Halloween Scene: Vampire Girl Vs. Frankenstein Girl (2009)
I’ve had Vampire Girl Vs. Frankenstein Girl on my radar ever since I saw and greatly enjoyed Machine Girl. I was really high on that film and wanted to see more movies along those same lines, but then I watched Tokyo Gore Police and it was a little too nutso crazypants for my liking, so I stepped away from the ultra-violent, blood spraying insanity of this particular subgenre of Japanese horror films. I should note for the record that one of the directors, Yoshihiro Nishimura, did special effects work on Machine Girl and directed directed Gore Police.
Anyway, since I was aiming for something that could fit under both the Halloween Scene and Friday Fisticuffs banners, this flick made for a great candidate. After seeing that it was dubbed instead of subtitled, I was in. Then I was treated to a scene where a vampire fought three Frankenstein chicks, going so far as to bite one’s face and pull away which actually unraveled the skin until she was just a skull. That skull then sprayed like a thousand gallons of blood at another character and I was pretty much shown what this movie would be about and I was IN.
Well, you’re not shown everything right away. There’s actually a lot of dark, dark comedy in here, some of which will probably offend someone. The main characters are in high school which means we get treated to some pretty crazy clicks. When I say that, I’m actually being surprisingly restrained because one group is a group that sings songs about cutting themselves and another is a group of Japanese girls who emulate Africans and African Americans by, well, it’s pretty bad.
But wait, what’s this movie actually about? Technically, it probably doesn’t matter. The movie doesn’t get super slowed down by bothering with a story — it’s only 84 minutes — but there is one that includes the new girl in school giving the popular boy a candy bar with vampire-ness inside. We’re told in the beginning that when a girl gives a boy chocolate or candy in Japan it means they’re showing their love, which is something I only just now remembered and better explains why the other girls were so mad about it. Anyway Frankenstein Girl comes into the picture because her dad’s a crazy sadistic mad scientist who wears some kind of Kabuki make-up who puts her back together after an incident with Vampire Girl. After that, things get REALLY bloody.
But like I said, that’s not what you watch a movie like this for. You want to know how the kills and gore look. Honestly? They look really good. If only they would have nixed the terrible CGI blood splatter (one of the biggest banes on horror since Scream‘s self awareness) you’d have a pretty darn solid group of kill scenes where blood is literally sprayed all over the scenes. I should also note that there’s some really good FX work when it comes to prosthetics and whatnot, things that verge on Re-Animator territory. The action scenes are also pretty solid when they come around. There isn’t a lot of hand to hand combat, but when the swords and pick axes start coming out, you know things are about to get even bloodier. Most are cool, but I’ll tell you what, the ones with the cutter girls actually made me cringe more than the more gruesome set-ups (though those turned pretty gruesome too now that I think about it).
Longtime readers will remember that I always prefer voice over to subtitles when it comes to foreign flicks. Basically, I think there’s already a pretty big barrier to entry for films written and shot based on whole cultural concepts you’re unfamiliar with, let’s make it a little easier by getting rid of the words on screen which scream YOU’RE WATCHING A MOVIE instead of allowing you to get really engrossed. I give the Funimation folks a lot of credit for getting some actual actors to do the dubbing in this movie. A lot of times the tracks can feel like afterthoughts, but you can tell that they got actual voice actors who know how to act to do these roles. Kudos for that.
So, yeah, at the end of the day, I’ve got to say that Vampire Girl vs. Frankenstein Girl was a surprisingly bloody delight that is patently offensive, but still has a really odd sense of humor to go along with it all. So, if you’re not easily offended and like a good amount of blood and gore, then you can do a lot worse than checking this movie out.