning performances (especially from the American actors) or an in-depth twisty-turny plot but do expect a sumptuous amount of blood, guts, guns, gangsters and the occasional zombie-boob. There are copious steals from the zombie genre masters such as Fulci and Romero, but they can be seen as a tribute to the great zombie movies rather than a rip off and Junk provides the best elements of these inspirations amalgamated into 83 minutes of popcorn horror.

In a top secret laboratory in Japan the US military are working with local scientists in a bid to resurrect naked Japanese women. The resurrection formula, DNX (looking suspiciously like Herbert West's re-agent), sort of works in that it does re-animate the dead but the side effect is that the previously dead naked Japanese women are revived as ravenous naked zombies who, although still quite foxy, have a craving for human flesh. Deciding it's time to find the nearest drawing board and go back to it, the supply of not-so-fresh corpses are locked in an abandoned warehouse with all current batches of DNX balanced precariously on shelves above them.

Meanwhile, back in the city, a group of amateur thieves are embarking on their current jewellers shop robbery. Donning their cartoon masks the four robbers manage to escape the shop fairly unscathed apart from a scissor wound to the foot and arrange to meet their fence. The fence, a Yakuza gangster, knows the ideal place to exchange goods for cash, an old abandoned warehouse not used for anything except storing corpses and re-animation fluid injudiciously close to each other.

Whilst waiting for the Yakuza, one of the jewel thieves breaks the number one rule of waiting in a zombie infested area and stands in from of an easily breakable barrier, which as anyone previously in a zombie hang-out knows is like a magnet for the arms of the undead. Succumbing to the age old zombie trick of arm-thru-the-wall, the reckless thief is soon undead fodder then cursed to live in limbo forgoing eternal bliss and $10,000 cash. The remaining three luckless law-breakers decide that this is an ideal time to make like a tree and fuck off with guns blazing. On their way out they bump into the Yakuza who are reluctant to believe in zombies and who are also reluctant to pay for the jewels. A gunfight breaks out and the robbers decide that the best place to hide is in a corpse filled room with gallons of glowing green liquid, hoping that nobody bursts in with a machine gun and heedlessly shoots the DNX spilling it all over the corpses.

From here on the viewer is treated to mindless zombie violence as the bungling thieves try and escape the ever growing army of the undead under the supervision of the first naked failed experiment, who just happens to be a bit more animated than the shambling majority.

Atsushi Muroga's directorial approach is much more westernized that the usual Japanese approach, there are no seemingly illogical story segments, no bizarre unbelievable situations blatantly accepted by the characters and no eccentric visual effects thrown in to mess with your head. The plot progression is fairly straightforward and the motivations of the characters is about as believable as players in a game of Yakuza vs. zombies vs. thieves can be. Junk is nothing groundbreaking and offers nothing to stimulate more than a bit of splatter but the splatter is good and the relentless onslaught of vermillion mush makes for a highly entertaining frolic in the realms of the recently deceased. Overall the movie has an amateurish feel and obviously didn't have the financial input of some of the more commercial Japanese endeavours but, considering these perceived constraints, the makers utilize the resources they have very well. A breath of fresh Japanese air and definitely worth at least one viewing.
This review was posted on by
Categories: Asian Horror Movies

Junk (Junk: Shiryô-gari): Movie Information

Junk (Junk: Shiryô-gari): Related Images

Junk (Junk: Shiryô-gari): External Links