Mr. Sato revisits and reviews the 2012 classic that critics called “a confusing mess” and “so much unwanted junk.”

In Japan there is an interestingly thriving B-Movie business operating. Walk into any video rental store (that you might be surprised to find still exist here) and you’ll find the biggest of big-name Hollywood blockbusters sharing the very same prominent shelf space as something like Mutant Sex Zombies 18.

Part of the reason is that people here often don’t keep up on all American movies and can’t always tell the difference in quality until it’s too late. This is further enabled by deceptive titles which use the names of huge hits such as Alien Vs Avatar, Atlantic Rim, or E/T.

Our own Mr. Sato, for example, is a sucker for films with “Armageddon” in the title. Ever since the explosion-filled Michael Bay movie of 1998, he felt the English word “armageddon” had an intriguing quality to it.

That’s why he’s a follower of Japanese film distributor Albatross, which is known for adding that magic word to several film titles including Volcano Armageddon and Ice Armageddon. Mr. Sato was especially excited to hear of the release of Armageddon of the Dead, which combines the threat of an asteroid strike and zombie apocalypse at the same time!

▼ Mr. Sato may have never picked up the film under the original U.S. title of Solid State, showing us how important naming can be in different countries

Upon its U.S. release, IMDB reviews for this film were not kind, with headlines such as “Waste of time and money,” “Disappointing,” and “Arrrrrrrrghhhhh!”

But those cinema elitists are not always to be trusted, so here’s man-of-the-people Mr. Sato’s thoughts:

The movie was awful in the beginning. It starts with a music video that Emily (the main character) made after breaking up with her band and starting a solo career. The video is really ugly and awful and did nothing to fill me with suspense about the impending armageddon… It kind of made me root for the end of the world instead. I was almost tempted to stop the movie and walk away right then and there, about one minute into the movie.


Then Emily’s manager…or the president of her company or something instructed her to rejoin her band and tour Italy.

Meanwhile, the Earth is about to be destroyed by a mysterious giant meteor, but the governments of the world unite to easily destroy it with missiles. Strangely, Emily and the rest of the characters have no idea any of this monumental stuff is happening and enjoy lunch in the Italian countryside.

Now, the destruction of the mysterious meteor causes a strange light to rain down on Earth and turn people into zombies. However, the zombies don’t really move, and I mean they literally do not move an inch. They occasionally do some scary twitching but the rest of the time they’re completely frozen, like someone pushed a pause button on them.

▼ The Japanese trailer reveals a little more of this strange CGI that Mr. Sato is referring to than the U.S. one does.

Eventually, Emily and another woman get ready for the final battle and learn magic while discovering secrets from the past. Come to think of it, the very beginning of the movie starts 1,000 years ago, which I guess was meant to foreshadow something, but really just didn’t make any sense at all. Anyway, the whole time there’s a lot of gratuitous sex and jokes that don’t really fit the situation and are very distracting…

Several times while watching I thought to myself, “Okay, I’m going to stop it now and do something else,” but I stuck with it. I’m glad I did too, because at the very last minute a shocking huge twist was waiting!!!

I’m angry that I had to endure a lot of that movie, but I now realize there were a lot of hints dropped that led up to this conclusion. I have to say at the very end it made everything worthwhile.

If you want to try to watch Armageddon of the Dead, I encourage you to stick with it to the very end. I’m sure you’ll feel the same way I did. On the “Armageddon” scale (based on B-movies with “Armageddon” in the title) I give this one a 10!

At this point we’d like to point out that Mr. Sato’s views do not necessarily reflect those of SoraNews24 as a whole. Personally, I’ve never seen this movie, and virtually every comment about this movie I’ve come across online has been really bad.

▼ By the way, if doing your own research, the Armageddon of the Dead that Mr. Sato watched shouldn’t be confused with the U.K.’s Armageddon of the Dead. A completely different movie that is called Risen in the U.S. and The World Dead in Japan. Titles tend to run fast and loose in the B-movie kingdom.

However, as Mr. Sato said, the twist that made everything worthwhile happens at the very end. So, it’s not impossible to assume that many if not all of these negative comments came from people who gave up and stopped the movie at some point before then.

Furthermore, despite his wacky antics, Mr. Sato is actually a very good writer with a keen sense for narrative. I’m inclined to believe him on this despite all other evidence being to the contrary. If you are too, then figure out what this movie is called in your country and give it a shot. You might be pleasantly surprised too.

Images: SoraNews24
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