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Marco Cian

Peter Mak’s The Wicked City (not to be confused with the anime film of the same name, on which this is based) is one of those movies like Miami Connection or Samurai Cop. More fever dream than film, it defies all convention and sense and is best enjoyed with plenty of alcohol in the company of friends. To describe its plot is largely a fool’s errand. Like Burial Ground, it is less a cohesive narrative and more a series of events, each more baffling than the last. And yet, I shall endeavor to do just that.

In Wicked City, there is a shadowy cabal of an elite, nonhuman race known as Reptoids, who pull strings behind world events and who control the world’s economy. If you know about the Reptoid theory espoused by David Icke (and its unfortunate relationship with anti-semitism) this setup may leave a bad taste in your mouth. However, Wicked City doesn’t focus on these elements long enough for them to matter, because the actual film is an anti-drug PSA. The main villain (who likes to dress as a pimp in his spare time and has a graphic love scene with a sentient pinball machine at one point), is selling smack Happiness to the kids, and it’s up to our heroes to stop him. The baddie is going to use this drug trade to turn back time to the Paleolithic era, so that the Reptoids can more easily rule humanity. I still don’t know how Step A leads to Step C in this scheme, but I do know this involves him turning into a giant squid-man and hopping onto a jetliner so that he can steer it into a tower, before our hero uses his pistol to shoot at said jetliner to make the baddie veer away. There is no wind resistance. Jets can make 90-degree turns in this universe.

If you’re wondering what the black face on the VHS cover is, it’s an elevator. She tries to eat our heroes at one point, but she is defeated because, and I quote, “You’re just a machine. You can’t really understand the pleasures of making love.” So the elevator turns into a motorcycle, and one of the heroes rides her to death, upon which she explodes. I think Wicked City is supposed to have an anti-racism message, but any noble ideas it may have are difficult to parse because of events like these.

When I told a friend about this movie, he said “That sounds like the live-action Super Mario Bros. sequel we need.” And I knew in my heart that he was right. You may ask how I can recommend such a work, given its nonsensical plot and deeply unfortunate implications. But you must understand. I need the world to know. I need people to see that I didn’t make up the wonders I’ve seen. It was all real. It really happened. I’m not crazy. You don’t think I’m crazy, do you? Do you?

Marco Cian is a third-year ALT in Toyooka, Hyogo, and the Head Web Editor of AJET Connect. He is not crazy. Honest. He just likes to watch utterly insane movies, and you can find him on his YouTube channel, È quasi milione, where he talks about Doctor Who.