Dismembered bodies. Zombies. Tornado pitches. Cherry blossoms. Random naked guys. Cyborgs. Chainsaws. And a form of baseball where no rules apply -- and only one team comes out alive.
Now imagine all of that, crammed into a sports spoof with a Monty Pythonesque sense of humor. "Battlefield Baseball" has not a single moment of genuine plot or character development -- instead, Yudai Yamaguchi fills it with ludicrous twists, delightfully sick action, and a deeply irreverent attitude towards all sports movies.
Seido High School has a very real chance of getting to Koshien Stadium, courtesy of Matsui Gorilla and a bunch of other talented players. Then Principcal Kocho learns who their opponent is -- Gedo High, a savage bunch of green-skinned mutant zombie types who dismember opposing teams.
Fortunately the new transfer student Jubeh (Tak Sakaguchi) has incredible baseball skills -- but he refuses, unwilling to play because of a tragic accident. Four Eyes (Atsushi Ito) convinces him to join the team -- but Jubeh is mysteriously missing when Gedo shows up for the game, resulting in a mass slaughter of the remaining baseball players.
But after a near-death experience and a scuffle with Four Eyes' mom, Jubeh is raring to take revenge on the team that slaughtered the Seido players -- if he can remember how to do his most lethal pitch. But even with that pitch and a very odd new team, Jubeh must still contend with the psychopathic Coach from Gedo High -- and the deadly Poison Bat!
There is literally not a single serious moment in all of "Battlefield Baseball." Really. This is absurdity on a Monty Python level, only with more applauding audiences appearing at dramatic moments. In fact, that is much of its charm -- "Battlefield Baseball" spends all its time relentlessly mocking sports movies of the drippiest kind.
In particular, it spoofs the sentimental stuff (the ludicrous "family reunion"), contrived plot twists (Jubeh is arrested for no reason), deus ex machinae, sudden changes of heart, and an obligatory romance. And lest a single sports cliche be left unmocked, Yamaguchi trots out an Inspiring Message near the end, reminding us that baseball is all about life and love of the game. Even the dialogue ("I've been a head teacher here for twenty-five years. I'm always ready to sacrifice myself for Seido!") is hilarious.
That would only be moderately funny in most spoofs. But Yamaguchi takes it WAY further, by making everything as insane, stupid and ludicrous as possible -- people burst into song for no reason, run around with swords, wear gold loincloths, turn into cyborgs, and one character is constantly being "reborn" with new actors. And everything important that happens has a large audience standing by to applaud.
Yamaguchi also piles on the gore and grotesquerie. Ears are ripped off, crowds are gunned down, players are impaled on bats, and every game ends with a bunch of bloody plastic limbs strewn around. It's really sick, and really hysterical.
The gorgeous Tak Sakaguchi is put to good use here -- not only does he get to show off his polished physical skills, but he's hilarious at the Ruggedly Handsome Hero ("My dad told me to, when I was dead ten minutes ago!"). Wind blows through his hair, he sheds a manly tear, skids across a baseball field on his stomach, and spends several minutes savagely beating a rubber dummy.
You can tell that this must have been fun. The other actors also do great jobs -- Ito is excellent as Four Eyes (yes, that is his name), a dweeb with a deep love of baseball. And the guys playing the psychotic Coach, the stressed-out Kocho, the bestial Gorilla and the rabidly enthusiastic Head Teacher all do wonderful jobs, no matter how kooky their characters.
"Battlefield Baseball" revels in the mockery of your average sports movie, when it's not tossing around body parts and magical cherry blossoms. A deliciously sick, warped little comedy.