The daughter of a sushi chef, Keiko (Rina Takeda), tries to live up to her father’s demanding training in both martial arts and sushi making, but it proves too much for her and she runs away. She finds a job as a waitress at a remote resort hotel that caters to special groups, such as the president and some of his associates running a major pharmaceutical company. Unknown to them, Yamada (Kentaro Simazu), a former researcher at the company who was framed and jailed on trumped-up charges, is living in the area – and he’s angry! His research had involved bringing dead things back to life, and he uses his knowledge now to create…. killer sushi! Set loose amongst the guests and workers at the hotel, only Keiko and former sushi chef Mr. Sawada (Shigeru Matsuzaki) have what it takes to fight back, with the help of little dead/alive egg sushi, Eggy, of course….
This is one of those highly entertaining, completely nonsensical and over-the-top gory and funny films that the Japanese seem to have a lock on these days; at one point a character says “this has finally reached a point where it makes no sense any longer” and the audience wonders how it managed to take that character so long to come to that conclusion! My favourite line in the film is from disgruntled researcher Yamada who, at one significant moment, states that “I have been reborn as tuna!” An immortal line in anybody’s book, I think. What keeps this film from flying all the way apart is its gonzo spirit and absolute commitment to its absurdity, and there are also some excellent martial arts sequences, particularly from Keiko – Rina Takeda is a rising martial arts star, and she was still a teenager when she made this film. Some people might object to the excessive blood-letting, but it’s done in such an extreme fashion that it’s really just hilarious, not nauseating.
The next scene features a young Japanese couple that have just landed in the area and have walked 20 minutes and found the hotel inn. The couple get into a brief little argument and start making out a little bit before they are interrupted by what seems to be a homeless man that is nearby and watching them make out while eating sushi. The young man that was making out with his girlfriend at this point decides to pick a fight with the homeless man and this basically results in death by squid(you have to watch to see the hilarity of this play out). It is from this exact point that the movie starts to move into the realm of the bizarre with the various seafood & sushi coming to life and attacking the hapless businessmen and the owners of the inn which all culminates in a ridiculous fight featuring a battleship size sushi and a million little baby sushi that are the result of 2 pieces of sushi mating!
It would be hard for Japan Cinema to recommend this film to anyone that is not already a fan of Noboru Igushi’s work. Yet, I cannot deny that their cultish popularity. By and large, what we have is a relatively mundane & normal situation taken to its extreme opposite but it never feels like the filmmakers and actors are going overboard and asking the audience to take things very seriously. If you want to spend a fun night or would like to turn your mind off for a few hours and get a little cultural education about sushi and Japanese culture, this is a great film to do it with.