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Japanese culture is as bizarre as it gets, among the various oddities
that have sprung from it are game shows which consist of male
contestants being whacked in the genitals and animated pornography,
termed "hentai", whose various sub genres involving bestiality and
lactation have become widely popular amongst the population. Hell, they
even sell toilet paper with short horror stories printed on it for god
knows what reason. This utterly insane culture extends into their film
as well and one doesn't have to look any further than Vampire Girl vs.
Frankenstein Girl for an example of how depraved, grotesque and
downright "weird" their movies can get. There are very few
American-produced films that can match the sheer lunacy occurring
within this "versus" circus freak show. Continuing in the tradition of
previous hyper-violent, excessively-sexual Japanese horrors centered on
attractive school-girls (popular films like The Machine Girl and Tokyo
Gore Police), Vampire Girl vs. Frankenstein Girl throws a whole bunch
of other peculiarities into the mix, including blackface, a kabuki mad
scientist who air guitars using his victims spinal cords, an oversexed
nurse with eyeballs sewn onto her nipples, a wrist-cutting competition,
and copious amounts of blood equal in proportion to the accumulation of
ten regular horror movies. If it isn't one of the strangest films of
all time, it certainly is of this year.
Throwing up an assortment of depravity and blood-drenched insanity into a film always makes for good fun, but never makes up for a lack of plot, lazy writing or poorly-executed film-making, a few key problems that permeate through many of these gory, low-budget efforts. These are all issues readily apparent in The Machine Girl, a prior similar undertaking which, for all its excessive gore and dismemberment, was at its core really nothing much different than most substandard Hollywood fare. Here, directors Yoshihiro Nishimura (who tread similar ground with Tokyo Gore Police) and Naoyuki Tomomatsu have crafted both an emotionally-charged teen love story and a hilarious satire of popular trends, the film elevated by the over-the-top absurdities rather than reliant on them. High-school heart throb Mizushima finds himself in the center of a vicious tug-of-war between two lovers: Keiko, his high-maintenance girlfriend whose spineless vice-principal daddy bows to her every demand, and Monami, a new student in the school who falls for Mizushima's kind personality...and who also happens to be a vampire. Of course, when the two girls get into a feud, Keiko is no match for the supernatural Monami and is killed. However, Keiko's father moonlights as a mad scientist and he reanimates Keiko, upgrading her with a variety of different physical attributes swiped from corpses. Now, the Vampire Girl and the Frankenstein Girl find themselves facing off in a battle to the death for Mizushima's affection.
There are a plethora of outlandish gags to please any hardened gore-fan. Among the best are the Vampire Girl tearing a hole in a girls face and unraveling her skin like the wrappings on a mummy, a reanimated foot-hand creature, blood drops with a life of their own and the Frankenstein Girl tearing off an arm, screwing it onto her head and using it as a helicopter propeller to zip around through the sky. This is the love-child of a three-way between Looney Tunes, an early Peter Jackson film and a Troma movie. Nary two minutes go by where someone's head isn't being crushed in or where some appendage isn't being attached to some other ludicrous concoction. It is amazingly fun, completely original and absolutely never dull. Even those who don't enjoy the film, possibly too much for their tastes, will likely be enthralled by the madcap display enfolding in front of them.
However, it's when the film steps back from the lunacy that it's at its best. The characters at their best, particularly Monami and Mizushima, are surprisingly fleshed out, likable and quite funny; at their worst, over-the-top caricatures that are usually funny and always interesting. There are a lot of laughs mined from the absurd notion of falling in love with a vampire, as well as the battle being waged for Mizushima, the tone always light and self-deprecating; one comical part has Mizushima proclaiming, as he narrates the battle, something along the lines of "Has anyone ever asked my feelings about this", which sums up the ridiculousness of the obvious lapses of logic that allow the fight, and pretty much the entire film, to occur. Perhaps the funniest scenes involve those lampooning current teenage trends. The "emo's" are part of an after-school wrist cutting club. The trend of imitating black culture is taken to absurd limits with a trio of girls not only in black face, but with afros, over-sized lips and the refusal to drink any coffee but black. Not only isn't there a boring minute, but there isn't one that's not either laugh-out-loud hilarious or just plain crazy.
The only shortcomings are the occasional limitations of the low-budget paired with the wide scope of the films imaginative dismemberment. Some of the effects, although most often not, are poorly executed. As well, the arterial spray of blood throughout the film is less than satisfying due to the reliance on CGI effects, which look both incredibly cheap and silly (in a bad way). The entire film also carries a somewhat cheap vibe to it, which leads me to believe it was either digital video or inefficiency behind the camera. Regardless, these are small prices to pay for the amount of imaginative fun and hilarious splatter that Vampire Girl vs. Frankenstein Girl delivers, making it one of the better exercises in this type of frenetic insanity that so often falls on the wayside.
- Dylan, allhorrorfilms.com
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
In the past few years, Japan's genre film-making scene has undergone a
startling transformation, quickly changing its focus from the darkly
supernatural (RINGU) and the stomach-churningly narcissistic (GUINEA
PIG) to more lighthearted subject matter, with equally - if not, more -
violent images. The result is a mishmash that seems to have culminated
in VAMPIRE GIRL VS FRANKENSTEIN GIRL.
Naoyuki (STACY) Tomomatsu and Yoshihiro Nishimura, the man responsible for 2008's high-octane action/splatterfest TOKYO GORE POLICE, return to their signature pressurized blood sprays with VAMPIRE GIRL VS FRANKENSTEIN GIRL - a markedly different but equally entertaining romp that provides nitro-fueled action, over-the-top humor, and piles of gore that look like they belong in an early Peter Jackson flick.
The plot is goofy, yet endearing, as sweet young vampire Monami falls for Mizushima, "the only acceptable boy in school." Unfortunately, Mizushima is already dating Keiko, the borderline psychopathic daughter of the school's wimpy vice principal. When the two girls duke it out over Mizushima's affections, Keiko is left dead - but that's when we discover that her father also fancies himself an amateur Frankenstein, and has been carving up kids for months in an attempt to discover the secret to eternal life.
Now, orgasmic with delight to have his own daughter on the slab, the Vice-Principal uses a new-found secret to reanimate Keiko - combining the strongest body parts of the school's staff and students.
All this leads to the titular battle, which explodes from the depths of the high school gymnasium to the top of Tokyo Tower. Combining a plethora of practical and CG effects, the organ-bursting final twenty minutes of this gem feel less like TOKYO GORE POLICE and more like the work of Tex Avery... Of course, its Tex Avery covered in blood, snorting six lines of coke, and slicing at your eyes with box cutters.
VAMPIRE GIRL VS FRANKENSTEIN GIRL wallows in this absurdity throughout, with tons of tasteless humor and a score comprised almost entirely of 60s go-go music. Ganguro girls (a subculture of Japanese schoolgirls who mimic African American culture) are ruthlessly ridiculed - turning them into Sambo-styled caricatures who pledge allegiance to Obama and refuse to drink coffee unless its completely black. There's also a clique of wrist-cutters and a chain-smoking Chinese professor played by JU-ON/GRUDGE director Takashi Shimizu, who manages to shamelessly sneak in a few nods to his own popular film series.
The pacing is slick, and at a comfortable 85 minutes, VAMPIRE GIRL VS FRANKENSTEIN GIRL doesn't pad its running time with any unnecessary side plots. While one wishes that the battle between bloodthirsty Monami and mecha-Keiko would have taken up more of the film, there is a rather sizable amount of buildup necessary to get us to the showdown.
When it comes down to it, directors Nishimura and Tomomatsu have created a picture that has no preconceptions about what it is or what it's supposed to deliver. Between the explosive arterial sprays and the hunchbacked school janitor named Igor, there's a film with real heart - made by filmmakers who grew up worshiping the movies they are now a part of.
It won't be long before VAMPIRE GIRL VS FRANKENSTEIN GIRL takes its place in the splatstick hall of fame, sitting in good company with BAD TASTE, FRANKENHOOKER, and many of this gorehound's other not-so-guilty pleasures. If you have the opportunity to catch this hilarious little film, make sure you don't skip out.
FREDDY VS JASON? ALIEN VS PREDATOR? GODZILLA VS KING KONG? ...Frankly, they've got nuthin' on these girls.
Two teenage girlspretty vampire Monami (yummy Yukie Kawamura) and
spoilt brat Keiko (Eri Otoguro)vie for the affection of schoolboy
Mizushima (Takumi Saito). As the tug-of-love escalates, Keiko is
accidentally killed, but resurrected by her mad-scientist father and
his sexy psycho assistant, school nurse Midori. The scene is now set
for a final battle between the cute bloodsucker and the reanimated,
modified Keiko, with Mizushima as the prize.
Coming from the people who gave us the OTT splatter-fest Tokyo Gore Police, I fully expected Vampire Girl vs Frankenstein Girl to be a tad demented, but I doubt anything could have adequately prepared me for the madcap concoction of zany humour, grotesque gore, outrageous satire, and downright weirdness that has just assaulted my eyeballs. The film certainly doesn't disappoint in terms of sheer insanity.
Unfortunately, although this sucker certainly delivers in terms of wild comic-book excess, it isn't without its shortcomings: the hit and miss comedy takes precedence over the action and horror; certain aspects of the film feel rather forced, as though directors Yoshihiro Nishimura and Naoyuki Tomomatsu felt compelled to 'up the ante' in terms of bizarreness (this time, the satirical stabs at Japanese teen culture are nothing short of padding specifically designed to give the film extra cult appeal); many of the special effects are simply too cartoonish in their execution to be wholly satisfying (plus there is an over-reliance on CGI bloodUGH!); and after the gradual build up, not nearly enough time or effort is dedicated to a decent climactic showdown.
Still, the one accusation that can never be hurled at Vampire Girl vs Frankenstein Girl is that it is boring. Take a look if you love the manic style of Tokyo Gore Police, or the relentless splat-stick of Peter Jackson's Braindead or Sam Raimi's Evil Dead II, but don't expect to be blown away.
6.5 out of 10, but not quite good enough for me to round my rating up to 7.
And then some. This movie is definitely not something for the faint
hearted. It also is not politically correct and some might call it on
some racism issues (especially how Africans are depicted in this
movie). But that wouldn't be what this movie is about. It makes fun of
everything it gets it's hands on (even suicide gets a "stab", no pun
And this will define, how much you dis/like the movie. Can you handle all that craziness or do you want your movies more straight forward? If you are one of the latter kind, you shouldn't really watch this movie or at least not expect too much from it. Some crazy ideas and almost entirely over the top, this is made for fans of Machine Girl and other recent Japanese Horror fare/thrillers (or those who are on the verge of becoming one)
Anyone that doesn't like this film is probably the kind of person that stalks old women and kills their grandchildren. Vampire Girl vs. Frankenstein Girl is as insane as you would expect from such a title. It's up there in the camp charm factor with Yo-Yo Girl Cop, Oneechanbara, and Machine Girl. Does it make sense? Hardly, but after the opening scene of faces unravelling/pulled off, and arm swords made from blood, you'll know if this is your bag. From over-the-top satirical attacks on class cliques, to nonsensical fight sequences, this film has all the mad charm you could want. Not to mention, the kind of action sequences that many people would imagine in their heads, and then discard after they thought long and hard about them. Here, the director obviously went with their first instinct. It's fun. Very fun.
It appears that some people don't like or don't get this genre. This
movie was SO over the top and SO wildly improbable and inappropriate
that I just relished every-single-second of it. It sparked a new
interest in the over the top Asian gore-comedy for me. This one almost
reminded me of a mash-up of Kill Bill with the Power Rangers.
If you are looking for serious and gory Asian Horror, stick with Takashi Miike and the likes. This move (and others like it that I have since watched) is pure camp and fun. The lead character is just cute as a button, and her actions throughout the film are nicely juxtaposed with her looks. Sweet girl...blood swords... I'm actually planning on buying this for my collection.
I didn't find this crazy little film quite as good as many have and I think it was probably, what I would call the MTV sequences, that seemed to distract from the story and exaggerate the silliness. For the most part this is a well put together, extremely OTT film where everything is taken to extremes and the blood spurts and flows more than I have ever seen before. There are some innovative special effects, hand with a head, 'living' screws and various limbs used for extraordinary and imaginative uses. The interaction between the various school kids and others is good and a welcome relief from the madness, its just that every now and again the soundtrack seems to go all J-pop and we get a continuation of the effects without dialogue. Having said all that, this film is certainly engaging, different and very violent without being too distressing, more like a cartoon, in fact. I suppose, I'm saying this is very good without being as brilliant as it might have been.
Vampire Girl vs. Frankenstein Girl is the blood-soaked adaptation of a
popular manga. Yoshihiro Nishimura (Tokyo Gore Police, Helldriver)
helms this masterpiece of Japanese new-wave ultra-violent splatter, a
genre most notable for its juxtaposition of cute actresses and extreme
violence. In typical Nishimura fashion, the insanity meter is cranked
up to 11. Vampire Girl vs. Frankenstein Girl stars gravure idol (and
full-time goddess) Yukie Kawamura and Eri Otoguro (Onechanbara: the
Movie) in the respective title roles as they battle for the affection
of their classmate Jugon (Takumi Saito). It also features a great cameo
by the queen of Japanese horror, Eihi Shiina (Audition, Tokyo Gore
When Monami (Kawamura), our Vampire Girl, transfers to a new high school in Tokyo, she soon attracts the ire of the resident lolligirl clique, and their bratty leader Keiko (Otoguro), by giving Jyugon a blood-filled chocolate for Valentine's Day. It isn't long before the school nurse becomes aware that something isn't quite right with a sample of Monami's blood and passes it along to Keiko's father, who also happens to be the vice-principal and a (very!) mad scientist, the self-proclaimed successor to Dr. Frankenstein. Upon confronting Monami, Keiko ends up dead and (you guessed it) is rebuilt by her father as Frankenstein Girl and an epic battle ensues that is truly mind-blowing in both its violence and its creativity.
Vampire Girl vs. Frankenstein Girl boasts the traditional gore effects for which Nishimura is best known: gallons of blood-spray, uncomfortable wrist-cutting scenes, and disturbingly distorted human bodies. It also contains a lot of fairly well-executed CGI that doesn't really detract from overall immersion in the film.Vampire Girl vs. Frankenstein Girl never takes itself too seriously and it's in this frame of mind that the film is best enjoyed. It incorporates comedic elements, including the catchy J-Pop soundtrack, and a healthy dose of social satire which anyone familiar with Japanese pop-culture is sure to enjoy. There are several memorable scenes, my personal favorite being when Monami dances in a rain of blood as it sprays from the neck of a recent victim, a scene which, in my mind, captures the essence of what this genre is all about.
In fairness, Nishimura's films, and pink violence in general, is definitely not everyone's cup of tea. If you are a fan of other films in the genre, such as Machine Girl, Meatball Machine, and Tokyo Gore Police, you will love this film. If you are a gorehound with a penchant for old-school special effects and horror-comedies like Re-Animator, Dead Alive and Evil Dead 2, you will love this film. If, however, you happen to be a close-minded film elitist who insists on little things like continuity, realism, and unquestionable plot structures, you will probably spontaneously combust within the first five minutes (probably around the time that Monami rips the skin from the face of a Gothic-lolita zombie with her teeth, exposing an animated skull).
When it's all said and done, Nishimura provides us with a fresh and exciting take on these two iconic, but worn-out and often predictable, monster stereotypes. The true beauty of films like Vampire Girl vs. Frankenstein Girl lies in their unpredictability and refusal to be constrained within the existent boundaries of film logic, physics, or even political correctness. Vampire Girl vs. Frankenstein Girl epitomizes what this genre is all about and, while not quite as good as Tokyo Gore Police (but, then again, what is?), it is definitely one hell of a awesome movie.
This movie grew on me as it progressed. A lot of the characters and
their sub stories seems manic and disjointed. The wrist cutters, the
ganguro girls (sorta like whiggers) etc. I have to admit I nearly gave
up on the movie part way through.
The way the director ties the sub characters together actually works though...basically Frankenstein girl - body parts. The action is badly done as usual with fountains and fountains of blood. The comedic elements so-so.
The acting was actually OK, Vampire girl (Yukie Kawamura) does seem alittle old to be playing a high school girl but she has a certain cuteness and charm in her scenes. She also looks good splattered with blood.
This movie isn't as dark and gruesome as some of the gore movies out there. It also isn't as fun as some of the "comedic" gore movies as well. I give this movie a marginal pass 'cos I found Yukie Kawamura to be cute and it was a slightly different slant to the usual gore plots.
'Only in Japan' comes to mind when you watch "Vampire Girl vs.
Frankenstein Girl" ("Kyûketsu Shôjo tai Shôjo Furanken"). It is one of
those outrageous Japanese blood-fest movies. It is so over-the-top that
it is bizarrely entertaining.
The story is odd and bizarre, yes, as they tend to be in this particular genre of Japanese gore movies. And it is something that has to be seen in order to be believed. As such, I will not even attempt at a synopsis that does the movie Justice.
The effects were as to be expected from a movie like this, and the blood was abundant by the gallons. If you enjoy state of the art effects and CGI, then you should not be watching the Japanese gore movies. The effects do serve their purpose well enough, in my opinion, and will often have you laughing.
It was a real treat to see Eihi Shiina in this movie, despite it being a small role. Lead actress Yukie Kawamura really carried the movie quite well.
All in all an entertaining movie and well-worth a watch if you enjoy this genre of Japanese gore.
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