I think Wild Zero is a vehicle for an actual rock band called Guitar Wolf, a Japanese punk band who look like American 50s greasers. They’re like the Ramones, except not ugly. I can only think of two other such rock band vehicles: Kiss Meets the Phantom of the Park and Dark Floors. I’d rank this in between the two, since Dark Floors scared the shit out me and Kiss…Park is crap.
Anyway, the band has a dispute with a ridiculous-looking club owner that results in a Mexican standoff, until a doofus named Ace accidentally provides a distraction that allows the band to win the argument. The lead singer gives Ace a whistle to call for help and they become blood brothers. Different and previously unconnected people fight zombies caused by either an alien invasion, or meteorites, the next day. It takes 20 minutes to see a zombie, but only 20 more until someone figures out that you shoot them in the head. Ace meets the love of his life, then discovers she is a he. Which is fine, but the movie makes a point out of it so I’m including it in my synopsis. Guitar Wolf in spirit form tells him not to be an asshole because love is love. One character happens to be an arms dealer. Eventually everyone meets up for a zombiethon.
It’s a cute, sweet love story with decent, head-exploding gore and zombies, right? More of a “look at the ridiculousness of this set piece” than “I’m laughing until I pee” comedy, and pretty much a ready-made, out of the box cult classic. I don’t listen to punk unless I’m being real nice to a punk fan I just started dating (and I’m married now and don’t have to be nice) so that’s a minus. I enjoyed the mid-movie argument about who had seen a zombie movie when they were trying to figure out what to do. The women were all attractive in a non-plastic way. I mean, you can’t complain about me not getting the movie if I admit that I don’t get it, unless there’s nothing to get. I would say that this is the least Japanese-y Japanese movie I’ve ever seen, but can you really separate the country and culture from the movie? Oh, well. It’s safe to say that if you like zombie comedies, you’ll like this.
I don’t fucking know, y’all. I mean, here I am, I’ve lived my whole life in the American south. I am not worldly enough to put Wild Zero in context, but I’m not insensitive enough to dismiss it entirely. I know enough not to bite the hand that feeds me, especially when that hand is slinging electrified guitar picks that can kill a horde of zombies.