Helldriver

Helldriver is bonkers. Completely. It is so bonkers, you can't tell what's happening, why it's happening or why you should be bothered. Not long into it, I didn't care in the slightest and just wanted it to finish. I'm not a big fan of blood fountains either - seen one, seen them all - so Helldriver didn't really have a lot going for it.

Do you even want to know the story? Here it is regardless. Japan is being overrun by zombies that have been created because the mad mother of our hero, Kika (Yumiko Hara), got hit by a mysterious meteor and spewed out a vast torrent of black ash stuff. The zombies have weird little antlers on their heads, that when harvested and ground down, are a powerful drug. Kika decides to fight the mother zombie (Audition's Eihi Shiina) and her equally mad uncle to retrieve her heart (sorry, I forgot to mention that her mum thieves it and puts it in the hole in her chest made by the meteor). When I initially read about this and saw the trailer, I thought it sounded stupid but could be a laugh. It wasn't.

Bearing in mind the major problem of it being virtually unwatchable, there are some positives. There are some cool images, in particular the huge tower of corpses in the shape of a human/plane (I did say it was bonkers). Kika also looked suitably great at points. A character in need of a better story, I think.

There is a vaguely funny scene where a zombie baby is thrown by the umbilical cord to attack people (not as funny as a similar scene where a child's corpse is used to batter sea zombies in the short film that preceded this screening: Brutal Relax). Also, a strange Kaliesque zombie makes an appearance with pointy weapons. Then guns. Cool.

I was disappointed with Helldriver. I'd enjoyed the similarly bonkers (and stupidly politically incorrect) Vampire Girl vs Frankenstein Girl mainly because there was a vague plot and it was fun. For a film with so many goings on and visual excesses, Helldriver committed the cardinal sin of being dull.