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Holehead 2010: Death Kappa (2010) Review

[Our thanks to Peter Galvin for offering this review to the Twitch readership.]

I always assumed that kappa meant cucumber in Japanese, leaping to the conclusion as a result of an immodest consumption of kappa sushi rolls over the course of my life. I now know that kappa are green goblins that live in Japanese ponds, and who specialize in swimming and sumo wrestling; it is because the kappa's favorite food is cucumbers that the sushi received its name. These gaijin-centric facts are revealed early on in Death Kappa (2010) by a self-identified Professor Tanaka who speaks directly to the camera, and including them for viewers indicates the producers' awareness of the appeal of low-budget Japanese filmmaking in the West. Thanks to the unexpected success of splatter hits Tokyo Gore Police (2008) and Machine Girl (2008), producers Yōko Hayama and Yoshinori Chiba are familiar with the tastes of Western audiences and the first half of Death Kappa, with its similar barrel-scraping budget and gleeful stupidity, is familiar ground.

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