Guitar Wolf Returns to Save the World — and Rock ‘n’ Roll — in Wild Zero 2

A Kickstarter campaign to fund the film’s production is now live.

Back in 2001, director Tetsuro Takeuchi teamed up with Japanese garage rock legends Guitar Wolf to make Wild Zero, a low-budget horror movie for which the term “over the top” is an understatement. Filled with zombies, gore, UFOs, guitar katanas, and, of course, rock n’ roll, Wild Zero feels like an attempt to create the ultimate cult movie, for better or worse. Or, as I wrote in my review:

Tetsuro Takeuchi [culls] elements from zombie movies (Night of the Living Dead), 50s B-grade sci-fi movies (Plan 9 from Outer Space), and rock n’ roll movies (Rock N’ Roll High Forever). And it might be that his little formula worked a little too well for the film’s own good. In the end, Wild Zero is filled with lots of ambition, excess, and energy that gets a little ahead of itself at times.

Jump ahead to 2024, and apparently, the world — and rock n’ roll — still need saving, because Takeuchi and Guitar Wolf have returned with a Kickstarter campaign for Wild Zero 2: The Strongest Blood of Humanity. And get a load of the sequel’s premise:

In a world where chaos reigns supreme, the last rocker on Earth, Guitar Wolf, finds himself frozen by the hands of evil during a live performance. Subsequently, Earth faces three major catastrophes: nuclear warfare, the clash between AI and humanity, and a catastrophic meteorite impact, leading to the loss of much of civilization. The world devolves into a dystopian landscape, overrun by UFOs and swarming with zombies.

Fast forward a century into the future, where society has lost both rock n’ roll and civilization. A young girl, descendant of the Wolf Ninjas, finds herself hunted by a tyrant who covets her immortal blood, a gift inherited from her ancestors. Desperate, she resurrects Guitar Wolf from his frozen slumber by blowing the dog whistle passed down from her mother, connecting them as fellow members of the Wolf clan.

Can Guitar Wolf’s blade, concealed within his guitar and fueled by love and belief, save the girl from the clutches of greedy adults? Will humanity reclaim a world where love and rock n’ roll once again echo? As the strings of destiny are strummed, the stage is set for a showdown where the power of music and the spirit of rebellion may be humanity’s last hope.

I don’t know about you, but that’s precisely the sort of crazy stuff I’d expect from a Wild Zero sequel. And to make it all a reality, the Wild Zero 2 Kickstarter campaign is seeking to raise nearly $400,000. Tier rewards include advance access to the film when it’s done, a copy of the script including manga by Guitar Wolf bassist Bass Wolf, and even executive producer credits.

Wild Zero 2’s filmmakers are also making it possible for backers to appear in the film by submitting photos of their faces and bodies. These photos will be used to create digital zombies, which will no doubt be slain in suitably gory fashion, maybe even by Guitar Wolf’s guitar katana. (Given the concerns over how such imagery can be used to create AI actors in perpetuity, I hope the filmmakers will clarify the extent to which these photos will be used.)

No dates for Wild Zero 2’s production or release have been announced but the Kickstarter campaign runs until May 8, 2024. In the meantime, since you can never have too much Guitar Wolf in your life, here’s a blistering performance that the leather-clad trio recorded for PBS last April. The band has also announced a short North American tour in May and June.

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