Okay, I know I say this about half of the shit that I review here, but this is one of the coolest fucking movies ever made! I think it eclipses both Azumi and even Battle Royale (YES! I know! Battle Royale was basically a gift from the gods onto us lowly human vermin. But Casshern is a gift from the one TRUE God, that elephant deity with the six arms. You know, the one that Homer dressed up as in that episode where he tried to break up Apu's wedding). It is that uber-tasticly ass kicking. And, Casshern is artistic as well. It kicks ass, and looks pretty doing it. Seriously, I want to watch it again right this instant. I'm even contemplating riding the bus home today during rush hour just so I can rub up against people and pretend that they're this movie. Casshern is the BOMB!
What is it, and how am I still alive after eating fifteen pounds of cheddar and Hickory Farms sausage this past weekend, you ask? Well, Casshern is a Japanese sci-fi, robot, war movie all about a future where the world is totally fucked up beyond all recognition and humanity appears to be at death's doorstep. Another World War has devastated the population of the planet, and the fallout from the fighting is almost too much for most to continue living (nuclear and biological weapons have killed or mutated the hell out of everything that was once beautiful). The cities are all cold and unfeeling, but look almost rusted through, and the surrounding forests are all like the miasma jungles of Nausicaa. It's that fucked up. But, there is hope. Well, hope for some. See, this one scientist figures out a way to pull neo-cells (basically "stem cells") out of a certain race of people (whom the elitists believe are culturally and evolutionarily below them), and with these cells regenerate any lost or destroyed body part in anybody anywhere. Well, all is going according to plan for a while, but then the chief scientist's son is killed in a campaign to harvest more cell-victims, and then super neo-celled zombie guys start a massive killing spree (helped along with some newly found robots), and then the scientist's dead son is also brought back to life thanks to the neo-cell mud baths, and then.... Well, then the movie kicks it into high gear.
As cool as Casshern is, you must remember that it is not an "action movie" per se. It does have some action in it (and it is the coolest fucking shit you will ever see with your own eyes without going to a strip club when Bendy Wendy does her mechanical bull riding bit), but the explosions aren't thrown at your face constantly, like they would have been in an American movie. Yet, this does not make this a boring movie. Far from it actually. When it was over (after two and a half hours), I actually only thought that there was no way it was over ninety minutes long. It's constantly moving, and it constantly keeps you guessing as to its grand purpose up until the last 5 seconds of the whole show. It was the perfect lead up and pay off. Yeah, it's very confusing at first, but all the pieces to the puzzle are there for you to put together if you think about them for a little bit. Oh, and that's another way of telling that it's not an American action movie -- it actually makes you think.
But, what makes Casshern so much better than any of its American movie counterparts' action sequences (most definitely including the Star Wars prequels, and even the Lord of the Rings Trilogy [blasphemy, I know, but hear me out]) is the unbridled imagination and camera angles used through out the fights. The first major brawl between our newly resurrected soldier and an evil robot army had me squealing out loud like a little girl whose ovaries were being tickled by rainbows. I rewound and rewatched that fight 5 times before being able to finish the rest of the movie up. The energy in that scene is like watching a crack monkey (think "crack whore," but with a monkey instead of a prostitute) locked in a candy store, with extra oxygen pumped in through the vents, and a bunch of teenagers with sticks, prodding the monkey into a psycho-rage of doom! It is awesome! Holy shit! Just thinking about the scene where Casshern (though he's not named "Casshern" as of this point) kung-fu chops a robot right down the middle, makes me cream my jeans. Granted, that's something I've been having a problem with lately, but trust me when I say this fight brings out my juices quite easily without any physical sensations to help the stimulation. Ooooooooooh yeah!
So, cool setting (feels kind of like a "seen better days" Giant Robo world), great characters (who get a little overly dramatic at times, but it's all good), and spectacular spectacular fights (as talked about in the previous paragraph for you peeps with attention defic- OH! Pretty bunny!) make Casshern an "instant classic" (yeah, I hate that oxymoron too, but I just used "instant classic" so that I could get the chance to then use "oxymoron" because that word makes me giggle). What I don't understand is why it costs Hollywood over $200million to make a movie that looks half as good as this Japanese stuff. Seriously, this flick is gorgeous! And it cost less than $10million to create. Why can't the Japanese make more of these kind of well plotted, well paced, well acted cinematic events, instead of selling their live-action movie rights to companies like ADVision (like they did with Evangelion), who's previous track record includes Sin and Lady Death? Lady Fucking Death!!!! I've had better experiences watching wolverines eat live kittens than I did sitting through Lady Death. And those kittens had mommies and daddies who loved them. Man, if the guy who did this was to do the live action Eva, he could make it look awesome, and give some depth behind it that the fuckers who shat out Sin could never even dream of experiencing. Fuck you, big American distributors of cool foreign shit who think you can write and direct stuff better than the original authors! Fuck you to HELL!
So many ideas! So many wonderful ideas! This movie filled my head with an unbelievable amount of previously unthought of conceptions! First, it gave me a new idea on how to animate the dead and turn them into super soldiers. Then it showed me how to tweak them a bit in order to get them to make me a giant, evil robot army. And then it gave me insight into creating a biomechanical supreme humanoid god in order to keep the super soldiers and evil robot army in line... Wow. I mean, my head is spinning. I... I need some time to take all this in... It's almost too perfect. Brilliant! This movie is simply brilliant!
Okay, so that Asian guy was killed in war and shit, and then brought back as a bad ass killin' machine himself in order to stop the other fuckers who were all brought back from the dead by that giant lightning bolt thingy, who then started that army of robot people to kill everyone, right? I think I got that part. But what I don't understand is why anybody cared worth a hounddog's testicle. Seriously, even if people are like blown away or slaughtered and shit, can't they all just be thrown into that gooey, pink, mud bath and be brought back as super people? Wasn't that the point of the mud bath? Hell, if Ah was that scientist in charge of that lab ya'll just know that's what Ah'd have done. Ah'd start sellin' tickets and such sayin' "Ya'll just had your momma blown to fuckin' hell? Step right up, step right up. For just $250 you can have the gal lookin' as good as new, and she'll be able to beat up a tank with her bare hands! Now that just makes economical sense, sugar, don't it?" Ah'm tellin' ya, that would sure beat having to kiss mah ankles every time I wanted a quick 250 bucks a pop... Though, truth be told, Ah'd prolly get pretty bored real quick like. Hmmmm, it might make good sense to just make the dead-raising a side job.