When I reviewed "Primal", I mentioned that while it was a pastiche of a movie, it was at least an entertaining one. What I was saying in short is that if you are going to do a horror movie that brings nothing new to the table, at least make sure that said movie is fun to watch. That's exactly what Atsushi Muroga's 2000 zombie movie "Junk" is-a movie that's nothing new whatsoever, but at least comes from someone who understands how to do mindless fun.
In Japan, a new formula called DNX has been created in a military lab, which can bring the dead back to life. This turns out to be, as Will Arnett's Gob character from "Arrested Development" would call, "a huge mistake", as it awakens a very naked-and shockingly hot, girl who has a taste for human flesh. To make matters worse, a team of petty jewel thieves end up finding out that the only thing worse than running from the law and getting double crossed is a horde of zombies. Now, they must fight for their lives, all while the scientist who created the serum must put a stop to this madness, and what do you know, he knows this zombie gal, who also has a thing for tight leather and jack boots. If she weren't dead, I'd be in love.
There really isn't anything new here. Take "Re-Animator", "Return of the Living Dead 3", "Day of the Dead" and a Tarantino knock-off, and "Junk" is what you get. As far as knock-offs go, this one is actually pretty fun, with plenty of gore, the already mentioned female nudity, and a sense of humor and energy to the proceedings. The one thing that helps this out the most is the inspiration it takes from Italian zombie movies. In short, if you like films like "Zombi 2", "Burial Ground" and even "Hell of the Living Dead", then you might like this, as there's nods to those movies (one zombie looks like it could have escaped "Nightmare City", the dead rising with white sheets tied to them could have come from a Fulci movie-the list goes on) that actually manage not to feel derivative. You can tell that Muroga did his homework, and knows what fans of these kinds of movies want, and he largely delivers.
Well, except in the acting department. While nobody expects great acting from movies like this, most of the performances here are pretty bad-with the American actors in particular being awful. Every time one of them appeared on the screen, I found myself cringing at the poor line delivery and lack of conviction in their performances.
Still, "Junk" is the good kind of junk-not too bright, but it offers enough nudity, gore and all around fun to make it impossible to hate. Italian zombie fans in particular should give this a shot.