Everything you need to know about "Tokyo Zombie" is right there in the title: It's set in Tokyo. There are zombies.

Based on a manga and just now being released stateside by Anchor Bay, the film starts two perpetually bickering pals: the Afroed Fujio (Tadanobu Asano) and bald Mitsuo (Show Aikawa). They attempt to dump a dead body at the mountain known as Black Fuji, but its grounds are laden with the undead, who rise and make their lives hell.

Slapstick comedy ensues, with an uncomfortable bent toward anal gags, making for a lazy mix of laughs and gore. There's not enough of the former, and too much of the latter. Around the midpoint, the film sports a nifty animated sequence in which, it's explained, Tokyo "dies," leading into the post-apocalyptic second half, in which zombies are used for gladiator-esque spectator sports.

This chunk is immeasurably better, but still lacking in anything other than arm's-length satisfaction. It's the kind of thing that gets a pass all too often because: a) it's "wacky," and b) from a foreign country. I've seen many other movies that fall into both categories and didn't sacrifice other elements for the sake of being over-the-top, but "Tokyo Zombie" isn't one of them. Nice try, though.

"?Rod Lott

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