If you see this film you will never forget the title.
Those lyrics forever seared in this author’s memory, many will find the stylings of a hyper-kinetic pop video better reserved to mere minutes. Here compounded, upended, elongated and blasted at you repeatedly over the course of a feature length run, We Are Little Zombies takes no heed of your senses.
When several children become orphans following the worst strawberry aficionados tour ever, they, of course, form a pop band in Japan. Notoriety, eclecticism and a cinematographer rarely willing to let the frame stand still soon follow. Notably described as “zany,” Matt Groening once joked that anything featuring the adjective should be approached with caution. Fair reasoning, the converse remove and intermittent, underlying sense of internal horror exhibited by much of the cast’s antics manages to ground proceedings and render this all that much more reckonable even amidst this film’s most abounding exuberance.
Ensuring that we know their name through umpteenth musical repetition, technicolour pop-electronica outfit We Are Little Zombies treats us to the sensory overload we might experience should our Youtube recommendations cycle us through hitherto unseen, ebullient corners of pop that long since threw caution to the winds. Overlong in parts and stretched to accommodate the creatives’ visual bric-a-brac spurned forth rather than necessarily structured to serve the story or its characters, that which transpires will likely frustrate viewers unaccustomed to these stylings as everything colourful that can indeed be visualised is thrown at the screen.
Fixing on some about turns in its final act and pivoting to avowedly symbolic, metaphorical territory, the hyperactive moments where our leads or those very animated fly-ins are exposed to the most creative hits, absent their repetition, emerge as this film’s highlights. An experience for the dedicated crowd, for those enamoured with the form this ode to fandom does well to rampantly emulate some of its most colourful fixtures.
We Are Little Zombies screened as part of the Melbourne International Film Festival
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