Keiko (Rina Takeda), the daughter of a legendary sushi chef, runs away from home when her father’s kung-fu-like regimen becomes too severe. Keiko finds work at a rural hot springs inn, but the eccentric staff and guests, including employees of a pharmaceutical firm on a work vacation, ridicule her. Little do they know that a disgruntled former researcher has also come to the inn with a place for revenge, using a serum he developed that can awaken the murderous instincts of ordinary sushi, turning them into bloodthirsty monsters! Keiko must use both her martial arts skills to save the others and defeat the flying killers.
Deddo Sushi 7.75
eyelights: its weirdo concept. its self-conscious zaniness. its game cast.
eyesores: the weak direction. the special effects. the sushis.
Keiko’s father is a Jiro-like sushi maker who is so demanding that his daughter can’t pass muster. Humiliated, she leaves home and gets a job in an inn as a waitress… serving sushi to the clientèle. She is made fun of by the others but comes into favour of the janitor, who is fascinated with her perfect fingers, which he thinks are perfectly-suited for making sushi.
When the president of Komatsu Pharmaceutical and his entourage come to visit, seeking the inn’s reputed sushi, Keiko gets into trouble, shaming the inn’s owners. Soon, however, she will save face by fighting off the attacks of a disgruntled former Komatsu researcher who infects the sushi, bringing it to monstrous life and attacking all who come into contact with it.
I rather enjoyed ‘Deddo sushi’, for what it is. Of course, I never expected it to be anything but a schlocky good time; I had no illusions that this would be Masterpiece Theater – especially after having read an enthusiastic review of it that explained the ridiculous premise – and promise (on which it delivered, something that most films of its ilk don’t even come close to achieving).
‘Deddo sushi’ is a movie that knows it’s can’t be taken seriously, knows its audience knows that it’s not to be taken seriously, and knows that the audience knows that it knows. So it winks at its audience and goes all out, gradually getting crazier and crazier – even poking fun at itself by having characters state just how ridiculous it’s become or how they don’t believe what they’re seeing!
And how could they do otherwise? We’re talking about a motion picture featuring killer sushi. With fangs. That fly. That swarm. That even mutate into more dangerous forms, such as… a flying battleship, complete with sushi turret guns! It’s so obscenely absurd that you can’t help but giggle along , shaking your head at the outrageousness of it all. What’s next, you wonder? Oh, if only you knew!
For me, what really set the tone, the moment that I realized that I was indeed looking at a film that didn’t take itself seriously, was when Keiko first got into a fight in the big hall, proceeding to kick the butts of a bunch of guys. What was telling and consequently made me wet myself (figuratively speaking – I have good bladder control) was how she quite visibly missed all her targets by at least a foot – and yet there they were flying about the room.
There was no attempt to hide it. In fact, it was likely done on purpose!
The performances support the material, of course, and can be especially cartoony. There are no award-winning dramatic performances here; most of the actors are likely well-meaning and eager b-movie stars and/or non-actors (I couldn’t say for sure, given that the cast is entirely unfamiliar to me). But it totally works. In a sea of flying dead sushi, you only want manic and zany anyway – it actually adds to the overall madness and hilarity.
The special effects are also ridiculous. From the sushi with rubbery fangs to the cgi ones darting through the air, there was no mistaking what we saw for reality. The same goes for the beheadings and the blood showers, which were all enhanced digitally – even simply cuts bled cgi blood. And terrible-looking blood, at that! I couldn’t help but wonder if it was cheaper to use bad cgi or blood packs. Was this merely done for effect?
All this to say that I had a bloody good time watching ‘Deddo sushi’. It’s not for everyone, but even my gf, who hates horror films, let alone b-movie crap, sat down to watch a small part of it and was amused by the madness on display. For some reason, even though it self-consciously swims in seas of cheese, it also does it with infectious zest. I would go for another serving of ‘Deddo sushi’ any day.
Date of viewing: August 5, 2013