Directed by Noboru Iguchi
Distributed by Monster Pictures
[Note: The section of this review pertaining to the film itself is taken from our previous Dead Sushi review from 2012’s Film4 FrightFest. It does not get any less crazy on a return visit!]
What. The. Fuck?
Three words that you’re likely to repeat just about every five minutes once Noboru Iguchi’s delirious Dead Sushi gets going. The man behind insane gorefests such as The Machine Girl, Zombie Ass and RoboGeisha takes things to a whole new height of insanity with this tale of crazy scientists, table etiquette and undead seafood.
Keiko (Takeda) is the frustrated daughter of the world’s great sushi chef. Seemingly unable to meet her father’s exacting standards, she leads herself into self-exile and obtains a job as a waitress at a remote, upmarket spa/hotel. When an abusive bunch of pharmaceutical company employees and their boss arrive to stay, Keiko is soon at loggerheads and engaged in martial arts battles with the ruthless businessmen (and woman). Things go from bad to worse, however, with the arrival of a derelict gentleman who, in his quest for revenge against his former employers, infects the hotel’s famed sushi with a reanimation agent designed to bring dead things back to life.
Then things go from strange to crazy to batshit nuts and all the way to total, utter, complete mind-boggling insanity.
There really is just no possible way to legitimately critique Dead Sushi, so you’ll just have to suffice with the following knowledge: Nowhere else will you see bladed, toothed flying sushi biting off tongues and drilling into bodies; a friendly, singing egg sushi named “Eggy” who spits acid; a flying squid impaling and exploding heads; flame-throwing sushi; sushi copulation and reproduction; a kimono-sporting woman performing a robot dance while two others are prepared to serve up body sushi; in-depth arguments over culinary ignorance and the correct way to prepare perfect sushi; a giant tuna axe-murderer unleashing a floating sushi battleship/floating fortress from his head; sonic super-powers used to drop flying sushi in their tracks; rice-spewing zombies and much, much more that can barely be explained in any coherent manner. Oh, and there’s a love triangle and double-cross subplot in there too!
Dead Sushi has to be seen to be believed. The CGI is absolutely awful, but the physical effects are charming in their obvious low-rent puppetry. If there’s one thing Dead Sushi does, though, it’s entertain. The wackiness is explosive, and just when you think you’ve seen it all… think again. At one point, a character hysterically exclaims, “This has now reached a stage where it no longer makes any sense!” If only he knew what was still to come.
Dead Sushi is critic-proof, and simply can’t be scored in any traditional manner. It’s insane, schizophrenic, the visual babblings of a madman escalated to a level where cinematic awfulness meets absolute genius. Watch the trailer. You know what you’re getting in for. That is all.
In keeping with the quality of their previous releases, Monster Pictures provide Dead Sushi with a high quality presentation sporting a solid transfer free from any major issues. Also included alongside the original Japanese audio (with assisting subtitles) is an English dub track that surprisingly is a lot of fun in itself, sporting a delightful level of melodramatic over-emphasis and a rasping villain straight out of an episode of ‘Power Rangers’. Given the option of original audio versus dubbing, the decision is usually a no-brainer. Dead Sushi, however, makes it a very difficult choice indeed.
The selection of special features comes mainly from 2012’s Fantasia Film Festival world premiere of Dead Sushi , featuring an on-stage introduction from director Iguchi and star Takeda, with an impromptu martial arts performance from the ‘High Kick Girl’ herself demonstrating why staying on her good side is likely a very wise idea. Alongside that is footage from an on-stage sushi eating contest from the festival, with a few stomach-churning ingredients involved, and a brief interview with Iguchi and Takeda. On top of that, a quick ‘Making of’ featurette proves an entertaining addition, packing a good amount of content into its 11-minute runtime with the theatrical trailer bringing us home.
• “Making of”
• Fantasia Film Festival Interview
• Dead Sushi Extreme Sushi Eating Competition
• World Premiere Stage Greeting
Sushi out of 5
3 out of 5