Zombie Ass: Toilet of the Dead – Review
When you have a title for a film that consists of the words “Zombie”, “Ass”, and “Toilet” in sequential unison with one another, you know that you are about to view something possibly veering into the realm of the criminally absurd. This is certainly the case with Noboru Iguchi’s Zombie Ass: Toilet of the Dead, a film that is humorously self-aware of its own ludicrousness in almost every possible way as it laughably traverses from scatological humor, gory zombie deaths, and tentacle sex, usually within the confines of mere minutes from each other. This is standard ground for Iguchi though, once again entering the bizarre exploitative world that he has become quite accustomed and associated with thus far, seemingly leading the charge in a genre that totally disregards any form of plausibility whatsoever – which is definitely a good thing here.
Zombie Ass does not take too long in getting us to realize that this is going to be a strange piece of work. Opening to an apparent ode to the flamboyant 70’s, with scenery laden with women dancing in daisy dukes accompanied by a discoesque soundtrack, Iguchi already starts to work his comedic prowess from the very beginning, introducing us to an environment in which, if one were to take seriously, would be completely missing the entire point. The film then enters to a group of mismatched friends as they venture into the wilderness in order to find a type of tapeworm that will supposedly make their friend Maki, played here by Asana Mamoru, thinner in appearance so she can become a famous model. She eventually finds a tapeworm and eats it, with the side effect being that she receives a massive diarrhea-induced stomach ache that forces her to seek the restroom in a nearby village. One misfortune leads to another and her “fart” eventually jumpstarts the zombie apocalypse – but wait for it, it gets better. Schoolgirl Megumi, played here by rising horror star Arise Nakamura, must now fight her way to safety as she battles zombies, parasites, and creepy perverts.
If all this sounds completely farfetched, well, that is because it is. This is Iguchi’s modus operandi, with Zombie Ass pushing the limit of ridiculousness to its absolute brink, all the while throwing significant doses of comedic gold towards the viewer at almost every opportunity. Like fart jokes? How about poop jokes? How about zombies with parasitic creatures that derive from their grotesque posteriors? It is all here, with Iguchi delighting in the fact that he can utilize the medium of film to convey his most sadistically entertaining desires. It works for the most part, with Zombie Ass balancing out its bizarreness with that of humor, often times throwing both elements into the mix to see what sticks, no pun intended. Even though the film is extremely quirky and weird, it never takes itself too seriously, an approach that saves it from being borderline questionable on part of Iguchi’s true intentions if the film made any vein attempt to remove any sort of its humorous antics.
Like other films stemming from this particular genre, inappropriateness does abound, with the film’s numerous comedic moments working more often than they do not. Some instances of overtly sexual behavior may turn some viewers away though, with it not exactly fitting in with the context of the remainder of the film and appearing more so as unnecessarily exploitative rather than being a beneficial addition to the overall narrative. Given Iguchi’s background career in AV, or the adult video industry, this does not come as any real surprise, but it does take away the film’s focus upon the plight of Megumi and company hilariously battling feces-covered zombies, which is where the film truly shines in regards to horror aficionados. Oddly, one could even make an argument as to the film’s sexually exploitative nature as being an entirely necessary addition given the overall focus of the film being dedicated to that of the lower bodily region, but perhaps that is an argument that should be left undone.
As a relatively original take on the zombie sub-genre as a whole, Zombie Ass: Toilet of the Dead is still highly entertaining as a work that completely disregards many of the conventional tropes of the genre in order to create its own path. Iguchi has once again crafted a truly bizarre viewing experience, which is not a negative element in the slightest. One could say that this is perhaps one of his most well-rounded films within the shock genre, bridging a way between the familiar and the strange with significant ease, including having a narrative that humorously reinterprets how we view parasitic zombie outbreaks, which when one ponders it, is actually innovative in a lot of ways. And while Zombie Ass: Toilet of the Dead is undeniably a film that will curtail more towards a specific viewership, it may actually be one of Iguchi’s more wacky, but accessible films as of yet, which is saying quite a lot given his rather distinctive film career into that of the most unconventional of film genres.
Author: Miguel Douglas
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