Billed as the first Taiwanese zombie film of all time, this apocalypse film delivers plenty of blood, gore and bodies - not to mention an unexpected plethora of torture porn scenes - but fails to provide believable characters, realistic dialogue or any coherent storyline.
We begin our story in the deserted city of Taipei, where Linda (Yvonne Yao) finds herself sitting alongside her (presumably) dead husband in a battered car. A quick check of the backseat alerts her to the fact that her young daughter has disappeared and she immediately sets out into the carnage to find her.
Well, she hunts about for a few minutes. By that point, Linda is too thirsty to continue and, giving her daughter up for dead, heads to a nearby supermarket to pick herself up a bottle of water. Cue zombies - and not just one or two of them. As Linda soon discovers, these undead shufflers are literally e-v-e-r-y-w-h-e-r-e. As luck would have it, she finds her daughter, ineffectively swipes at a zombie or two with a spade and is picked up by a car. Phew. She's totally safe now, isn't she?
WRONG! In fact Linda has been picked up by a deformed pervert who (as we later discover) likes to lock women up in his basement, pickle foetuses, urinate on girls, force slaves to perform oral sex on him, inject victims with the zombie virus, partake in bondage activities, rub his pet squid all over unfortunate prisoners (wait - he rubs a SQUID all over them? What? WHY?!) and, of course, torture and deform men.
Let's say goodbye to Linda for a moment - she's busy, after all - and focus on the main focus of the story.
Nuclear disasters, tsunamis and more are threatening Taiwan and so, when a deadly virus leaks in Taipei, the government orders army and SWAT teams to oversee evacuation. This doesn't go down too well in Ximending, the downtown area of Taipei, where the prostitutes and local gangs aren't all too happy to see the police at their door. What follows is a massive shoot-out between the SWAT teams and the gangs but, when they find themselves under zombie attack, the two sides are forced to forge an uneasy alliance.
The zombies may be slow - deadly slow, in fact - but they're pretty enthusiastic in their quest for human flesh. Cops 'n' crooks are forced to give out everything they've got, which means we get plenty of gunfire, some serious martial arts mayhem, a few unexpected parkour tumbles, an axe-wielding chubster and an obscenely high body count. Action comes to a head when the survivors find their way to the sexual sadist's apartment... and they quickly discover that he's not the only monster hiding out there.
So what's right with Zombie 108? Well, we've got some nicely staged zombie mayhem, plenty of gore, some laugh-out-loud scenes and a few nailbiting moments. But the film tries to pack too much into the 90 minute plot. Serial killers, zombies, gang warfare, political corruption, the end of the world - there's just too much going on. And, while the main focus of the film seems to be quite a light-hearted zombie apocalypse plot, the sexual sadist element throws a dark and unsavoury shadow over proceedings. Strong suggestions of paedophilia make viewing very uncomfortable, and the incessant torture porn shots soon have you feeling nostalgic for the undead flesh-munchers.
And the causal sexploitation of women doesn't stop in Mr McCreepy's basement. From pole dancing lesbians and topless dancers, right up to female cops and casual passers-by, all of the women in this film seem to favour hotpants and crop tops. Male characters discuss whether they'd still have sex with a female zombie, gang lords grab at breasts whenever they feel like it... it's like all of the women have been laid out in a buffet for all the men to enjoy at will. And it's very uncomfortable.
In short, Zombie 108 is an adequate addition to the genre. However the incoherent plot, tired storyline, clumsy dialogue and excessive savagery means that only die-hard fans of the slow-moving undead will find anything worthwhile here.