tisdag 4 januari 2011

Moon over Tao (1997)

I am a huge fan of Keita Amemiyas great monsterflicks Zeiram 1 and 2, two flicks that truly could be described as live-action manga. Amemiya is a director with some flair, like Ryûhei Kitamura with some desperately needed restraint. We're talking old school sfx antics here, fullsize rubbermonsters and ladies in weird jumpsuits. Good stuff. If you've seen Zeiram, you know what to expect. Moon over Tao is a mixture between samuraimovies and scifi, and while not 100% succesful, it is still a fun experience with a final half hour full of goodies.

Retired warrior Suikyou is enlisted by his former lord when a friend goes missing looking for the source of a type of indestructible sword, and is sent into the mountains with another warrior, Hayate. They encounter a young girl living by herself who promises them to help look for the swords. In the meantime three alien females (all played by the lovely Yûko Moriyama from the Zeiram movies) arive on earth looking for something. Of course, all of this is related to an old enemy of Suikyou who has been manufacturing swords from a meteorite, a meteorite that contains something evil.

The first sixty minutes of Moon over Tao are fairly entertaining, containing mostly of some decent swordfights but it isnt until the meteorite gets a taste of human blood that the whole thing gets really fun. It grows into a large monster, thirsty for human blood and slaughters dozens of samurais. Awesome. The movie is full of cool touches and nicely edited actionscenes, although the budget couldnt have been that large since the whole thing is set in a quarry. The special sfx are mostly old school with some fairly decent (for the time) computer animation. The actors are mostly good, except for that annoying brat that seems to be there just to annoy the hell out of the audience. If you liked Zeiram you know what to expect of this, although I do prefer the Zeiram movies due to the monsterfree first hour. Monsters and violence, what more do you need? Well, boobs of course. Which you dont get any here, but the monster compensates.

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