Or is it? When I first saw Wild Zero back in 2000/2001 (a bit hazy back then, considering college was a drunken escapade for myself and my friends), I went in already loving the band Guitar Wolf and their 3 chord punk insanity. It was also a zombie horror comedy from Japan, so that as well piqued my interest. There’s lots of gore, lots of good music and it’s funny as hell, with the members of Guitar Wolf themselves saying it was ‘stupid and fun’ to make. But where is the LGBT friendly content?
To be honest, the first time I watched it I didn’t quite notice it. It was almost an afterthought, it’s never truly said out loud and if you happen to just watch it for the horror comedy aspect, you’ll miss it completely. The character of Tobio is either transgendered or intersexed, it’s never plainly stated, but it’s right there, out in the open for all to see. Or is it? In actuality I believe the character of Tobio is supposed to be like people in society, where there’s no questions asked about her gender/sexuality and instead we see the love between her and Ace, Guitar Wolf’s number one fan, blossom throughout the film, which I think already works wonders on the stigma people who are trans have to go through every day of their lives.
Was it intentional of director/writer Tetsuro Takeuchi to depict a character where we don’t give a second thought to who she is? I believe so and I think it’s a great thing to do. As opposed to The Hangover 2 where we meet a transwoman who is beautiful but, as Ed Helms realizes after already having sex with her in a drunken/high state, has a penis, it just becomes another notch in his addiction to prostitutes and not something so reprehensible that he has to inflict harm upon her or even himself. It’s a small step in the right direction, and it takes baby steps in this day and age to finally gain some sort of footing when it comes to acceptance.
Many films have attempted to do so over the years, the majority being comedies. Usually it’s something over the top when it’s presented and can sometimes be a bit offensive. Being an aspiring screenwriter for the last ten years (which means I haven’t sold anything at all), it becomes apparent that films with a main star who is transgendered tends to not be in the public consciousness, therefore wouldn’t sell when it comes to the big shots in Hollywood. While growing up here in NYC since the early 1980′s, I tend to watch tons of movies and have seen many that have had a character who is transgendered and is either despicable, psychotic or pathetic and it’s really a shame that this is what comes across on screen when we get closed minded individuals writing the screenplays.
Getting to see films like The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, Bad Education, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Orlando and even Dog Day Afternoon over the years have had a strong influence in my outlook on transgendered people and the varying types of people they truly are. Having met plenty of beautiful men and women over the years has also shown me the different sides they have that in the past was just a joke in a film that people took for granted. Hopefully people take a second glance at Wild Zero and past the blood, guts, punk music and zombies, you can see a little bit of hope and love between an atypical boy and girl relationship that we don’t see on screen often at all. Check it out and let us know what you think on the site, at our email or even our voicemail. We’d love to hear about other choices you’d pick for depictions of transgendered people that aren’t the typical villainous roles.