The Plot: Monami is a transfer student with eyes for a young man named Jugon. The only problem is that the popular (and slightly insane daddy’s girl) Keiko also wants a shot at the young man. This seems to be a very typical love triangle until Jugon finds out that Monami is actually a vampire! The young woman pleads her love to Jugon with a chocolate candy that he proceeds to eat, but unknown to him the candy is filled with her blood and this turns him to a half-vampire. She offers him the chance to become a creature of the night (err, and “day” too or so it seems) but Jugon isn’t so sure. He finds the idea of killing and drinking the blood of innocent people slightly immoral. Keiko sees this blossoming love affair going on however and she sets off to teach Monami a lesson! An argument ensues and Keiko accidentally falls of the high school roof, which leads her father (who is the assistant principal by day and mad scientist by night) to try and piece her back together using a sample of Monami’s blood that was found in the high school medical office. Now, with a Vampire Girl and Frankenstein Girl on the loose, what will happen to our leading man?

The Review
There’s a moment in Vampire Girl Vs. Frankenstein Girl where two of the main male characters simply turn to one another and exchange a puzzled stare that definitively paints out their own confusion, much less the confusion that the audience is experiencing at the time. Taken out of context, this scene really speaks volumes about the content of the film in general. This scene I am talking about of course comes right after Frankenstein Girl has taken her arm off (with an electric screwdriver) and attaches it to her head so that it spins at such a velocity that she takes off flying like a helicopter. Although you can’t help but consider the entire movie a cinematic failure, like most of Yoshihiro Nishimura’s work it is full of an extensive amount of imagination and purely creative ideas. Even if juvenile at times, you still have to admire the childlike enthusiasm for the creation of these monstrous creatures that dominate films of this sort. Based upon a manga (Japanese comic book), one can’t help but wonder what this original book looked like. The oddities that are created seem so genuinely Nishimura in their design and the lack of a coherent plot seems like it would fail even worse if you actually tried to write this entire story down on paper. While I didn’t hate the movie nor even dislike it really, I have to admit that if this movie were a person it would have died relatively young after eating a candle stick or a TV controller. What I’m getting at here is that the movie isn’t what I would consider intellectually stimulating.

Intellectually stimulating probably isn’t the phrase you want to go for when discussing any of Nishimura’s work, but I couldn’t help but sneer at the massive amount of plot inconsistencies and generally lazy screenwriting. Nishimura and co-director Naoyuki Tomomatsu instead deliver a script and story that can only be compared to the works of Lloyd Kaufman and Troma. Aside from the cheese this comparison also comes from the bizarre sense of black comedy that is prevalent in both Kaufman’s work as well as this film here today. Vampire Girl Vs. Frankenstein Girl has something in it to offend almost all audiences. From the black-face makeup that a group of teen girls wear who desperately want to be African Americans (they wear B-Boy style clothing and gold chains as well), to the wrist-cutting emo girls who have made their addiction into a sporting contest. If the gory violence doesn’t turn you off straight off the bat, then some of the stereotypes that are made fun of will probably rub you the wrong way. Even if none of this actually does offend you, chances are the lack of a continual narrative will prove to be the straw that breaks the camel’s back. If that doesn’t do it though, then there’s a good chance that the absolutely terrible soundtrack would do the trick. Featuring roughly four musical cues, we go from the heavy metal theme that plays over all of the fight sequences, to the lovey-dovey theme that plays during any romantic scene, the operatic theme that is essentially a continuation of the heavy metal song and finally the incredibly annoying funky little number that plays over almost EVERYTHING. The movie will wear you out on its music, no questions about it.

The element that the film actually excells with, as if you couldn’t already guess, would be the gore and creature FX. Nishimura has made his name crafting some of the most strange and odd creatures that film-go’ers have seen in many years. Taking concepts from Shinya Tsukamoto and David Cronenberg, who both have body modification fetishes, Nishimura has melded this idea of flesh and machinery as one being into a successful filmmaking genre of sorts. This new wave of Japanese splatter has certainly borrowed heavily from Western ideas (as most of these movies have been heavily marketed towards Western distributors, if not made entirely for them) but there still remains some heavy influences from Japanese culture. The Funimation DVD release of this film actually starts off with a tacked on opening that explains on Valentine’s Day in Japan, it is customary for girls to give chocolates to the boys that they have feelings for. While watching the film, I felt glad that Funimation actually did this because if I did not have this tidbit of information, it probably would have made the opening thirty minutes of the movie far more confusing than it already is. Even in terms of cinematic Japanese cultural influence, there is still a great deal of Japan within these films. The arterial spray, the Tsukamoto influence and the high school concept are all stridently Japanese. The mixing and mashing of ideas makes the film vaguely interesting outside of the horror movie aesthetics.

The gore is essentially what you come into this picture for though; I don’t think anyone would argue with that. The very opening for the film really sets the stage for what is ultimately to come, as we begin watching Monami the Vampire Girl take on three miniature versions of the Frankenstein Girl. The sequence is brutal in its violence and reminiscent of Peter Jackson or Olaf Ittenbach in their prime. Vampire Girl dispatches of one girl by biting into her neck and then pulling the flesh from her skull like a Mummy’s bandages, all while gallons of blood spew in the camera. After that she knocks the one skull into the face of another mini-Frankenstein Girl and we watch as this skull literally bites and rips the flesh off of this other girl’s head. The combination of these two kills alone will probably earn a “rental” from any horror movie gorehound, and the movie tends to stack up more and more violence as it goes along. Unfortunately Nishimura also blends an incredible amount of CGI into the movie which tends to cheapen the produce somewhat. The majority of the gore and creature FX remain cosmetic thankfully, but the moments where we have to endure the bad CG definitely puts a damper on things for gory horror purists.

The Conclusion
I see this one tearing audiences. It is hard for me to imagine anyone truly loving this film and considering it a classic for the ages, but you have to admit its better than Samurai Princess. However, it doesn’t come close to Tokyo Gore Police or The Machine Girl, in my humble opinion. I give the movie a three on the general premise that it is incredibly strange, has some great creature FX and does its best to offend just about everybody. Those are all three good qualities when it comes to this kind of cinema! You should know whether this type of movie is for you and if it is, give this one a spin via Netflix. I wouldn’t go all out with a blind buy.

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