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Now before I begin, if you've seen STACY (aka ATTACK OF THE SCHOOL GIRL ZOMBIES), let's just ignore the fact that it looks like it was shot on a handheld video camera, and let's talk about the rather often overlooked film itself (from director NAOYUKI TOMOMATSU based on a novel by KENJI OTSUKI) and what it had to offer the viewer. STACY's charm is first and foremost the idea behind the whole affair... at the dawn of the new century, all the pretty young Japanese girls ages 15 to 17 will mysteriously die on you. They will then return to "life" as, for a lack of a better word, a "zombie". Now this happens all the time to your loved ones, daughters, girlfriends, what have you and there's nothing you can do to stop it. The public decides to call them "Stacys", hence the name of the movie.
So what to do?
Well, Japan creates the RRK (Romero Repeat Kill) Squad to combat these flesh hungry undead babes. And the only way to ultimately kill them, you've got to chop them into hundreds of tiny pieces, or as they like to refer to it, "repeat kill" them. Fortunately, you do get a warning before your gal goes out though. She'll start to show signs of the NDH (Near Death Happiness) syndrome which means that the lass in question will act totally silly and extremely obnoxious before she finally goes to the afterlife. And as soon as she does, do her in right then and there! Wait around and you're likely to become a zombie snack food. They love you, thus they eat you... go figure.
Enter our cast, there's Eiko (actress NATSUKI KATO from such hits as GUN CRAZY and BATTLE ROYALE 2), our female lead, who's already showing signs of NDH. She wants to be loved before the end so she hooks up with a down-on-his-luck puppet maker, Shibu (played by actor TOSHINORI OMI). She promises to make him happy if he swears that when she finally turns, he'll be the one to hack her up with care and concern. The reasoning before all this eludes me. Next, we have a trio of mighty fine looking Japanese girls (Nozomi, Tame, and Kanae) who dress like video game characters and call themselves the "Illegal Repeat Kill Squad". They try to get the slaying of zombie teenagers done before the RRK Corps can get there. They think it's their job to off their fellow females. But one of them is also showing the symptoms of NDH so you know it's going to be trouble later. Next up, we have a few members of the RRK. There's the newest recruit, Arita, who joined to avenge the death of his sister and hopes to save his girlfriend from becoming a "Stacy". There's Commander Kazuka who's in love with his sex-hungry sister, Agent Yokoyama who's in love with Kazuka. There's Kawasaki, a former child serial killer and now a gleeful high ranking RRK soldier with a "take no bullshit" attitude. And lastly, there's a scientist (there's always a scientist, isn't there?), Professor Inugami, who plays a wonderfully identical role of Doctor Frankenstein from DAY OF THE DEAD.
Make no mistake though, this is NOT a serious effort but there are quite a few very entertaining things happening here. First, for me, there's nothing better than a gaggle of cute Japanese sweeties covered in crimson. But more than that, it was the way modern society has adapted this to ongoing horror. It's right common place to them now. And their television commercials, oh my, truely riotous. There's one where the RRK invites you to sign up by saying "Come join the RRK and you too, can kill your own daughter and girlfriend". There's another that advertises the newest product in "Stacy Slaying"... the BRUCE CAMBPELL (BLUES CAMBPELL) "Right Hand 2" Chainsaw. Funny, really funny stuff indeed. And, well, I almost forgot, what about the gore? It's here alright and heaped high and heavy and in abundance the likes of which would make grue-maestro TOM SAVINI proud. I was honestly surprised just how great it all looked considering what the meager budget may have been for this film. Juicy, red, nasty, and pretty convincing to say the least.
So in closing, I'd just like to say that this is a straight "genre-lovers" film only. There's horror homages made to LOTS of zombie films from the past such as DAWN / DAY OF THE DEAD, ARMY OF DARKNESS, RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD, ZOMBIE, and probably alot more that I didn't even pick up on. It's mindnumbingly wacky fluff and never really takes itself too seriously (except for maybe the ending) but that's why it's a winner in my book, it's simply five star quality crazy Japanese foolishness. I think if only it hadn't had that handheld camera look to it, STACY just might have been a contender. One of my friends I watched it with said "Man, this looks like a movie that you and I could make!". I believe this comment was meant to be an insult to the movie, but honestly, if I had made it, I would be proud to say that I did. Arrigato, NAOYUKI TOMOMATSU.