Today’s Selection: Oh! My Zombie Mermaid (2004, dir. Naoki Kudo and Terry Ito)
Subgenre: Wrestling, Mermaid
Available from: Discotek
The original Japanese title translates to “Ah, the House of Pro-Wrestling”, but the English title was changed to Zombie (which doesn’t have anything to do with the film) Mermaid (which actually does), and probably sold better for it. This is one of those preposterous video game-inspired Japanese movies, and while for most critics that would be pejorative, I say that as an absolute compliment. The plot is about a pro wrestler-turned-pacifist who has to return to the ring when his wife gets sick/injured (long story). It turns out, she’s infected with a disease that’s turning her into a mermaid, and the only way to get the cure is for the protagonist to participate in a multiple-level battle, fighting his way through stages of a house (including a battle in a bathroom!) against a variety of increasingly bizarre and flamboyant opponents. The interesting thing is that the movie is a slow build: it doesn’t start off as ridiculously implausible, it just sort of drifts that way over the course of the film. The movie is clearly a labor of love, and while it’s hard to give a blanket recommendation for it, it’d be a decent entry for a “weird movie night”-type of party.