I don’t keep it much of a secret that I really enjoy bad horror and yet every now and then something comes along that is so lame, so incredibly poorly executed, and just has so little effort put into it that even with a receptive audience it manages to bore and be completely and totally pointless to watch. That is the real Calamity of a Zombie Girl. It isn’t that it is generic horror, it is that it is incredibly by the numbers, dull, uninspired, and ultimately a completely flat viewing experience.
However, let’s take this review step by step. I went into this with no prior knowledge, it was just another title that had popped up on Crunchyroll while I was away that I intended to catch up on. Finding out it was an ONA and a single movie seemed like it could be fun rather than another series to follow, so I went in expecting the usual lame set-up, the group of canon-fodder friends, and then some zombie hi-jinks. Which in a way I guess I did get but there’s definitely an issue of quality here.
By the way, there are spoilers below but I don’t think it matters given how predictable the show is.
Visually, this is really ordinary. Okay, it is actually on the lower end of quality in general, though it doesn’t have so many glaring discrepancies that you could actually say it was dreadful. Still, it looks like something from at least a decade ago, if not older. Couple that with the opening credits where the sound-track from a generic black and white horror film will blare at you while you stare at incredibly dull and poor quality colour splotches with floating names and the general appearance and sound of this just isn’t going to meet the expectations of the day. While horror regularly gets away with slightly less than cutting edge visuals and sound, I think even the least discerning viewer is going to want better than what is on offer here.
The story itself if probably the only reasonable part of this, provided you judge it by standard B Grade horror standards. Group of friends break into a storeroom looking for a rumoured treasure when one of them steals something from inside a mummy (as you do). The mummy and the mummy’s companion maid both wake up and are determined to get the stolen item back and thus begins a night of a deadly zombie rampage. Because they are zombies, not mummies. They just happened to be mummified zombies for reasons that will get explained though still don’t really add a lot to the plot so you may as well just go with that part. Throw in a teacher who is also involved in the theft and has his own agenda and you’ve got your basic horror plot all laid out and you won’t get too many surprises along the way. If they’d just done a better job of executing it there is no reason why this shouldn’t have worked.
Alas, the characters are all from start to finish dreadful. While canon-fodder characters are generally made to either be pathetic or unlikable so that the audience doesn’t get too choked up when they die ingloriously (in fact I think they design horrible characters on purpose so that there is actually a sense of joy when they finally get knocked off), the characters here are too inconsistent, too uninteresting, and ultimately nothing is done to make us want to care about a single one of them (whether to feel sorry for or happy for them when they die).
Abe is described by plenty of other characters as arrogant or egotistical but little of that comes across. His character defining moment was bargaining for his life by essentially throwing his companions under a bus right before he got crushed by an exploding wall and then a toilet was thrown at him causing his head to turn to mush just for good measure. This definitely reminded me of the lawyer on the toilet seat in Jurassic Park only much less interesting. See, the lawyer had actually served a bit of a plot point up to here and we knew a bit about him, and while he was a lawyer and did abandon Lex and Tim, he was a person with goals and a personality. Abe is a guy who breaks into a storeroom after an internet site tells him there is treasure, drinks a lot, feels up a girl and uses something he saw about her a reason to threaten her, and then ultimately becomes a complete coward in the face of death. Abe is a caricature of a human and not once does the audience feel anything but disgust toward him. However it is so heavy handed in its delivery that we can’t even get that moment of happiness at seeing his demise because all I was thinking about as he hit the wall the first time was that something more was going to happen to him, and then they threw a toilet at him.
The other characters are all much the same. I don’t even remember the name of the guy whose only purpose seems to be to have picked the lock, but on seeing a pretty girl he immediately tells the school groundskeeper about the entire break in and who was involved, never once considering that he was firstly admitting to a crime and secondly selling out every one of his friends. It was such a stupid scene and his death was equally stupid and drawn out.
Kung-fu girl involved herself in a long and pointless fight and had plenty of opportunities to get away, but continued to pointlessly fight. What made this worse was the audience knew the whole time that the zombie girl could have turned the tables but just kind of played along, making the entire sequence just dull. Then we got the extreme end where zombie girl loses her temper and literally swings the other girl around like a rag-doll, conveniently tearing her clothes and exposing her breasts before she is smashed into the ground and thrown off a cliff.
And so things continue in an utterly uninteresting way right to the end where we get yet another smack down between two zombies.
All and all, this one is filled with gore, brain and ear eating, full nudity for the female cast (and just brainlessness for the male cast members), violence for the sake of it, and very little to recommend it because despite having everything in it that it needs to be a standard bad horror, it actually isn’t entertaining in the slightest.
In case you hadn’t noticed, I really didn’t much like this one. But if you happened to put yourself through it, I’d love to know your thoughts so leave me a comment below.
Thanks for reading.
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