Notable Cast: Yukie Kawamura, Jiji Bu
Review: Where to start, where to start. As a lover of cinema, I like to incorporate as many regional styles as possible. Japanese cinema has always interested me because of the non serious tone and over the top fake violence. They’re like B movies on steroids. I mean just read the freakin’ title. How could you possibly explain that rationally? The more crazy Japanese films I open myself to, the crazier I think their culture is. Vampire Girl vs. Frankenstein Girl was no exception to the rule. It was like Let The Right One In and Tokyo Gore Police had a freaky psychotic super baby. Abandon rationalism at the door for this one. For those who need an intelligent and enthralling movie going experience, I’d stay away from this movie and genre all together. I’m going to try and put this film and my feelings into words, but in no way can I do the justice only a 5 minute clip could do.
So here’s the plot (if you can call it that): Jyugon attends a Japanese high school and is fawned over by many of the girls. When a new transfer student Monami shows interest in Jyugon by giving him a chocolate, he becomes intrigued and accepts. When he bites into the candy, he tastes a strange red cream. When he asks Monami what the cream is, she explains that it is blood and that she is a vampire. He is now half a vampire, and has the decision of becoming a full vampire by consuming more blood. Keiko also has a crush on young Jyugon though, and figures out Monami’s dark secret. Jyugon accepts the role as vampire and the chance to spend eternity with Monami, but Keiko gets too close and Monami kills her to keep her secret hidden. Too bad Keiko’s father is a crazy scientist who gets a hold of some of Monami’s blood, which he coats screws in. What does this do you may ask? Well, when using the screws to attach dead body parts back together, it brings them to life. Thus, Frankenstein girl is born. From then on, it’s a constant battle between Monami and the new Keiko, both fighting for the love of the newly vamped Jyugon.
It honestly sounds way more sane on paper. You really need to grasp the visuals of this movie to understand the pure mind-f$ckery Vampire Girl vs. Frankenstein Girl achieves. Picture this. A young teenage vampire bites a businessman in the neck, creating a sprinkler like flow of blood spurting the most watered down fake blood possible, only increasing the range of the blood sprinkler that could only be possible with an insane amount of pumping pressure from the neck itself. Oh but I’m not done yet. As the man helplessly rains blood all over the set, the girl plays in the blood as if she was a child playing under a nice cool sprinkler in the summer time. Incorporate some crappy Japanese pop-rock in the background, and that is one of the tamer scenes of the film. You’ll get a pretty good idea of the tone of the film in the opening scene: plenty of exposed skulls and flying flesh.
One of the more disturbing cultural reflections in most of these movies is the theme of children cutting their wrists. In some way shape or form, they always manage to work in some play on wrist cutting, and it is usually in a jesting sense. In Tokyo Gore Police, the movie accomplish this by running fake PSA’s about “children’s wrist cutting tools” with “new fun colors!” In this film, a group of girls is seen “training” for a school competition called the “wrist cutting rally,” where the student who can cut her wrist without cutting all the way through first wins. I seriously hope I don’t have to explain why this is messed up. The only rational explanation I have is that the Japanese culture views this action as without honor, and they make fun of it because so many people actually do it. But to jest about children doing it? It is a serious problem that plagues so many and is disgusting to joke about. A reference like this that reflects Japanese culture really speaks volumes about their beliefs, and any other explanation about this topic I would love to hear.
Another disturbing trend amongst these movies is how violence is sexualized. Need another example? For about 2 minutes in this film, you watch a sexy nurse chop up a high schooler while she goes from one seductive pose to the next to the beat of some more awful Japanese bubblegum pop-rock. It’s like some sick serial killers most fantastic fantasy. And it’s all through the movie. All the violence is accompanied by scantily clad woman and happy smiles. But, again it’s a theme in numerous movies of this sort. It isn’t just one director or one company. It’s an entire scene in Japanese cinema. America has the “torture porn” genre, and Japan has the “hyper unrealistic and sadistically sexily violent” genre.
Did I mention that this film totally portrays other ethnicities in a way that was deemed unfit when blackface became incorrect? To say it is offensive is an understatement. There is a whole segment tearing apart African-Americans, especially from our culture. They mock how African-Americans adore Obama and their want for change. It’s really something you have to see to believe. I tried to pull up pictures to show how stereotypical the makeup was, but alas none could be found.
So how does one rate a movie created with such provocatively bizarre intentions? A movie not meant to be taken seriously in the least, but yet mocks other cultures in a completely inappropriate manner? I wasn’t offended. I wasn’t shocked. I just had so many questions after the movie that could help explain what makes some of these things so appealing to Japanese culture. In my mind, to them movies are complete fantasy that have no double meaning. There is nothing to take away from Vampire Girl vs. Frankenstein Girl except plastic limbs and a hot Asian nurse. But, there are just too many underlying themes to let me actually convince myself that. In no way can I recommend this to any mainstream viewer, and even some of the more adventurous cinematics will struggle wrapping their mind around this one. Have fun!
Final Rating: I can’t, I honestly can’t. Nothing I base my ratings on is prevalent here. Call it exploitation. Call it insanity. Whatever it is, it just is.