Oct 20, 2014

Review: Zonbi asu [Zombie Ass: The Toilet of the Dead] (2011)

I don't really know what to say. There's actually a movie that exists called Zombie Ass: Toilet of the Dead. I've actually watched a movie called Zombie Ass: Toilet of the Dead. I'm definitely still alive but I'm not sure if I'm the same person anymore. I knew going in that I was in for something off the wall with a title like Zombie Ass, but nothing could have prepared me for what this movie is like.

It's pretty clear that Noboru Iguchi has made ZA:TotD with the North American market in mind, to bring us his flavour of Japanese weirdness. Case in point. it premiered at a film festival in Austin, Texas and only came to Japan five months later. Iguchi is no stranger to bizarre but intriguing movies with works like Karate-Robo Zaborgar and RoboGeisha, but I don't think he's ever gone as far in weirdness as he does with Zombie Ass. I shudder to think if I'm wrong.


Genre: comedy, horror
Directed by: Noboru Iguchi
Produced by: Yasuhiko Higashi, Ken Ikehara, Masahiro Miyata, etc.
Written by: Noboru Iguchi, Ao Murata, Jun Tsugita
Music by: Yasuhiko Fukuda
Running time: 85 minutes
Production company: Arcimboldo Y.K., Gambit
Distributed by: Nikkatsu, Geneon Universal Entertainment, Media Blasters, etc.
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese
Budget: N/A
Box office: N/A

IMDb entry
Rotten Tomatoes entry

Starring: Arisa Nakamura, Mayu Sugano, Asana Mamoru, Yûki, Danny, Kentaro Kishi, Demo Tanaka, Asami, Sayuri Yajima, Haru Shiina, Yûya Ishikawa, Hideki Kurauchi, Takeo Gozu



Megumi (Arisa Nakamura) accompanies some friends of hers to the woods. The main goal? Maki (Asana Mamoru) wants to be a model and in order to hit her target weight, she needs to ingest some parasites that might be found inside the local fish. Once a fish is caught and cut open, an enormous worm-like parasite is found inside and despite her friends' warnings, Maki swallows it. It doesn't take long before she doesn't feel too good.


You might think you have an idea of where the story goes from my synopsis, but I think that you're most likely wrong. You know what, I'm absolutely sure that you're wrong. Take my word for it. There is nothing logical about Zombie Ass so don't make the mistake in thinking that there is. There's an overwhelming sense of weirdness about this entire production that never lets up. One thing I cannot deny is just how unique certain aspects of Zombie Ass are. With that being said, I think that's probably as far as I'll go with any praise for this movie.

One thing that can't be overstated is just how gross ZA:TotD really is. There are many gross out scenes that make it an inappropriate movie to watch while you're eating. Maybe even inappropriate if you've ever eaten before in your life. The goal is of course to shock and so I'll give Iguchi a mission accomplished here. 

So much of what is shocking has to do with toilet subject matter though which raises the question of who this movie appeals to. Is it ten year-olds? Because I can imagine that maybe they would like all the farting in ZA:TotD. But then there's a ton in here that isn't at all appropriate for them. To be blunt, Zombie Ass seems to feature a bunch of bizarre sexual fetiches together. No lie. It's shocking and definitely does push the envelope in terms of what is acceptable to put in a movie. I'm just not sure it's where I'd want to push my envelope.

The zombies in the film are not very impressive looking and neither are any of the effects. The design of the parasite itself is sort of interesting in a ridiculous way I guess, but good effects aren't really the main goal here. Zombie Ass as I've said is about shock value. Still though, there's only so much that I'm willing to accept. There's tons of gore too if that's something that interests you but it's just repetitive and poorly done if you ask me.

As a comedy/horror, I can accept that Zombie Ass: Toilet of the Dead isn't really scary at all but I can't forgive the lack of comedy. Yes it's weird as a movie, but weirdness isn't going to make me laugh. Maybe there are some moments that might be funny to someone else, but nothing appealed to me personally.

I can say that Iguchi definitely pushes the envelope pretty far but it's just not in a direction that I'm interested in going. Even so, I doubt I'll ever forget this movie. If you're looking for a movie as weird as they come, I nominate Zombie Ass.



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