What’s it about?
Jubeh Yakyu has got a hell of a right arm, but when his high leg, atmosphere intruding, flaming pitch of death hits his dad in the face so hard it blows his eyes out of his head and kills him, he kind of goes off baseball a little bit. Jubeh goes on a crime bender which culminates in gaining him the title of “most vicious juvenile in history” as well as a stint in the big house.
The prison is not a holiday camp – vomit for breakfast and elbow deep cavity searches are rife (so maybe a little like a holiday camp. Zing). The fascist warden cajoles Jubeh into playing ball once more in the Juvie League: an attempt to reform young criminals. As the Juvie League baseball games are scored not by runs, but “dynamic kills” and don’t end ’til the other side are strawberry jam, it’s kind of a flawed attempt at reform, but Deadball doesn’t care – it’s just a shaky frame on which to hang lots of stomach churning effects.
I’m unsure as to whether they’re becoming weaker, or (cheerily and not at all worryingly) I’m getting desensitized, but this stuff has become a bit of a bore. Tokyo Gore Police nearly made me throw up, as did Vampire Girl vs Frankenstein Girl, but after seeing lots of Jap Splat movies, I think both the makers and I are getting a bit sick of it all. Deadball has lots of nasty things happen to soft and unsuspecting flesh, but as well as being peculiarly entirely face based, they’re just not sickening or funny in their extremity any more.
These films always look shonky, that’s part of the initial charm, but usually the fun is in seeing massive, crazy ideas rendered on a shoe string. Deadball doesn’t think big at all, the whole thing whiffs of bare minimum.
How’s the picture and sound?
It’s alright for standard def. The picture’s as dull and soft as DVD always looks to me now, but there’s no video artefacts. In terms of audio, there’s 5.1 Dolby Digital, DTS and an isolated music track.
An extra discs worth, fella. There’s a Making Of that’s half B-roll and half candid and quick on set cast and crew interviews, a twenty minute short film, part two of a documentary that you can only see part one of on Yakuza Weapon (cheeky), Battlefield Baseball High School, the cast and crew’s intro before the films’ first screening, cast interviews, a cast reunion that looks like it took place after the screening they intro’d and the trailer.
If you want the hard, “good” stuff, check out Tokyo Gore Police, Meatball Machine, Robo Geisha or Vampire Girl vs Frankenstein Girl. Deadball doesn’t feel like they’re even trying to make us throw up anymore, just concentrating on quick, cheap turnaround.
Extra Features Rating:
When’s it out?
Dead Ball will be (insert baseball analogy) onto DVD on the 7th of May.