I say with quite strong conviction that Meatball Machine has to be one of the most bizarre films I have ever watched, yet it makes perfect sense!
Meatball machine is the second Japanese gore movie I have watched this month, Machine Girl being the other, and I have to say that each of these movies have been a refreshing change from the countless ghost stories released from the country. Rather than brutal gore, Meatball Machine goes strictly tongue in cheek down splatter alley giving the viewer an array of imaginative and very bloody deaths combined with some fairly witty humour.
The plot of Meatball Machine is a reviewer’s nightmare as it is the sort of film which has to be seen to be fully understood. Somehow the writers have crafted a love story amidst the backdrop of some sort of Alien gladiator game. Alien parasites are on earth! Using human bodies as hosts they seek to combat one another to the death with the victor consuming the loser’s body. Once infused within the host the parasite can control the body and inexplicably create metallic weapons from their bodies. Now the real story comes in when two of these aliens infect two budding love birds; both of whom must battle with their own emotions as well as with each other!
You will be pleased to hear that the writers are definitely concerned more about the gore than they are with the story, and that in all honesty it gives an excellent platform for some imaginative and very bloody death scenes.
The gore in this movie is clearly fake, but it’s the gross-out splatter type so really you can’t complain too much. There is a lot of bloody violence in this movie. When the alien inhabited humans get together we are treated to lengthy fight scenes where the aliens cut, hack, tear and shoot the shit out of one another. Now, the old shaky cam comes into play for the most part here and at times it is a little frustrating as it’s difficult to see what is really going on, especially in the early parts of the movie where you don’t really know what is going on! That aside, most of the gore is shown and there are some excellent set pieces. The internal shots of the Aliens are pretty funny and there are some scenes where the aliens are cut in half and generally dismembered which are very satisfying. What really deserve special mention are the imaginative gore weapons which in all fairness must have been a real mission to have done the makeup for. Even though the effects are clearly artificial they are pretty cool with moving parts and plenty of blood squirting about the place.
Sadly there is one negative aspect of the film as despite the beginning of the movie moving at lightening pace it does lag a little bit in the middle. During this period we do have to endure a fair bit of waffle which is a bit of a shame as the fight scenes are quite lengthy the film does have quite a bit of a stop start feel to it.
Overall though, the good most definitely outweighs the bad. Meatball Machine is a testament to how imagination makes all the difference. To all those who produce substandard generic clones of movies which have made it big, look towards movies like this where basically, take a mental idea, get your mates involved, add shit loads of blood and splatter and you have yourself a movie which encompasses the philosophy of the underground splatter genre. Lovely stuff.