Tuesday, 17 July 2012



We've had quite a few wantonly excessive Japanese gore movies over the last few years: the likes of Samurai Princess, Tokyo Gore Police and Robo Geisha. Movies that quite literally make no sense and merely alternate scenes of childish splatter with more scenes of childish splatter, invariably done with cartoonish CGI that would have looked substandard ten years ago. But hey, there are severed heads, severed limbs, fistings, disembowellings, vomit eating, huge parabolas of blood splurting across the screen and body parts strewn across the landscape: what's not to like? The end result is a film that makes Saw IV look like The Care Bears Go To Fluffyland, but with less convincing carnage and the apparently random inclusion of Nazis.

Dead Ball (Deadball on the box and on the IMDb) is an imbecilic gore comedy that starts off as a variation on The Longest Yard (and/or The Mean Machine) before switching on the demented violence and leaving it running. Jubei (Tak Sakaguchi) is a troubled teen who killed his own father with his astonishing baseball pitching skills and became a sort of vigilante; in juvenile prison he's coerced into joining the baseball team. But he's more concerned with what happened to his younger brother. However, when the first league match turns out to be a massacre, in which the ill-equipped misfits are butchered by a team of unfeasibly hot chicks in skimpy black leather solely to entertain some Nazis, Jubei picks up the baseball he vowed he'd never pitch again....

It is absolute rubbish and the constant emphasis on senseless gore becomes boring very quickly. As with most of these movies, you're not expected to care; you're just expected to laugh and cheer every time someone gets hacked to pieces or decapitated. Much of the obviously fatal violence doesn't even affect its victims, almost in the manner of Wile E Coyote walking away from a high fall or an Acme gelignite explosion with no ill effects. So what's the point? With no coherent plot to speak of and no-one to root for, all that's left is the cheap rubber prosthetics and gallons of digital blood, of which there's so much it gets surprisingly dull. Balls.



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