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Attack Girls' Swim Team vs. the Undead
Attack Girls' Swim Team vs. the Undead sounds like it is a zany, off kilter Japanese zombie movie. Hiding under this inviting exterior, though, is a soft core porn film with a limp zombie framework thrown up around it.
The film centers around Aki (Sasa Handa), new girl at a Japanese high school, and her new friend Sayaka (Yuria Hidaka), who is on the swim team. There is a strange new virus running through the school, making lots of folks sick (though mostly not the swim team members) and everyone is required to go to the nurse's office and receive an inoculation. Aki and Sayaka elect to hang out on the roof and take a shower instead of getting their shots. During the shower (the film never misses a chance to show a bared breast) they find that they both have the same bruise-like birthmark on their chest, and mole on the back of their neck. This strange coincidence convinces Sayaka that they are destined to be fast friends.
Soon enough, strange and terrible things start to happen. The swim coach is brutally stabbed to death, and then shows up a little while later in good health and full of pep. Students and teachers start to zombify, first in a math class in which the instructor, after attacking his students with metal rulers, inexplicably begins to juggle. Chaos ensues, with blood spatter and brain eating. It seems that the entire school is infected.
Oddly, the swim team is not affected, except for one member. It seems that the chlorine in the water prevents zombification, (the infected girl had taken some time off from swimming) and throwing chlorinated water at a zombie instantly cures them. Except for the teachers, who have a different strain. Or something. The zombie epidemic is caused by a doctor who for reasons unknown kidnapped Aki in her youth, turned her into a sex slave and trained her as an assassin. She escapes and of course immediately enrolls in a good prep school. Though her assassin training comes in handy when fighting the undead, the years of sexual assault and later death of nearly everyone at her new school probably makes her time living with the evil doctor a net negative. The doctor is exacting his revenge on Aki for leaving him. Maybe. It's never fully explained.
Things roll on, getting progressively more ridiculous and misogynistic, with numerous sex scenes, once with a man violating an unconscious Aki (in flashback) and once with Aki having a lesbian encounter with Sayaka, who may be Aki's long lost twin sister, a fact that Sayaka shares after the tryst, but without upsetting her lover / sister. In the world of Attack Girls' Swim Team twin incest is no big deal. The sex scenes, along with the copious nudity, are so prolonged, gratuitous and pervasive that they overshadow the rest of the film. Unfortunately, there's not much to overshadow. The zombie storyline is silly, thin and campy. The humor is on occasion mildly amusing, but just barely. The acting is over the top. The makeup is little more than face paint with veins drawn on. To be fair, the arterial spray is vigorous and enjoyable, but when the best things your movie has going for it are bared bosoms and squirting blood, a fundamental problem exists. The film is simply too ridiculous to be enjoyed. Consider the ongoing conceit that the evil doctor has somehow conditioned Aki to react to his flute playing by stripping off her clothing and accepting his sexual advances. This is risible enough, but the flute sounds like a Hammond organ, and allows him to hold extended conversations without interrupting his playing. (Once, he even sets the flute completely down, while the music mysteriously continues.) This is simply disrespect for the audience.
The over the top and often creepy sexual content, lack of even an attempt at a coherent or believable story, sub-standard zombie makeup and utterly ludicrous plot devices rob the film of anything entertaining, unless one is merely interested in watching buxom Japanese girls have sex. In which case, why not seek out some venue that provides that content much more efficiently? Sadly, this is a film to miss.
The video is presented in 16:9 widescreen, and looks pretty good considering the low budget of the film. Colors and detail tend to wash out in bright sunlight and some very slight posterization is occasionally visible, but overall the image is bright and clear.
The audio is Dolby 2 channel, and mostly does its job. The dialogue is muffled from time to time, but this doesn't matter much since English subtitles are provided. One character (a teacher) several times speaks in nearly incomprehensible English. On these occasions, Japanese subtitles are also included, and clash to some extent with the English subtitles, though they remain readable. No other subtitles or language options are available.
There are no extras included on the disc, which is curious considering it is listed as the Unrated Limited Edition on the box. Was there nothing that could be scrounged up for a limited edition? Apparently not.
The producers of Attack Girls' Swim Team vs. the Undead did not deem it necessary to put the effort into their film required to make it more than mildly entertaining. Bare breasts and blood spray are simply not enough, and that seems to be where all the energy was expended. What could have been a sexy, fun zombie romp ends up merely a dud. With bosoms.