asian horror

Vampire Girl vs. Frankenstein Girl (2009)

01

Co-directed by Yoshihiro “Japanese Tom Savini” Nishimura (The Machine Girl, Tokyo Gore Police) and Naoyuki Tomomatsu (Rape Zombie) we have two perverse flavors that taste delightful together.  Spewing from the same tapped vein that gave us the awesome Tokyo Gore Police, this one isn’t quite the masterpiece that TGP is, but it still manages to serve up a heaping amount of guts and silliness.  A fun, bizarre romp into the comedy gore genre, this flick delivers on the funny and the blood.

*(Side note: under much diligence, dear readers, know that I have duly searched for a legitimately terrifying Asian flick; and perhaps this is just my explosion-lovin’ American sensibilities, but the slew of vengeful ghost dramas just ain’t doing it for me.  If I wanted to be creeped out by little girls in wet, white dresses and long, dark hair, I’d lobby for an NTSC release of the next Fatal Frame game.

02

Which I am.

Anyhoo, since they’re not getting any less kooky across the western pond, I’m axing the scare factor stat for now, for one that seems a bit more appropriate.)

Sweaty’s Stats

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Nudity

Zero.  All of the characters are in high school, so that means a no-no on the nakedness.  There is some sexy posing and cleavage though, which is okay I guess?  Remember kids, leering at jailbait is fine, so long as no nipples are involved.

Gore

Oodles of it, but the name Nishimura should’ve already clued you in to that.  A lot of it (especially the CGI stuff) is pretty hokey, but it sort of works with the overall hokiness of the whole film.  It’s more goofball than gut-churning.

Screwball Factor

Through the roof, but this one’s camp on purpose, as opposed to the accidental weirdness that often comes from Japanese cinema in particular.

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Summary

We open with a pretty, long-haired fellow cradling his hot, eye-patched, cloaked girlfriend, the two of them looking like they’re modeling for one of the post-VII Final Fantasy games.  And just like FF, they barely make it ten steps before their first random encounter: three bloody, bolted and sewn-together beauties.  Eye patch girl flips off her wrap (and her patch) to reveal her fangs and right away we have a blood-soaked battle between monster ladies.  Now look.  I appreciate a movie that ramps up.  Sometimes you need to lay a foundation for what’s to come, and I respect that.  On the other hand, sometimes bitches are getting their faces ripped off in the first two minutes of the movie.

x

I also respect this.

So, we’re off with a bang.  Cut to a classroom and we’re introduced to a slew of over-the-top characters taken from popular Japanese culture.  You have your wrist-cutters, your goth lolitas and your um … outstandingly racist stereotypes.

03

Untitled

Lending credit to my theory that no one in Japan has actually ever seen a real, live black person.

Uh, moving on.  The central characters of the film are of course, by Japanese cinematic law, embroiled in a high school love triangle.  The Pretty Boy, Jugon, is the object of desire because even immortal monster women can’t find meaning in their lives unless there’s penis involved.

06

Beautiful, effeminate penis.

Poor hapless Jugon is at first forced into being the boyfriend of Keiko, class bully and queen of the Lolita Gang.  However, he’s also caught the eye of Monami (Vampire Girl), who gives him a Valentine’s Day chocolate behind the bitch’s back.  Biting into it, Jugon finds it’s filled with Monami’s blood and oops – he’s been roofied into being a vampire.  Upset by this, but too much of a milquetoast to stand up to either lady, he instead spends a good portion of the film being useless and pretty, while slightly concerned about all the murder happening around him.

Meanwhile, the rest of the students go on their own bizarre adventures; we follow the bloodletting machinations of the wrist-cutter’s club, as the anemic attention whores vie for the trophy in the cutting championships.

07

Japan + cutting reference … drink!

Next we look in on the Super Dark Girls club, which is made up of painful stereotypes in a *very* loose interpretation of the ganguro culture.  And yes, it is exactly what it sounds like … it’s a club of Japanese girls in blackface.

08

Oh Japan.

Fortunately, someone starts murdering these idiots and we’re spared from any more icky white guilt.  With bodies turning up and body parts missing, we’re introduced to another goofy plotline lurking in the school’s basement: the vice principal and his Kabuki/Inuyasha-inspired alter-ego as the Dr. Frankenstein of the film.  Having gotten a drop of Monami’s blood, he discovers the regenerative properties his mad science has been lacking.  When his daughter, none other than Lolita Keiko, has a fatal “accident,” what is a loving papa to do?

09

If you guessed “sew her up into a freakish nightmare,” then congratulations, you have the minimal brain capacity necessary to follow the simplest of plot devices.

With a body now comprised of the student body, Keiko, now our Frankenstein Girl, possesses the fast-cutting arms of the school’s best wrist-cutter, the black, exhaust-filled lungs of a Chinese teacher, and the powerfully fast, powerfully racist legs of the captain of the Super Dark Girl Club (get it, because black people are naturally good at sports such as running and jumping and for chrissakes Japan, come the fuck on.)

Naturally it all comes down to a boss fight.  As history’s most useless vampire, Jugon gets himself captured by the Lolitas and waits to be rescued by his lady love.  The two girls duke it out in a spectacular final battle on top of metal tower high above the city and I won’t spoil it, but it ends … maybe not exactly how you’d think.

10

It ends with those contact lenses I ordered online for Halloween last year.

Final Thoughts

While I don’t think it’s the most compelling plot-wise, Vampire Girl vs. Frankenstein Girl has some good moments a few surprises.  The effects are a bit hit-or-miss, as are the characters, who will often leave you shaking your head at their obscene ridiculousness, not to mention oh my god this is the most racist movie made in the last decade.  Only Japan would expect us to find humor in such tired, offensive stereotypes and —

20110629224852_Skids_and_Mudflaps_Ver_3_by_Rhanubis

Oh, wait.

Well, uncomfortable stereotypes aside, this is a pretty fun movie.  The effects are not quite as satisfying as some of Nishimura’s other works, that being more a fault of concept rather than the execution.  The movie is just way too silly to ever truly be grossed out by the gore, but it does do a good a job of making you laugh at its absurdity.  In particular I enjoyed the soundtrack; at times it was jazzy, almost lounge-like, making for a funny backdrop to some of the more brain-splattering scenes.

Overall I recommend this one to fans of the camp/gore genre.  Don’t go in expecting to be too shocked or disgusted (not by the gore, that is), but I found it to be genuinely funny and certainly worth a watch.

Score 7.5/10, silly, gory – good, clean racist fun

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5 replies »

  1. We can all use a little “good clean racist fun” about once a month; this one will stay off my radar for a time. In the early 70’s I watched every Samurai/ ninja flick ever made; went to a Asian theater in Seattle’s Chinatown; half the time the fucking things were not even subtitled. The stylized histrionic quality of Japanese films sort of put me off taking them very seriously; even some of the early Kurosawa were pretty lame. I admire your Asian blood thirst, though, & dig your specialty.

    Like

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