From the creators of the fantastic “Tokyo Gore Police” and “Machine Girl”, comes another Japanese B-movie that brings bucket loads of gore, bloody arterial spray, macabre and outrageous themes, face-ripping effects and bizarre characters. Directors Yoshihiro Nishimura and Naoyuki Tomomatsu brings Japanese cinema fans the awkwardly titled “Vampire Girl Vs. Frankenstein Girl” (2009, Kyūketsu Shōjo tai Shōjo Furanken) which is based on the Japanese manga (comic book) by Shungiku Uchida. This film is aimed for specific fans and it is not for mainstream audiences; but hey, it does have sexy bikini models Yukie Kawamura, Eri Otoguro (OneChanbara) and Sayaka Kametani….heck, even Audition's Eihi Shiina makes an appearance...so do I have your attention yet?
We catch a glimpse of Japanese culture as it seems like on Valentine’s Day, girls give a chocolate to the guy they like; and such is the case when a beautiful transfer student named Monami Alucardo (“Alucard”, get it? Played by sexy Yukie Kawamura) gives a chocolate to Jungo Mizushima (Takumi Saito). This chocolate is dosed by Monami’s blood and it turns him into a half-vampire. But it seems like, Mizushima is well-liked by the women in school and the vice-principal’s daughter Keiko (sexy Eri Otoguro) is also very fond of him. Whether Jungo likes it or not, the bitchy Keiko claims that he is her man and jealousy takes over which leads to her accidental demise. What no one knows, is that her father is also a Kabuki-clad mad scientist who claims to have been continuing the legacy of Victor Frankenstein. Now with his assistant, the curvaceous killer Midori (Sayaka Kametani), they resurrect Keiko to challenge Monami in a battle of truly epic body parts….the battle has been joined!
Those who are familiar with the outrageous Japanese storylines and crazy delivery of blood and gore would be right at home with “Vampire Girl Vs. Frankenstein Girl”. Take some staples of high school romance, add in some bizarre oddball characters (Sayaka Kametani is so sexy and 'hammy' while Kanji Tsuda is just a hoot) and then put in some racial and sexist comedy and you know exactly what this movie’s plot is all about. The film does have a feeling of the macabre and the straight-faced delivery of its script allows some feelings of discomfort despite the otherwise screwball execution of storytelling. It is hard to take the film seriously despite the film is joyfully thickheaded; yes, some of the film’s devices are grim; I saw potentially offensive themes emanating from the “Super-dark club” as they chant Obama’s campaign slogans and the wrist-cutter’s club’s antics can be unnerving. I suppose the film wants to make a commentary about the Japanese youth’s obsession with 'cool" African-American culture that girls tease their hair into afros, tan their skin to beyond recognition and put plates on their cheeks and their lips. I know there was a time when Japan experienced a huge spike in the incidents of suicide (see Suicide Club), so the wrist-cutters club is a reflection of some real and unreasonable youth behavior. The film does dare to go to that point, and honestly, it is a little harsh as to how it represents its commentaries.
The film’s story is an exercise of slapstick humor over substance, one who approaches this seriously would be taking its angles the wrong way. Now the film is just as gory and bloody as it gets. The film’s main draw is loads and loads of blood and gore that just becomes a completed exaggeration of what we’ve seen in “Lone Wolf and Cub” and makes all the blood in Tarantino’s “Kill Bill” seem tame in comparison. Fantasy elements are injected into the fights, and fight choreographer Taku Sakaguchi doesn’t hold back in its intended outrageousness. Limbs are ejected and becomes propellers, screws come to life, blood becomes solid enough to become a sword and a blood drop can encourage sexual arousal. Blood just sprays everywhere, and its opening scene gives the viewer a clear cut idea of what they’re in for. The EFX are made from old-fashioned loads of red ink and prosthetics, with some use of CGI. Logic, physics and reason are abandoned, the film is just here to be visually outrageous. Japan has mastered the art of 'when being silly, be silly to the max."
I’ll be brutally blunt. “Vampire Girl Vs. Frankenstein Girl” is a crazy, bizarre exercise in Japanese grind house filmmaking. It pokes fun at itself and never takes itself seriously; it is not at all scary or unnerving, but makes it a point to make fun at some social forbidden themes and takes them to the most extremes of exaggeration that can be quite grim and yet funny. The film has a very thin plot, but then again fans of “Robo-Geisha (which I will review later) and “Machine Girl” weren’t there to see an intricate plot but they were there for the outrageousness of its scenes. For a film of its kind, “Vampire Girl Vs. Frankenstein Girl” hits the right spots as a silly, bizarre film that will no doubt develop a cult following. I just can't help but like this film.
Highly Recommended To Fans of Japanese Cinema. [4- Out of 5 Stars]
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Vampire Girl vs. Frankenstein Girl (吸血少女対少女フランケン, Kyūketsu Shōjo tai Shōjo Furanken) is a 2009 Japanese gore film. It was directed by Yoshihiro Nishimura and Naoyuki Tomomatsu and premiered at the New York Asian Film Festival in June 2009. It is based on a manga of the same name by Shungiku Uchida.
The film is set in a typical Tokyo High School following the story of a perpetually teenage vampire named Monami (Yukie Kawamura) who falls for her classmate, Mizushima (Takumi Saito), who happens to already be the reluctant boyfriend to the vice-principal/science professor's daughter, Keiko (Eri Otoguro). The ensuing love triangle leads Keiko to seek the assistance of her father who, unbeknown to his daughter, moonlights as a Kabuki-clad mad scientist with the school nurse as his assistant. The pair experiment on students in the school basement hoping to discover the secret of reanimating corpses (akin to the work of Victor Frankenstein). Their hopes are answered when they discover a solution of Monami's blood holds the properties to bring life to dead body parts and inanimate objects.
The story begins to unfold after Mizushima carelessly accepts a honmei choco spiked with Monami's blood, causing him to become a half vampire. When Keiko discovers their secret, she attacks Monami but accidentally throws herself off the school roof in the process. Her premature death leads to her father using the blood solution to transform her into a vicious Frankenstein's ...