Yoshihiro Nishumura’s Helldriver Blu-ray review

            Yoshihiro Nishumura’s Helldriver is exactly what you might expect from the filmmakers who also created The Machine Girl and Tokyo Gore Police; absolute chaotic bloody mayhem with a childlike creativity and visual splendor. The Unrated Director’s Cut Blu-ray/DVD combo pack is almost too much to handle. The ultra-stylized cartoon gore is both laughable and nauseating, and reminds me of Peter Jackson’s early work, specifically Bad Taste. These two words are also perfect for describing the sense of humor Helldriver has.

            Using graphic horror violence and humor as social commentary, Helldriver is about a division in Japan after a majority of citizens become zombies. After an alien being lands on a psychopathic killer’s head, a mysterious mist surrounds the northern half of Japan and turning all humans who inhaled it into flesh-eating zombies. They act as most zombies do in film terms, except that they also have growths coming out of their foreheads. These growths are used as a narcotic, but also have explosive tendencies and if hit hard enough can blow up.

            A wall is put up to keep the zombies in northern Japan while the survivors stay in the south. This lifestyle has greatly diminished the quality of life, and it is up to the niece of the woman with the alien attached to stop the outbreak. Already having had her heart stolen by her insane aunt, Kika (Yumiko Hara) has no problem hunting her remaining family down and killing her. Armed with a chainsaw and an armor-plated artificial heart, Kika is a high school girl turned into a deadly zombie killer.

            The Blu-ray has a high definition presentation of the absurdly graphic violence, along with an introduction by the director. There are also three new spin-off short films included, trailers and a featurette about Sushi Typhoon.


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