Japanese Film Review #17: Tomomatsu Naoyuki’s STACY (2001)

Directed by Tomomatsu Naoyuki and based on a novel by Otsuki Kenji, the 2001 film Stacy seems like a pretty good idea – what’s not to love about undead zombie schoolgirls? The film opens with the following narration:

The beginning of the 21st century. Young girls aged 15 to 17 began dying one after another, after all over the world. Even more surprising the dead girls began to reawaken as zombies. I don’t know who coined the term, but they began to call the zombies ‘Stacies.’

This tells you pretty much everything you need to know about the film – for some reason, girls start turning in zombies and it’s up to the fathers or boyfriends of the dearly departed to dismember them (in a oddly precise number of body parts, 165). Thanks to the crackpot research of the bespectacled Dr. Inugami, all the distraught population knows about the outbreak it that girls suffer from ‘Near Death Happiness’ (NDH) before dying and turning into ‘Stacies.’ These Stacies glow blue from a ‘Butterfly Twinkle Powder’ that they secrete when they are exposed to what we might as well call love.

While this film has definitely acquired a kind of cult status, it’s not the huge success that I was expecting it to be. Most people just don’t really like this movie. I think this is because this movie just doesn’t make sense. It’s very convoluted and would probably take a lot of work to figure out. Personally, I’m not particularly interested in trying to figure out this movie, so I suppose it wasn’t very successful.

However, this movie is full of schlock-gore and a great genre-spoof, with very funny references to the Evil Dead Trilogy and George A. Romero.

The most interesting thing about this movie is that it is a part of the growing list of Japanese films that have sloppy plotlines designed to provide Japanese men the opportunity to watch young girls get hacked to pieces. Stacy goes even further and states that the thing these undead Stacies want the most is to be killed by their true love. I’m not really sure what to make of this theme, but I thought I’d just point it out.

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Comments (2)

  1. Tokyo Guy

    This movie is so gory. It’s definitely one of those “Japan” special movies, much like Battle Royale.

    January 30, 2011
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