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Film Review: Attack Girls’ Swim Team Versus the Undead (2007)

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SYNOPSIS:

The swim team of the local girls high school is getting ready for an upcoming competition. Their concentration is quickly derailed, however, when they are informed over the loudspeaker that a new virus is doing the rounds and they will all need to be vaccinated. Before long the virus has caused the school to be overrun with zombies, among both the faculty and student body. The swim team is immune though, since it seems the pool disinfectant protects them from the virus. New student Aki and her adoring friend Sayaka are forced to take time out from their heavy petting to find out who or what is responsible, and to try and stop the virus from spreading any further. They recruit the other members of the swim team for a showdown with the growing undead horde.

REVIEW:

Attack Girls’ Swim Team Versus the Undead is known by several other titles, including Inglorious Zombie Hunters and Undead Pool – but the title as reviewed most clearly lets you know what kind of film you’re in for. When not watching zombies on the rampage, unleashing a tide of comedic gore, we are treated to plenty of salivating shots of Japanese adult film stars in swimsuits and in the buff, who simply can’t keep their hands off each other. It sounds like an invigorating slapdash recipe – hold my calls and hand me my Speedos…

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While the film certainly delivers in the area of lesbian softcore (thereby making the remainder of this review redundant for most readers), for the most part it is a slice of substandard homemade horror that will live up to the expectations of few. It’s the kind of film tailored to those who are always on the prowl for ineptly made movies to share with friends and loved ones, in which case the treasure trove of eye candy will be nicely balanced with an abundance of cheesy gore left behind by a special effects team gone AWOL.

Most of the violence happens offscreen, reflecting the fact that director Koji Kawano obviously had little more than a fistful of yen to make the film, so we are left with some rubbery innards and severed limbs fresh from a latex morgue. The weaponry used is quite inventive – students are hacked to pieces by a zombified teacher wielding a meter stick, toes are cut off with scissors and spikes pop out of flippers (to say nothing of the obligatory chainsaw).

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When the swim team unites (looking gorgeously unthreatening in their matching swimsuits), they go to work on their adversaries with bricks and baseball bats. But none of this justifies the warning about violence that precedes the film. It’s no accident that when an undead teacher starts to (literally) pick the brains of a colleague, she proudly exclaims the phrase “I drink your blood!” in heavily accented English, referencing the no-budget drive-in classic from 1970. Somehow, I don’t think Attack Girls will be as fondly remembered itself a few decades from now.

There are bizarre flashbacks to main character Aki’s dark past, where she is held captive by a kind of mad scientist who eventually trains her to be an assassin (or a “water terrorist”, as she puts it); long before she mastered the butterfly stroke, she was adept with a butterfly knife, and she even shoots some sort of a laser out of her lobster pot during the final battle. This would have been handy during her confinement, as her captor has a habit of serenading her with a flute – prior to coaxing out her own melodies using his skin flute.

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The hetero sex scenes are a bit of a joke though, typical of Japanese films like this, as the guy tends to give the appearance of receiving a prolonged electric shock to the pelvis, needing serious work on his thrust. The girl-on-girl action is much more convincing, and director Kawano is well aware of this, as he supplements the lesbian sex scenes with close-ups in the shower and several shots aimed directly up the skirts of our fetching heroines. It’s a wonder the shuffling undead are able to resist; clearly, there are no boners in the boneyard.

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