Director Yudai Yamaguchi definitely knows what fans of splatter (like me) want to see on-screen. Blood geysers, decapitations, amputations…Yamaguchi knows how to deliver. DEADBALL is the famed director’s most recent release, and it is a perfect addition to his canon of work. Although the film doesn’t showcase much of anything new, it is vastly entertaining and certainly worth checking out.
If you are not familiar with DEADBALL, here is the plot synopsis courtesy of Well Go USA:
Baseball prodigy Jubeh Yakyu is the most feared and dangerous juvenile delinquent in all of Japan. After accidentally causing the death of his father with a super-powered fireball pitch, Jubeh swore off baseball, but his life of crime leaves him in the Pterodactyl Juvenile Reformatory, at the mercy of Headmistress Ishihara, the granddaughter of a World War II Nazi collaborator, and her sadistic assistant, Ilsa. Despite having sworn never to play baseball again, Jubeh is presented with an ultimatum: join the reformatory team, The Gauntlets, in the national tournament, or witness the death of his innocent cellmate. Jubeh is now in a fight for his life against the sexy but deadly Psycho Butcher Girls of the St. Black Dahlia High School. These teams are literally playing for blood! A hilariously offensive, politically incorrect sports splatter comedy, DEADBALL is director Yudai Yamaguchi’s follow-up to his earlier zombie baseball classic BATTLEFIELD BASEBALL, and once again features action star Tak Sakaguchi. A riotous, over-the-top epic of excess, DEADBALL is the movie for the psycho sports fan in all of us, and more fun than a prison cavity search!
I’ve been a fan of Yamaguchi’s work for a while now, ever since I reviewed his film YAKUZA WEAPON a while back (unfortunately, the review is no longer available on my site since it crashed in December of last year). The director’s over-the-top style combined with a panache for gore gives audiences a jolt of hyper-violence they will not soon forget. And his films are simply so much fun to watch.
DEADBALL is shot well and the acting is pretty good overall. I especially enjoy seeing Tak Sakaguchi onscreen; he is an exceptional talent and I always like to see what he does next. In this performance, his role as the sullen Jubeh, who always seems to find a cigarette in every seen, is exceptional. He personifies the bad-but-misunderstood hero.
What truly stands out for me in this film is, as expected, the gore. Director Yamaguchi goes above and beyond when it comes to special effects, and he showcases that talent in this film. DEADBALL contains some truly excellent gore and, as per his stye, it is presented in all of its zany, beyond-tasteless glory.
Although the premise might seem a bit far-fetched, you should never go into a Yamaguchi film with a serious mindset. If you do, you’re bound for disappointment. But if you go into these movies with the right frame of mind, then you’re in for a real treat. I recommend giving DEADBALL a look…just make sure you don’t eat while you’re watching it. Doing so might cause you to lose your lunch.