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Case Number 17454

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Zombie Hunter Rika

Section23 Films // 2008 // 86 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // October 9th, 2009

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All Rise...

Judge David Johnson is a zombie hunter, if by "zombie" you mean "cheeseburger."

The Charge

They bit off her arm…now she's giving them the finger.

Opening Statement

Is it even possible for a movie to live up to a tagline that awesome?

Facts of the Case

Rika is a young high school girl who decides to visit her grandfather in his small village, which happens to be overrun by zombies. But that's okay. After her arm gets chomped off by one of the undead, her grandfather whips out an interesting souvenir: the severed arm of a legendary zombie hunter.

A few sutures later and Rika is outfitted with a brand new appendage, a weirdly muscular zombie-slaying arm that comes in real handy when the shambling animated corpses throw down. From then on, it's a full-scale assault—Rika on one end swinging her sword and gutting fools like nobody's business, and on the other, the leader of the zombies, some whacked-out Power Rangers villain.

The Evidence

Consider this the companion piece to the zombie-killing bonanza that was Attack Girls' Swim Team versus the Undead. While this film can't compete with the title or, frankly, the premise of that one, Zombie Hunter Rika is a superior tongue-in-cheek horror experience.

The premise is pretty cool. I mean, a Japanese school girl amputee with a beefy transplant arm stabbing zombies with a sword? Not bad. Plus, Rika has a better sense of humor about itself (one of the main characters is a "recovering" zombie wearing what looks to be a colander), a better final bad guy death, and doesn't lean as heavily on the gratuitous sleaze as its companion did (though there is a dose of random nudity, so don't bring this over for Family Fun Night).

The bloodshed is robust, a prerequisite for splatter flicks, and anyone clamoring for copious goop and sinew that looks like something you pulled out of your local family-owned grocery store and doused with food coloring will be well-served by this endeavor. The kills are okay, though I would have liked to see a little more creative violence unleashed by our heroine. She's a force to be reckoned with, once she gets her arm transplant, but the camera either pulls back from the action or bounces around frenetically to obscure the obvious presence of a stunt double. The one exception is the final boss battle, a ludicrous throwdown with a bigass guy in a rubber suit reminiscent of all things Japanese schlock.

That's all I really have to say. It's a fine little zombie comedy, a bit less debauched and crazy than Attack Girls' Swim Team, but a finer effort from top to bottom. Seek it out, if the weekend looms and you're looking for something fun and bloody to soak up with your inebriated loser friends.

The DVD is simple: an adequate 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen and a 2.0 Japanese stereo track (with English subtitles) are supplemented with nothing in the extras bin.

Closing Statement

Schoolgirl zombie hunting has rarely been this entertaining.

The Verdict

Not Kill-ty. Boo-yah!

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Scales of Justice

Video: 80
Audio: 80
Extras: 0
Acting: 80
Story: 80
Judgment: 80

Perp Profile

Studio: Section23 Films
Video Formats:
• 1.85:1 Anamorphic
Audio Formats:
• Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (Japanese)
• English
Running Time: 86 Minutes
Release Year: 2008
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
• Cult
• Foreign
• Horror

Distinguishing Marks

• None


• IMDb

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