Biozombie (Sun faa sau si) Review
Written by: rerj73
Released in 1998, Wilson Yip's homage to the zombie film is an uneven, if sporadically entertaining, film that never rises above the canon it borrows from. Yip is clearly familiar with the works of Romero, and those that followed in those bloody footsteps, and seems content to remain in that familiar territory without venturing into the lands beyond.
The story follows Woody Invincible and Crazy Bee, two shiftless friends who spend their time doing the bosses errands, hitting on girls at the mall, and figuring out what to do with all the time in between. While picking up their boss' car, they stumble upon the victim of a botched arms deal, and inadvertently infect him with a chemical that transforms him into a bloodthirsty zombie.
When the ghoul gets loose in the local mall around closing time, a diverse and generally silly group of survivors, including a shop owner and his maligned wife, the resident cute girls from the salon, and dimwitted police, must escape the ever-increasing number of zombies who plod after them.
The problems with this movie stem from the what-must-have-been-low budget and the scattershot direction of Yip. The effects are very, very bad, and the Sushi Boy zombie in particular looks like he has a third-grade baking soda volcano attached to his cheek. Often, Yip shoots these zombies in a weird slow-mo that obscures any clear shot of the zombies, which may be for the best.
One nice touch, Yip uses surveillance cameras to good effect in one scene, but abandons the competent look of these scenes in favor of some questionable hand-held work later.
A good time may be had with the characters, particularly the inflated egos of the leads, who are quick to self-promote or engage in trash-talking, but quickly back down when the threats become real. Rolls, one of the female leads, also has a handful of nice moments, but other characters are paper-thin and almost painfully unfunny.
There is the core of a good movie here, but the breezy tone of much of the film shifts to a much darker ending that would have worked so much better in another film. As a fan of both the zombie sub-genre and Asian cinema, I really wanted to like this movie a lot more. If only the filmmakers had met me halfway.