“Meatball Machine” is a wild, splatterific, experimental sci-fi/horror rollercoaster that will have your entire brain and body shaken and stirred. Capable of making biomechanical weapons out of human flesh, alien parasites grotesquely invade the Earth, turning their hosts into maniacal killers who seek and destroy each other to the bloody death! And yes, it’s also a human love story, even though the budding romantics are infested with slimy, tumour-like globules. Co-directors Junichi Yamamoto and Yudai Yamaguchi (“Battlefield Baseball”) pull out all the stops and don’t let up until the final epic battle. It’s a touching testament to young love, blood, and alien ooze that leaves you screaming for more!
2006 – Certificate: Not Rated – Japanese Film
7.0 out of 10
I used to be quite a good cook. Like many things, it’s an ability I seem to have lost. Today I tried to make myself some breakfast, just some porridge and a cup of tea, not exactly rocket science. I managed to burn the porridge to the bottom of the pan, let the tea go cold and fill my flat with the smell of ‘burnt something or other’ that even lighting an incense cone (mesquite) has failed to cover up. It’s all a bit sad really. I suppose it could have been worse; I could have been taken over by an alien. Now that really does mess up your day. By a strange coincidence…
I was very relieved to discover that this film was not about the exploitation of animals and their conversion into a disgusting, processed, flesh-food of the worst kind. Instead, it focuses on humans infested by alien parasites, who take them over, convert them to necroborgs and then go about killing each other in very gruesome and bloody ways. Much nicer, I think you’ll agree. There’s blood and yukiness aplenty in this Japanese movie. That pretty well sums the plot up, other than the inclusion of some soppy nonsense about the two main characters falling in love and ending up fighting. Fortunately, this doesn’t really get in the way of the mess, which does look good. By and large the effects are very nicely done; the little aliens in the tumours have an especially high ‘eew factor’. For a film of this type it’s actually really well made. The overall effect is kind of what would happen if the Borg went to English football matches in the 70’s but in Japan, got really pissed and then went looking for a fight with some rival team’s Borg supporters. Despite all the gruesome action, it’s so comic book like that it doesn’t really leave much of a sickening after-taste. The DVD I have also has good subtitles and loads of extras; a quality release. Recommended.
The music’s there, it does it’s stuff. That’s it really. It works, feels accessible yet still Japanese. Can’t think of anything else to say about it.
Recommended for factory workers, lovers and guys that like to tinker with electronic things.
No cats or chainsaws and 1 decapitation, (plus another head that blows up).
Top badass moment? Sigh. It’s so romantic. The shared love of Yôji and Sachiko, helping them to overcome the power of the alien parasites infesting their bodies, before making the ultimate sacrifice. Well, bollocks to that. Seeing people turned into cyborgs, loads of blood, heaps of gross body parts and that unique Japanese touch that goes into films like this, is far more badass. Give me a huge gun growing out of someone’s chest any day of the week over a candlelit dinner for two.
The Internet broke yesterday; at least the bit of it I use. My washing machine’s dryer function also developed a fault at around the same time, which meant it worked fine for about five minutes and then stopped; so I had to stand by it all the time so I could keep resetting it, over and over again. Fortunately, with the Internet not working as well, I had endless time on my hands as I’d nothing else to do, so it was an ideal time for the washing machine to break down. What a brilliant coincidence, I must be the world’s luckiest person! At the time this film was made, there were 237 Scanners on Earth, out of a population of four billion. I feel that ‘special’ right now.
1981 – Certificate: 18 – Canada
This really isn’t that great a movie. The idea is interesting, the exploding head is a bit of cinema history, (I read somewhere that this was the first time this had been seen on the screen) and the ‘epic battle’ at the end is a classic bit of good vs. evil. Unfortunately, a lot of the rest hasn’t aged well; the dialogue sounds stilted, the acting’s wooden and the whole feel of the film makes it seem far older than it is. The scanning process sadly provides plenty of opportunities for some less than high-quality overacting too; mouth full of sticky toffee anyone? The audio tracks on my DVD were all thin, tinny and hissy as well. What’s the point of DTS sound if all that bandwidth is just going to be used on the latter? I guess I’m probably being a bit mean, as this film’s basically just a B-movie that’s had its status elevated beyond a level it’s really comfortable with. On the plus side, the special effects still look pretty good, in a “Thunderbirds” kind of way, even after over 30 years. It’s foreshadowing of the Internet is pretty cool too. If you like a certain type retro-vibe in a film, then this is probably as good as it gets.
Recommended for fans of this sort of stuff; I can’t imagine anyone else getting off on it.
No cat, decapitations or chainsaws. However, there is the famous exploding head, so that’s sort of like a decapitation in a way.
Top badass moment? The whole exploding computer lab scene, from the “no fireworks” comment through to the “oh shit” look of the guy sitting on his ass in the corner, surveying the mess. Trashing your whole organisation’s computer system is badass, although it’s not a move that’s likely to expand your career options greatly. It might be a good time to book an appointment down at the local Job Centre.