AKA Undead Pool, Inglorious Zombie Hunters, The Girls Rebel Force of Competitive Swimmers
Starring Sasa Handa, Yuria Hidaka, Ayumu Tokito, Hiromitsu Kiba, Kiyo Yoshizawa, Hidetomo Nishidia, Sakae Yamazaki
Directed by Koji Kawano
I approached this film with a bit of trepidation. Anything with a title like Attack Girls’ Swim Team Vs. the Undead has to be either really awful or really fantastic. And things were looking pretty worrisome there at the start. But a few minutes in, a wonderfully awkward stabbing left me giggling and hopeful for the future of the film.
Attack Girls’ Swim Team Vs. the Undead is pretty much what you would expect from the name. There are lots of zombies, gore, and naked ladies to go around. If you were expecting something thoughtful and enlightening, I think you need a better grasp of the English language. Or the Japanese language as the case may be. But even though the title is revealing as to the nature of the film, it’s not all that accurate to the content. The swim team doesn’t do much of anything in this film, and most of what they do do is a little underwhelming. Details are sparse, but maybe the translation of the title is a bit off as there are a variety of different titles for the film.
And I do mean absurd. When the math teacher starts chopping people limb from limb with a pair of rulers I was laughing and having a good time. When he busted out a torch and started a fire-breathing routine, I just didn’t know what to think any more. The movie frequently pulls out random oddities that I never would have expected, and I loved it every time. The silly, anything goes attitude of the movie had me hooked.
Also, the narrative structure is pretty well done considering the movie is obviously just an exploitation flick. It has enough twists to keep things interesting, and I actually wound up just a little bit attached to the characters and their struggles. Maybe it’s just because I wasn’t expecting anything even halfway good, or maybe it’s just because the film has no sense of foreshadowing, but I was actually surprised by some of the plot twists at the end.
So despite my worries, Attack Girls’ Swim Team Vs. the Undead charmed me with its exuberance and spontaneity. There really isn’t much to say. If you’re in the mood for some sleazy B-movie madness, it just might charm you as well.