Junk (2000)

Starring Natsuki Ozawa (Saki), Nobuyuki Asano (Jun), Osamu Ebara (Akira), Tate Gouta (Ramon), Kaori Shimamura (Z Queen)

Directed by Atsushi Muroga

Junk is just one of those movies where you have to resign yourself to some pretty bad acting (and quite a bit of it) along with a weak and very tiresome plot.

If you can bring yourself to do this, you could actually enjoy the movie. Because while those two aspects may force you reconsider checking this movie out, it’s really a hoot (yeah I said hoot) to watch.

Junk opens with two scientists who are testing an experimental new drug called DNX. They’re American scientists and their test subject is a very naked, very dead young Japanese woman. NO they DO NOT tie her up with a series of intricate knots you pervies. Instead, they inject her with the mother of all ripoffs: glowing green fluid! Of course, these scientists are no Herbert and Dan. As you’ve probably guessed, Miz Nude Zombie 1999 bounces back from death with a taste for human flesh. Exit stage right, two very bad actors.

Enter stage left, inept jewel thieves. While they manage to actually rob a jeweler’s store, they do not make it off scott free. One of them gets knifed in the foot while another offs a female clerk. Saki, the wheel gal, gets them on the road while one of the boys phones in the good news (they’ve just heisted a buttload of jewels worth about a kajillion yen) to their Yakuza contact Ramon, who’s incidentally not Spanish. Ramon suggests they meet at an abandoned warehouse somewhere out in the middle of nowhere (think “doh!” along the lines of From Dusk til Dawn), where of course, the military zombie experiments also happen to be. Although the thieves are all typical character types, the two leads are thankfully competent actors who are likeable and fun to watch.

Once they arrive at the ridiculously unguarded warehouse, home of Top Secret Experiments, the movie is as predictable as watching Friday the 13th for the 25th time, yet still a good time. The “rising of the zombies” segment is so convenient it’s hilarious. In the meantime, the military higher ups, having caught wind of the recently zombified nekkid chick, have sent for yet another scientist to help fix the mess up, one who was one of the original developers of DNX. Now, I hate to sound rude here, but this man’s English is absolutely atrocious. It’s a shame because a lot of his scenes are shared (and thus made more unbearable) with yet another awful American actor who simply cannot act. This guy could’ve been some schmuck on vacation in Japan for all I know, because negative 100 doesn’t even begin to describe his acting point count. Once the scientist reverts back to his native language (in scenes minus bad American thespians) he’s much better, so all is not completely lost for him.

While certainly nothing in comparison to other humorous zombie movies like Dead Alive or Return of the Living Dead, Junk is still an enjoyable popcorn munching flick. I don’t think it was meant to be considered a “funny” movie, but the bad acting and silly, paper thin plot have nudged it into that category, whether it wants to be there or not, and it’s quite amusing. The action is decent throughout, the gunfights and chases are pretty well done, and the gore! It’s definitely a blessing here. There’s gratuitous blood spilling and insane squib action and I think it’s safe to say that Junk should please the creatures out there who are thirsty for some new red stuff.

3 out of 5

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Jon Condit