You wouldn't know this film was made by Nobuo Nakagawa if the credits didn't say so. Apart from a brief flashback-within-a-flashback, the setting is contemporary, and the director seems at a loss to create tempo, suspense or atmosphere. The visual characteristics honed during his first three ghost films are almost completely absent - no lateral tracking shots, no lengthy takes, no dimming light levels. There's only one spooky sequence (a servant carrying a candle through a darkened house, responding to a summons from a room that's been unoccupied 20 years), and a small handful of innovatively-filmed shots (all involving mirrors). Particularly disappointing is the climax - far too drawn out and very clumsily edited.
Despite all these drawbacks, there are a few points worth noting. This was the first Japanese horror movie to be set in modern times. It was also the first film made in that country to feature a vampire as the protagonist, although this vampire is very different from the Western type. Finally, much of the film has the same rather tawdry look as the cheap monochrome shockers produced in Europe during the early sixties, such as Seddok and Lycanthropus, which is remarkable, considering it was made in 1958.
Vampire Woman is certainly an atypical entry in Nakagawa's filmography around this time.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?