Vampire Girl vs Frankenstein Girl (2009)
By: Rip on June 27, 2010  | 
Eastern Eye | Region 4, PAL | 1.78:1 (16:9 enhanced) | Japanese DD 2.0 | 81 minutes (Full Specs)
The Movie
Cover Art
Directors: Yoshihiro Nishimura, Naoyuki Tomomatsu
Starring: Yukie Kawamura, Takumi Saito, Eri Otoguro, Sayaka Kametani
Screenplay: Naoyuki Tomomatsu
Country: Japan
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I will begin this review by saying that this would have to be one of the most outrageous and absurd films I have ever seen. Given that it's yet another Japanese splatterfest, I guess that's really saying something. It's also, at times, in appallingly bad taste. And it's just these qualities that make it so much fun. Well, maybe not for everyone, but… best read on…

At 'Tokyo High School', Monami (the lovely Yukie Kawamura) is the beautiful new transfer student whom no-one wants to know or talk to. But she doesn't care because Monami only has eyes for the school's resident stud, Mizushima (played by male model Takumi Saito) and in keeping with Japanese tradition, she gives him a Valentine's Day chocolate to show her love. But this ain't no ordinary chocolate, folks. Mizushima begins to hallucinate (he thinks) and can even see the disembodied circulatory systems of all those around him. The reason being, is that Monami is a Vampire Girl and has laced the chocolate with some of her own blood, thus claiming Mizushima for her own. Now, this really ticks off Keiko (Eri Otoguro), the bad tempered leader of a girl gang, who fancies Mizushima for herself and considers him already claimed. She also just happens to be the daughter of the school's principal and part-time mad scientist. Keiko and Monami begin to wage war over Mizushima, and in the ensuing fight, Keiko is accidentally killed.

Then the fun begins.

You see, Keiko's mad scientist father, and his very sexy school nurse assistant, have been experimenting with the re-animation of dead human body parts. Keiko is resurrected (hence the Frankenstein Girl of the title) and, along with her hilariously insane father and his army of monstrous genetically modified minions, sets out to destroy Monami and forever break apart the happy liaison. And let me tell you, all this takes place in a welter of blood, laughs and flying limbs, giving new meaning to the term 'over-the-top'!

Now, a hell of a lot more happens in this film than just the basic outline I've given here, but I really don't want to spoil it for you. In some ways, this is not really a horror film, but a viciously black satire on teenage life, more akin to movies such as Heathers, Mean Girls, etc. For example, we encounter the many high school cliques, such as the Wrist-Cutters, a group of depressed girls who enjoy cutting up their arms and competing in competitions to see who can out cut each other (a sly dig at Japan's rising suicide rate amongst the young). Most outrageous of all however, are the Ganguro girls, a club whose members try to look and act like African-Americans. They colour their skin dark, sport huge lips and afros, with one of them even sporting a bone through her nose. They also idolize Michael Jackson and Barack Obama. I was absolutely astounded at this and, admittedly, laughed myself silly. But the humour here is more than just that of the low brow variety. This delirious movie is genuinely funny and far more endearing than many of its ilk, like The Machine Girl or Tokyo Gore Police (whose director, Yoshihiro Nishimura, also helmed this one, along with Stacy director Naoyuki Tomomatsu). It also sports a great, upbeat 60's-style musical score that really adds another dimension and enhances the fun tenfold. Being yet another Manga adaptation, the whole look of the film is brightly coloured and comes off looking very much like a comic-book come to life. And of course, then there's the special effects. Whilst low budget, they're executed rather well. Yes, there's the token CGI use, but there's something about the way the Japanese employ the process that gives the end result a cartoon-like appearance that suits this sort of material. Gorehounds certainly won't be disappointed.

Performances are mostly very broad as befits the material, though bikini model Yukie Kawamura as Monami the Vampire Girl nicely underplays her role, which actually gives the film's overall tone a nice contrast. Look out for cameos by Eihi Shiina (Audition) as Monami's mother (in a truly cool flashback sequence) and a very amusing one by Ju-On director, Takeshi Shimizu, as a school teacher who drops a couple of in-jokes to his students about some of his own famous horror films. It should also be noted that unlike the over-long Tokyo Gore Police, Vampire Girl vs. Frankenstein Girl is under 85 minutes long and moves at a very fast clip from start to finish. This aids the whole film immeasurably and prevents overkill from setting in, as it often does with many of these recent Japanese splatter flicks. Sometimes, you can simply have too much of a good thing.
Visually, this Eastern Eye release from Madman is up to their usual high standard. It's pin-sharp and bright, without a hint of ghosting, aliasing or any other such optical nasties. This is one very colourful movie and Madman's transfer really does it justice and couldn't be much better. Presented in 1:78:1 anamorphic aspect ratio, with removable English subtitles in a clear yellow font.
As with other releases of this title in various regions, we only get a 2.0 channel Japanese stereo surround track. But it's a good one. Nice and clear with good separation, but if you're like me and want a bit of extra grunt, just give your bass dial a little twirl.
Extra Features
Only the film's trailer unfortunately, but once again, we appear not to be missing out on anything when compared to other regions. A few trailers for other great Eastern Eye titles are also included.
The Verdict
Movie Score
Disc Score
Overall Score
If you want monsters, babes, blood, bad taste and hand-boobs with eyes, this energetic and hysterically unhinged movie is for you. Unlike many others of its type that we've seen recently, this one has actually has some genuinely funny dialogue and even a bit of social commentary going on. And believe it or not, at its core, it's even rather sweet.

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