Archive for April 3rd, 2012

Deadball (2011)

Young Jubeh Yakyu vows never to play baseball ever again after he kills his father whilst delivering a unique ‘fireball’ pitch which smashes straight into his face! Years later and with Jubeh now a young adult and a crime fighting vigilante, we find that he has landed himself at the Pterodactyl Juvenile Hall which is run by a Nazi loving female commandant Ishihara along with her 2nd in command Ilsa. The place is a shithole with the food slop being compared to vomit (as that’s what it is when we see the cook vomiting into the slop tray). He is given a cell to share with a meek inmate called Shinosuke. Jubeh is given a chance of freedom if he joins the baseball team but he refuses. However, Ishihara manages to make him change his mind by threatening to kill Shinosuke if he refuses. Jubeh is made to be in charge of his ragtag teammates which includes one who has a baseball stuck permanently into his eye!! The team which is known as the Gauntlets have a match scheduled against the St Black Dahlia High students – a bunch of sexy but deadly females. Whatever notion of a fair baseball match the Gauntlets had in mind is thrown out of the equation when all the Black Dahlia Students wants to do is kill the Gauntlets one by one. Can Jubeh rally the team and defeat his sexy opponents by using a few tricks of their own?

Actor Tak Sakaguchi and director Yudai Yamaguchi reunite for another baseball horror comedy. They previously worked together on 2003’s Battlefield Baseball. Deadball isn’t a rehash of that movie, it’s a reimagination more than anything. For the past couple of years we’ve become used to seeing quite a lot of these ‘anything goes’ horror fests from Japan and this movie goes to new levels of insanity. Before you watch it, park your brain by the door as all logic is thrown out the door. Just sit back and take in the madness! A couple of movies which are parodied here include Avatar and the controversial exploitation sensation Ilsa, She Wolf Of The SS.

The laughter comes thick and fast from seeing such crazy incidents as a rectal cavity search for hidden objects which produces a wrench and a doll amongst others from one inmate, a pair of idol singers with the unfortunate name of Poo Poo and a gigantic mouse trap in the baseball game! I don’t want to spoil the rest of the other stuff you’ll see. The story is basically just an excuse for FX maestro Yoshihiro Nishimura to show us ingenious OTT ways of killing people along with some gross out jokes with some bordering on being rather offensive. No gag is too extreme, no joke too tasteless for this movie! When you watch this kind of movie you know you’re going to be seeing some ridiculous Looney Tunes style violence.

The cast are great in their roles especially Tak Sakaguchi as Jubeh. I was surprised to see the host of the daily Japanese children’s show Oha Star – Koichi Yamadera as the announcer of the baseball match between the Gauntlets and St Black Dahlia High. I’m sure the kids who tune in to see him every morning would be shocked at his colourful language in this movie as he curses the Gauntlet team with put downs as ‘very fucking shit’ and ‘Screaming Pussies’!!

Whilst Deadball isn’t quite up there as one of the best comedy splatter movies to come from Japan recently, it’s still a crowd pleaser and manages to be very entertaining and funny. It’s not for everyone but that’s because it’s not meant to be.

Sadako’s Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

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