FANTASIA 2017: Kodoku Meatball Machine Directed by Yoshihiro Nishimura
Starring Yurisa ., Tomori Abe, Kensuke Ashihara
Published Jul 25, 2017Directors like Yoshihiro Nishimura and their gory, blood-soaked films exist for a fanbase that doesn't particularly give a shit what some film critic has to say. So while it would be far more satisfying to stray from the expected path and call Kodoku Meatball Machine a masterpiece, this critic must resist the temptation and admit that it's simply not a very good movie.
The film follows a 50-year-old salaryman who's down on his luck in nearly every way — his work as a debt collector is fruitless, his mother is constantly spending his money and he's been diagnosed with cancer. Making matters worse, some wacky witches have painted the streets to help usher in an alien invasion.
When their plan is complete, a large section of the city is trapped in a science beaker-shaped enclosure; within it, the witches transform into flying robot machines that infect the humans and turn them into weird, blind fighting monsters complete with Burning Man-ready outfits. Whatever each citizen was obsessed with at the start of the film becomes their super power as they fight, meaning the battles involve everything from oversized scissors to giant breasts that shoot bullets from their nipples.
The monsters battle each other endlessly, utilizing plenty of blood and C-level special effects as they spend an eternity fighting one another. There's an absolutely ridiculous amount of blood (Nishimura wagers he used four tons of fake blood in shooting the film), and the practical effects are charmingly shitty.
Unfortunately, despite laughs that include a severed dick, a motorcycle man being ridden around town like a horse and the aforementioned boob gun, the film still manages to feel boring. Thanks to a flimsy plot and the relentless stupidity onscreen, it's tough to care about anyone or what they're doing.
If you are made smitten by severed appendages, easy laughs and overblown fight scenes, you'll have a grand old time sneaking beers into your local theatre for a midnight screening of Kodoku Meatball Machine. The rest of us would be better off staying home and letting others have their fun.