Attack Girls' Swim Team Versus the Undead
Joshikyoei hanrangun (2007)
Directed by Koji Kawano

Artistic Value: * ½
Entertainment Value: * * * ½

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When Aki (Sasa Handa), a transfer student, arrives at her new school, she is befriended by Sayaka (Yuria Hidaka), a member of the girls' swim team. Unfortunately, a virus suddenly infects every person in the school, except Aki and the members of the swim team (who have been immunized by the chlorine in the pool), transforming them into murderous, anthropophagous zombies and leaving Aki, who just happens to have been previously trained as an assassin by a mad doctor who kidnapped her, to defeat these monsters.

Koji Kawano's Attack Girls' Swim Team Versus the Undead is sleazy, brutal, weird, and, I am sad to say, frequently less interesting than it could have been. That said, the film is still pretty entertaining.

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The movie is certainly packed with sex and violence. Aki not only frequently strips off her clothing, but she is also raped by the madman who abducted her and is driven into a sexual frenzy by his flute playing. In other scenes, she and Sayaka shower together and engage in a lesbian sexual encounter (after Sayaka feeds Aki soup by transferring it from her own mouth to her friend's). Towards the movie's end, the heroine even, while lying naked on her back, covered with blood, fires at an attacking enemy a laser that she has fortuitously inserted into her vagina. Admittedly, many of the young women who appear in the movie are plain, and several are actually homely, but the lead is quite attractive, and, happily, it is she who most often takes off her clothes. The director's depictions of violence are just as numerous and as lurid as are his inclusions of naked young women. At one point, he reveals a teacher, transformed into a zombi, hacking off a school girl's head with a metal ruler; after that, the man chops off the arms of several other girls, which limbs are then picked up and eaten by their zombified classmates. In a sequence derivative of one from Reservoir Dogs, a female teacher ties up and mutilates one of her male colleagues, and, in other scenes, one person or another is stabbed, mutilated, dismembered, disemboweled, or killed in some other way. All of these sequences are completely over-the-top, and a few are fun to watch as a result.

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While Attack Girls' Swim Team Versus the Undead's vicious, sexy sleaziness should have made it fun, its many faults do keep it from being as entertaining as it could have been. For one thing, the movie is shot on video and, as a consequence, always looks cheap. Of course, everything in the film looks cheap. The fight sequences are ineptly choreographed and awkwardly performed. The special effects are atrocious. They look like what high school students might have done with a home video camera, corn syrup, red dye, offal from a butcher's shop, and a video editing program. The acting is even worse, and the cinematography and editing are still worse yet. I suppose some of these elements are so awful that they can be appreciated for the incompetence it must have taken to create them, but, more often than not, they are just likely to make the viewer grimace.

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Though it does have a fair number of entertaining moments, Attack Girls' Swim Team Versus the Undead is always bad and sometimes dull.

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Review by Keith Allen

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