What’s it about?
Yatterman plays out as if all its viewers know of the film’s 1977 anime roots. It tells a tale of a superhero duo (Shô Sakurai and Saki Fukuda) who live under a toy store and stop the villainous efforts of Lady Doronjo (Kyôko Fukada), who is looking for pieces of the skull stone for their master Dokurobei. There is also a girl who appears from Egyptian rubble, her missing archaeologist father, large robots and sexually retarded minions to contend with. Still following? Good. I found myself pretty much lost amidst the film’s cluttered aesthetic after the first five minutes. Yatterman (directed by the prolific Takashi Miike) is a gaudy mess which rigidly sticks to its cartoon serial format. This may be fine for those knowledgeable of the show beforehand, but tortuous for anyone in the dark.
Where is the entry point for someone who’s new to this? It’s possibly the very awful Stooge-lite slapstick that misses the target consistently. The gags are as cringeworthy as the garish colour palette. The film’s look makes this one of the ugliest I’ve witnessed this year. The hostile visuals are coupled with a dubiously uneven tone which veers between kiddie friendly and horny teenage deviance. At one point, the villainess is “screwed” by fake screws. The metaphor is clearer than day and the outcome feels as if someone spliced elements of a Carry On film in a Pokémon feature.
Again, the weekly serial nature of the material does little to cure things. The Yatter duo battle Doronjo, defeat her then repeat the process. This chaotic production comes across more than a little lost in translation.
How’s the picture and sound?
This isn’t the crispest Blu-ray on the market; the murky look of the film doesn’t help. The sound may not be anything to shout about, but at least you can hear the irritatingly catchy showtunes fine.
The film does have some fluff extras, but they are presented like a bad infomercial.
When a mecha bridesmaid began to shoot bullets out of its bosoms, before a large canine mecha began to mount it, a part of me cried inside. Yatterman is boring, repetitive and nonsensical. The ball kicking and defecating in people’s mouths to possess them is all very OTT but not very entertaining.
The film features many Japanese traits, that many Western audiences find intriguing or creepy, but that wouldn’t be too much of the problem if the film was fun or coherent in story or tone. All the film’s pelvic thrusting screams adolescence, but Yatterman is allegedly aimed at kids.
Extra Features Rating:
UK Release Date:
Yatterman is out now