What a pleasant surprise! I'm no big fan of creature features and the less-than-stellar cover art on this title nearly made me forget that real reviewers watch everything, not just what looks good. Thus, I got over my aversion and popped the title into the VCR.

Although the opening sequence is graphic and somewhat unnecessary, it certainly sets the pace for this violent thriller--and what else should we expect from writer Yoshiakai Kawajiri of Wicked City fame? Once the pace settles, we find ourselves in a plot revolving around two molecular biologists, Koshigaya and Kimada--not the most common choice for action superstars, but go figure--who have linked the mysterious transformation of ordinary humans into nasty mutant creatures to a disease they call the 'demon virus.' The two of them have developed and are attempting to refine an experimental antidote that seems to work in certain situations. Kimada has a special stake in the proceedings, as he has a latent strain of the virus himself. Though it's not fully explained, he can control when he transforms back and forth. However, this power is so taxing that he's not sure how much longer he can control it. Things get really interesting when they get involved with a psychic and his granddaughter who are being hunted down by some government thugs because they know too much about the real identity of a killer. That killer also happens to be one of the beasties Koshigaya and Kimada are trying to track down.

The plot is better than most titles in this genre and the animation is quite good. Although it doesn't represent anything revolutionary to the horror/action genre of anime, it's enjoyable--though not recommended for the squeamish.

BioHunter -- adult language and situations, nudity, graphic violence -- B+