I thought Zombie Ass: Toilet of the Dead was as weird as it was going to get. It wasn’t.
In Helldriver, the source of a zombie infection is a mysterious piece of space debris that hurtles down to Earth. The space junk punches a hole in the torso of a psychotic cannibalistic woman who happens to be the protagonist’s mother. In a truly impressive feat for a dying person, she rips out her daughter Kika’s still-beating heart Indiana Jones style and somehow transplants it into her own body. (Miss Monday would probably have a thing or two to say about that shoddy transplant work.) If that isn’t enough, a strange starfish-like being attaches itself to the back of her head and a crystalline substance spreads from her chest wound to encase her. She tosses Kika aside, but not before the crystalline stuff starts covering Kika as well, preserving her in a sort of suspended animation state.
A cloud of black ash erupts from the starfish thing, turning 6 million people in the northern half of Japan into zombies with “horns” sticking out of their foreheads. The only way to kill the “infected” is to cut off their weird pronged protrusions, and there’s a thriving black market that revolves around powdered horns since they can be used as a drug. They also explode randomly — probably because the movie creators couldn’t think of a better way to include a lot of dramatic explosions.
After nearly an hour of backstory covering the start of the zombie infection, the politics of post-infected Japan, Kika’s childhood of fleeing her crazy cannibal mother and uncle, and the secret government experiment to turn Kika into a zombie killing machine by strapping a motor to her chest that powers a chainsaw katana… the title credits finally roll.
Kika gets dumped at the wall that separates the infected and safe halves of Japan, and she wakes up just in time to save Taku and Nanashi from a group of zombies. The two collect and sell zombie heads; Nanashi’s little sister is in the infected zone and they’re raising money for supplies to go find her.
The government captures and tasks a group of convicts (including our trio of zombie killers) with going deep into the infected zone to find/kill the source of the infection, Kika’s mother. Five are sent in and it doesn’t take long for the other two convicts to get themselves eaten. Some people just aren’t fit to face waves of hungry zombie heads raining down like carnivorous beach balls. Me? Sounds like batting practice time — just give me a Shoulder Blade and I’d be hitting home runs.
Anyway, the three survivors are almost overwhelmed when Kika’s mother squeezes her stolen heart, causing Kika to collapse from the sudden pain. Luckily, they’re saved by a… cowboy with a shotgun? Kaito, a former police officer, carts them away from danger in a truck modified to slice through zombie hordes and offers to help them find Nanashi’s sister. Kaito brings them to a place he calls the “Zombie Bar” where zombies bring humans they’ve captured, and sure enough, she’s one of the captives.
This is where shit gets really weird.
There’s a zombie with extra arms wielding multiple katanas and machineguns, a zombie geisha twirling her zombie fetus around like a flail (it should go without saying my metal fist is a lot more effective than a baby), a swordfight between a zombie stuck full of swords like a pincushion and a wheelie-popping truck, a racecar made entirely of zombie body parts… and then, to top it all off, Kika’s mother calls a huge crowd of zombies together to form one huge giant zombie? Amid all this, the government attempts to eradicate Kika’s mother using missiles, but the plan backfires when she pulls a page out of my book and grabs the missiles for her own use. Not only does she control a giant Godzilla-sized zombie, it’s now a missile-propelled airplane zombie that rains down stray zombies all over the ‘safe’ half of Japan.
Kika finally has her showdown with her uncle and her mother, defeats them both, takes her heart back, and lops off her mother’s head. With the source of the infection gone, the rest of the zombies all immediately drop dead, and an explosion sends Kika’s mother’s head (and the starfish-like being) flying into outer space.
But wait — wasn’t cutting off their ‘horns’ the only way to kill the zombies? Post-credits, the head enters the atmosphere of another planet, presumably to start the cycle over again. Kika made the same mistake that Ryu did: assuming their enemy was eliminated, but not ensuring it. I won’t be so careless when I get my revenge.