Synopsis: The deranged genius behind Tokyo Gore Police is back with a chilling new flick that’s re-writing the hallowed history of the horror genre. Vampire Girl vs. Frankenstein Girl is the terrifying story of two classic monsters re-imagined as super hot – and extremely lethal – Japanese school girls. Gore rules supreme in this blood-cake cavalcade of carnage chosen as the winner of the Audience Award at the 2009 NY Asian Film Festival. Fan boys and movie blogs are already buzzing over this bloodbath du jour, and aficionados of psychedelic blood-filled chocolates, mad scientist principals, sumo wrestlers from hell, and sex-crazed school nurses are guaranteed to lose their heads over this old school splatter-fest.
‘Vampire Girl vs. Frankenstein Girl’? Wow… I don’t know what the average person would expect at first glance, but my first thought (especially after seeing the cutesies on the cover) was: bring it on! I knew, based on the Japanese films I’ve seen, and the fact that it was co-helmed by the director of ‘Tokyo Gore Police’, that this would likely be over-the-top camp and gore – that it would be 90 mins of total overload.
On that count, did it ever deliver!
While this is not the kind of movie (um… can we dub stuff like this “film”…? ) that I am usually drawn to, there are moments where utter lunacy amuses me. It doesn’t always work, mind you (case-in-point: ‘Tokyo Gore Police’), but I’m always hopeful that I’ll stumble upon a small gem. So, sometimes, I will ignore the alarm bells that tell me to invest my hard-earned cash elsewhere – especially when it promises a vampire girl duelling a Frankenstein girl!
Of course, these films will often blatantly market one thing and actually offer an altogether different product, but I am happy to report that this one didn’t: there is, in fact, a vampire girl, and there is also a “Frankenstein” girl. And they do fight. However, this particular vampire girl doesn’t tread the traditional vampire path: she has fangs, drinks blood, and has supernatural powers, sure, but she can also walk in sunlight, create weapons out of her bloodletting, and chew faces off. Similarly, this Frankenstein girl is composed of cadavers, but she also has telekinetic powers of some sort and can morph (albeit gruesomely ).
It doesn’t make any sort of sense, but most of this movie doesn’t anyway. And it’s not meant to: for instance, the violence is so overblown it reminded me of old Looney Tunes cartoons. But EXTREMELY gory. Honestly, it’s so outrageously over-the-top that you can’t help but laugh out loud – between the rains of blood and the dismemberments, the unrealistically nasty wounds, the unbelievably nutty action sequences, …etc.
‘VG vs. FG’ is obviously meant to be theatre of the absurd – it’s not just bad taste. But bad taste there is: this is NOT a PC movie and not for the faint of heart. And yet, despite that, there is some social satire of note: the film makes a mockery of Ganguro and wrist-cutting, blends Lolita fashion with high school bullies, and shines a small light on teen prostitution, stalking and high school behaviour in general.
I’d say that it’s perfect as an anti-‘Twilight’ film: it has a similar teenagery storyline, but it’s amped up to an insane degree. People who loathe the lovey-dovey nature of the ‘Twilight’ saga are likely to be the types who would enjoy something so extremely opposite. Sure, there’s a love story at the centre of it, and yes, it takes place in a world of high-schoolers, but those are about the only similarities. After that, it’s no holds-barred; madness rules.
The acting is meant to parallel the overall approach: it’s completely ridiculous and unrealistic – almost everyone is a cartoon character. But it works. It adds to the comic element needed to make this film palatable. Because, otherwise, the bizarre situations, lurid violence and supremely low-budget special effects would be too nonsensical to be enjoyable. With performances like these, it’s clear that everyone was simply going to town with this film – and that helps the audience to do the same.
For me, ‘Vampire Girl vs. Frankenstein Girl’ was fun as heck; I laughed a lot. By the end, however, when it got even more over-the-top, it got a bit tedious (i.e. at first I would have given it an 8.0). Thank goodness for its short run-time – anything longer and it would have been unbearable. Of course, even five minutes of this stuff is likely to be unbearable to most; I wouldn’t recommend it to 99% of movie-watchers.