Zomvideo (Kenji Murakami: 2012)

A normal day in the office turns out to be not so normal when zombies come knocking on the door. Without recourse of the conventional weapons that are commonly used to dispatch zombies, the office staff are forced to make do with stationary supplies in order to evade the shuffling hoards. A set of videos made in the 1970s seem provide the staff with ammunition on how to deal with the zombies – including how to make the ultimate zombie weapon out of office furniture and sundries  and a supposed video signal cure for zombification – or do they? Is there in fact something more sinister and demented as work?

Japan specialises in offbeat and innovative horror, although sometimes Japanese cinema pushes through boundaries that are there for a reason – especially in terms of gendered violence. Happily though Zomvideo is the former rather than the later and is a great deal of fun to watch especially if you are familiar with the zombie genre. There is also a nicely embedded subtext about the human rights of the zombies, which manages to implicitly critique the U.S colonization of Japan and the way in which popular representations of the Japanese by the West functioned to dehumanize and demonize the Japanese Other.

Zomvideo reminded me of the deranged fun of Stacy (Kenji Otsuki: 2001), another low-budget Japanese zom/com, and was a great deal more entertaining than Tokyo Zombie (Sakichi Satô: 2005). There is no doubt that Japan has produced some of the most interesting and original video films of late, and Zomvideo is one of the best.

Zomvideo is playing as part of the Terror Cotta Horror Night, in association with Fright Fest, that is taking place Friday, 7th June 2013. You can book tickets directly from Prince Charles Cinema.


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