Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Rare Import Flix: Zebraman 2- Attack on Zebra City

At long last, the Zebra returns!  I suppose that sentence needs some context, huh?  Today's Film is Zebraman 2: Attack on Zebra City, the Sequel to a Film that didn't exactly translate big in America.  I found a copy online- as a U.S. DVD is hard to find- and burned it many months ago.  I said to myself 'It is on a DVD now, so there is no way that you can put it off for long.'  I sure showed...me.  With that needless back-story all done, let me get to the Film.  The original Zebraman- also by Takashi Miike- told the tale of a Teacher who could secretly become the famous Superhero.  He was famous...from a TV Show made about him in the 1970s.  Now we're getting weird.  He managed to save the day in that one, but things go awry here.  I won't SPOIL the whole thing for some of you, but I'll give the gist of it all.  This one is really, really weird.  All ready for the crazy?  Too late to back out now...
In the wake of saving the City, Zebraman- with no secret identity- is overwhelmed by the Press and his Family has left him due to the strain.
Something strange happens and now we are in 2025, a fifteen-year jump from before.  The City is now Zebra City and overseen by a crazy lady in all black who wants to be Lady Gaga.
Our hero has no memories of the ensuing years and hides away with some victims of 'Zebra Time'- a sort of mass amnesia in the City.
While recovering, he starts watching a more recent version of the Zebraman Show (made after his fame in 2010) and his Counselor just happens to have been the Star!
He befriend a mute girl who is the key to the whole situation- no SPOILERS as to why- and he feels invigored with a mission of sorts.
He eventually learns the strange reason for his time-loss, amnesia and problem with his powers.  Again- no SPOILERS.  I couldn't make this shit up if I tried though!
When the truth comes out, all sorts of shit goes down.  Hopefully this WASN'T what the Villain had in mind...
Why is this lady dressed like our hero, but in all black?  Why is he in all white?  To find out, watch the Movie.  The End.
Wow.  Just...wow.  I'm not going to sit here and pretend that I expected a Takashi Miike Film to NOT be weird.  The day he makes a Film that plays straight, somber and serious- like The Straight Story- will be the day that Sun burns out.  With that in mind, this was still a pretty damn strange and disorienting Film.  It takes about halfway through for them to really explain everything- as crazy as it is- so you're left wondering for a bit.  Throw in all sorts of events, Characters and the fact that they have to explain something called 'Zebra Time' to you and this all gets to be pretty odd.  Thankfully, there are good, likable Characters there to take the journey with, so you never quite get too lost.  With a Film like this, it is a must.  I'll definitely say that the Film walks a fine line between being a Film and just talking about its own Mythos.  Some of you will like it more for that, while others will like it less.  The CG Effects look good enough when they are supposed, but nothing more.  Given the oddball nature of the Film, you can forgive some of them for being a bit esoteric.  The Practical Effects- like the Suits- looks quite nice and definitely don't disappoint.  Overall, good stuff.  Weird as hell- yes.  It does, however, contain a very good message...
Next up, one of the many Alien knock-off Films.  Will it be good, bad or fun bad?  Stay tuned...

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