Original Title: Zアイランド
Genres: Horror, Comedy, Action
Director: Shinagawa Hiroshi
Leave it to actor and comedian Shinagawa Hiroshi to direct this entertaining film that combines elements of horror and comedy, featuring an ensemble cast with great chemistry. Deadman Inferno on the surface is a zombie flick, but it utilizes the director’s experience in manzai comedy to bring well-timed dialog and quips into the mix.
The film brings together a motley crew fitting for a high energy zombie flick. We have a police officer (Kubozuka Yosuke), a perverted doctor (Kazama Shunsuke), sexy high school girls (Yamamoto Maika and Mizuno Erina), a hostess club mama (Suzuki Sawa), and more. The cast is led by Aikawa Sho, Tsurumi Shingo, and Kimura Yuichi.
Ten years after a gang fight that most of his yakuza group dead, former leader Munakata (Aikawa) goes to meet his sworn brother Takashi (Tsurumi), who is just released from prison. Catching up, Takashi learns that his daughter Hinata (Yamamoto) has let her life run astray, and has gone off to Zeni Island with her best friend Seira (Mizuno) to play hooky. They venture to Zeni Island to retrieve her, but encounter a horde of zombies which have overrun the island’s population.
Deadman Inferno is full of mindless fun for fans of many genres. It appeals to fans of zombie flicks, bringing the amount of blood, gore, and violence necessary for the genre. The films appeals to fans of action and yakuza flicks, having gangsters fight against zombies with guns and profanities. Even the high school girls in this story know how to throw punches, providing some fun fist-to-face choreography.
But topping it all off is the comedic dialog that glues everything together. There are a lot of quips between the characters, everything seemingly out of a manzai performance. The dialog is fun and full of run-around banter, and will no doubt entertain viewers while they wait for the next zombie to pop out.
The plot is not deep at all. As a zombie flick, there are no underlying messages or themes that one would expect from something of the genre. The zombie outbreak merely serves as a fun method to choose a favorite character among the cast, and wait to see if they live. Many of those characters are, not surprisingly, zombie fodder – doomed to be snacks without fully being developed.
As fun as each of the characters are, at times it felt like there were too many characters occupying the story, taking screen time away from the handful that really mattered. Those characters, of course, are Munataka (Aikawa) and Tanmachi (Kimura).
The film centers on the rivalry of the two gangsters, who have been out to kill each other for years. Our main hero, Munataka, is out for revenge, while his enemy is striving for control of criminal activity. The action builds up to a final fight surrounded by hungry zombies. The story does a nice job at hyping up Tanmachi, so that seeing him get his just desserts feels satisfying.
In the end, Deadman Inferno is a ridiculously fun movie with plenty of hilarious moments. Prepare to laugh at the manzai-worthy banter and place bets on which character will survive the day.
Watch this film…
…if you want to laugh as equally as you get grossed out.