High School of the Dead

Genre: Horror
Score: OK
Rating: 18 for graphic violence (15 for nudity)

The day the world ended started like any other. Takashi happens to see a strange man approach the school gates and bite one of the teachers. Soon most of the school are dead, and Takashi is barricaded on the roof, embracing the girl he loves, having just smashed in his best friends head.

Zombie flicks need two things: gore and boobies. HotD has both in abundance, in the way only the Japanese can. Heads and body parts are demolished, blood sprays everywhere, and humongous boobies bounce whenever the girls run, talk or blink. Even the zombies get panty shots. And it makes a whole series of it, not just a film. What could go wrong?

In making a whole series they take the opportunity to explore in more detail than a film the implications of a zombie apocalypse: the way society breaks down, the way people react and fail to cope, the way the police, military and governments operate with dwindling resources and a broken chain of command. It also develops the characters’ relationships: the group of half a dozen kids, pretty whiny and annoying at the beginning but gradually bucking up and taking responsibility. All this is actually done rather well, and I gradually grew to like both the characters and the story’s take on society.

Even so, I find myself annoyed by the way it wastes so much time on the girls’ humongous jiggling bazoingas. That is the technical term. I love mammaries at least as much as the next honest straight man, but the focus here detracts from a serious story. In a short film they could get away with such excess in the name of it being shocking and funny. Extending it to a whole series, and trying to tell an interesting story, means I think they should have scaled back on the exploitation and allowed the characters to be more natural.

Some will enjoy this series, as the outrageous zombie survival horror that it is. What annoyed me is the wasted potential: the creators clearly showed that they had the ability to make a much better series.