2019 Scarecrow Psychotronic Challenge Day 3: Deadball (2011)

DAY 3. SPORTS AND FITNESS: All pain, no gain. A workout watch out!

For this year’s challenge, I’ve wanted to avoid the expected and find movies that nobody is really talking about. Plus, each movie could never have been posted before to our site. That means that movies like Death Spa and Killer Workout were verboten.

The Japanese LOVE baseball, perhaps more than their American counterparts. Their love, however, is filtered through their own lens, which means that their edited American games take out everything between pitches. That means that a game that takes us 3 hours or more to watch can take but minutes. Keep that in mind and you’ll understand how a movie like Deddoboru came to be.

The film starts with young Jubeh Yakyu playing a game of catch with his father, who asks him to throw him his best pitch. This is a horrible time for Jubeh to discover he has superpowers, as the resulting throw ignites Earth and blows his dad up real good.

As a result, Jubeh becomes a juvenile delinquent and hero of the teenagers of Japan, doing things like killing fifty people a week and throwing TV sets at people. He’s sent to the Pterodactyl Juvenile Reformatory, a place where his adopted brother was once a prisoner before his death.

Chief warden Ishihara — not-so-coincidentally the granddaughter of a Nazi collaborator — is in charge of the prison baseball league and knows that the team will finally have a chance if Jubeh is on their team. Also: her butler looks exactly like Klaus Nomi, a fact that is called out in the film.

Director Yudai Yamaguchi knows of strange baseball. He also directed 2003’s Jigoku Koshien (Hell Stadium), or as it’s known in the West, Battlefield Baseball. The hero of that film was also named Jubeh, but this is less of a straight sequel than just another movie about deadly baseball.

Tak Sakaguchi, who plays Jubeh, is pretty much acting like the Japanese Man With No Name in this, constantly smoking and looking cool while he does so. Literally, he has the superpower — in addition to being able to throw father-murdering fastballs — to generate a cancer stick whenever he needs it.

Should you watch it? Does the prospect of a giant robot covered with swastikas and evil prisoner women battling a superpowered Asian Clint Eastwood fill you with glee? Because if it not, anata ni wa kokoro ga arimasen, as the Japanese say.

You can watch this for free on Popcorn Flix.

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