Stacy (2001)

Genres - Horror  |   Run Time - 80 min.  |   Countries - Japan   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Review by Fred Beldin

Former adult film director Naoyuki Tomomatsu obviously knows his audience, because jokey George Romero and Evil Dead references abound in this over-the-top zombie story. Stacy will appeal to fans of zombie films and those with Asian girl fetishes (there should be a fair amount of crossover between the two), and despite a rather slavish devotion to genre, it tries to advance more than just cannibalism and sexy Japanese teenagers. Adapted from the novel by Kenji Otsuki, Stacy envisions a future plagued by a worldwide epidemic that kills off females between the ages of 15 and 17, who then rise as undead cannibal zombies called "Stacies" that can only be stopped by being chopped into exactly 165 pieces. This wild concept doesn't carry the existential dread of Romero's unexplained zombie infestations, but it's far more intriguing than the average walking dead scenario found in a hundred weak Night of the Living Dead rip-offs. Unfortunately, the abrupt conclusion suggests that Otsuki's book had far more plot than Tomomatsu was willing to work with, as voice-over narration explains how the world deals with the Stacy problem over the next several decades. Stacy has energy to spare, but the digital video cinematography doesn't help the believability factor any, and most of the budget was probably spent on the film's endless violent effects. Gorehounds will bust a gut over the prodigious blood, organs, spinal chords, and rubber limbs on display, a juicy buffet that wavers in authenticity but packs a nauseating punch. Overall, a good effort at expanding a staid subgenre that hardcore adherents will appreciate.