Saturday, September 15, 2012

In short: Zombie 108 (2012)

aka Z108
(Warning: I may have to curse a bit during the course of this write-up, because this film is way too fucking horrible not to)

The good news: this is supposed to be Taiwan's first zombie movie. Good for you, Taiwan! It can only get better from here.

The bad news: Everything else, for Taiwan's first zombie movie just happens to be utter shite.

But let's begin with the film's plot, which would be easier if director and writer Joe Chie Jen-Hao had deigned to include one. As it stands, we're witness to another zombie outbreak, this time around caused by a scientist (the fiend!) "inventing a new gene". Zombie 108 takes place in one of the rougher districts of Taipei. Various gangsters and SWAT members run circles through it, fleeing zombies in an attempt to, um, you got me there. From time to time, their running around is intercut with the adventures of a guy wearing what I think is supposed to be a mask made of human skin like Leatherface, lovingly called Pervert (Joe Chie Jen-Hao himself - oh the irony!), who keeps a bunch of women who - like all the actresses in the movie - look as if they rose from the same model clone tank in his cellar for easy rape and torture access, or rather, so that the camera can leer at them in just about the only shots in the film that aren't filmed by a director of photography with the shakes. After a lot of running around and getting killed, the cops and robbers survivors land in Pervert's apartment. And that's supposed to be the plot.

Apart from that whole not actually having a plot angle, and being sleazy in a manner unpleasant yet not very interesting, Zombie 108 also recommends itself for the garbage heap by not including any characterisation to speak of. The film clearly prefers to spend its time showing off all of the most unpleasant stylistic tics of contemporary cinema (while leaving its strengths out, of course), so there's the usual desaturated look where all colours have been replaced with urine yellow and vomit green, editing and camerawork so nervous and hyperactive it's usually impossible to make out what's going on on screen - doubly so in action sequences, of course, because if the audience could see what the fuck is going on, there the production would actually have to put an effort into choreographing them, employ stuntmen or equally insane things like that -, "comedy" that's closer to a lobotomy than humour (oh look, Pervert uses zombies doing the Conan wheel bit in miniature to create electricity, hurr, hurr), and various mildly tasteless attempts to shock the audience by breaking so-called taboos that could work if the film ever bothered to actually create any emotional connection between what's happening on screen and its audience. Or if this didn't look like a second-grade Marilyn Manson video clip. That, again, would of course take an actual effort by the filmmakers beyond shaking the camera and shouting, and we surely can't have that.

In other words, this piece of shit is the worst fucking thing I've seen this year; yes, even worse than Nazis at the Centre of the Earth.

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