A group of United States air force personnel are transporting a hydrogen bomb when they are attacked by a large swarm of insects at over 30,000 feet. The military personnel escape via parachutes only to be found on an island a few days later dead. Meanwhile, Joji, who works for the biological research center, is collecting insect specimens on the island when he comes across the deceased men. The military believes Joji is responsible for strange deaths of these men but Joji's superior, Dr. Nagumo, believes that something much more abnormal and sinister is going on. On it's surface, Kazui Nihonmatsu's Genocide is merely a fun disaster horror film made with b-movie sensibilities. The film plays like a mystery for most of its running time with the U.S. military only interested in finding their missing Hydrogen bomb and Dr. Nagumo attempting to figure out what the hell is going on. The film is a little convoluted in terms of the various subplots, from Joji's unfaithfulness to his wife, to a race between the eastern and western influences to find the hydrogen bomb creating for a surprisingly dense film of ideas. What ultimately develops is an incredibly cynical film about human nature and while the film appears to be about killer insects, it's really about the evil and greed of mankind. Almost every character in the film outside of Dr. Nagumo and Joji's wife is selfish and the film is not too subtle about it's criticism of American imperialism during the time period. Hell, one could even make an argument that Genocide is a commentary on the risks of Adultry, given that Arrabelle, Joji's lover, ends up being the primary reason for the demise of the world. The aesthetic of Genocide is nothing incredibly special but the film does use some extreme close-ups of the insects to great effect. The one scene that stands out visually is when we get to see a glimpse of the affect the insects poison has on the human brain, delivering a nice psychedelic and surreal sequence. Kazui Nihonmatsu's Genocide is a movie that many would write off because of its b-movie qualities, and while the film is a little overloaded, it's a fun, smart, cynical commentary on the human race.
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