‘Visitors’ revels in all its gory glory with deadpan humor

Zombie holocausts and demonic scourges come in all kinds of cinematic flavors, but they’re seldom as joyous as the one depicted in Kenichi Ugana’s “Visitors: Complete Edition.” This is a film in which ordinary people get transformed into monsters worthy of “The Exorcist” — ripped flesh, rotatable heads, limitless quantities of ectoplasmic vomit — and they’re clearly having a blast.

As with his earlier “Extraneous Matter” (2020), Ugana has taken a snappy short film and extended it to an hour-long runtime, like a stand-up comic seeing how long they can draw out a gag before getting to the punchline. The original 15-minute “Visitors” — which screened at numerous international festivals in 2021 — is available on YouTube, but the chance to watch it with a live audience is reason enough to catch this extended theatrical release.

The short now serves as an opening act, and it’s a wild one: an exuberant bloodbath in the vein of Sam Raimi’s “The Evil Dead,” confined almost entirely to a one-story shack in rural Chiba Prefecture. That’s where a trio of friends have driven in search of their incommunicado bandmate, Sota (Ryuta Endo), only to find themselves in the middle of a demonic outbreak.


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