aka KYUKETSU SHOJO TAI SHOJO FURANKEN
Directed by Yoshihiro Nishimura & Naoyuki Tomomatsu
Written by Naoyuki Tomomatsu (screenplay), Shungiku Uchida (manga)
Starring Yukie Kawamura, Takumi Saito, & Eri Otoguro
Adapted from the popular manga, VAMPIRE GIRL VS FRANKENSTEIN GIRL is a horror action comedy that works amazingly well. The effects shots in this one round out to about 350, and each and every one of them are equal parts fantastically gory and undeniably fun.
The story of VAMPIRE GIRL VS FRANKENSTEIN GIRL is pretty simple: boy meets girl, girl turns out to be a vampire, boy’s ex-girlfriend is turned into a Frankenstein monster, ex-girlfriend and girl fight over boy. It’s the multitude and creativity of the effects used that truly makes this one special. There are so many scenes in this film that are truly original. The opening fight sequence pitting Monami the Vampire Girl against three patchwork females sets the tone that this movie isn’t going for complexity of plot; it’s going for splatter awards. Faces are ripped from skulls, knives are made from blood, and of course, gory kung fu! There are things that go on in this film effects-wise that will be aped and copied in American rip-offs for years. This is gore taken to an EVIL DEAD level and I loved every bloody drop of it.
Though VAMPIRE GIRL VS FRANKENSTEIN GIRL is a lot of fun, it occasionally gets too full of itself and becomes a bit too referential for its own good. There’s a mad science teacher who poses as a vice principal in Vampire Girl’s school. He’s obviously an archetype of Dr. Frankenstein. Why do I know this? Because he comes right out and says it. The scenes with this over the top mad scientist are by far the lamest and threaten to make the entire movie cheesy. It detracts from the real humor involving all of the fun gore and turns the film into a kind of lame WE ARE THE SPARTANS style parody. Luckily, the narrative darts from one scene to another with such a rapid pace that the scenes with this doctor never bring the film’s quality down too much.
VAMPIRE GIRL VS FRANKENSTEIN GIRL also threatens to set back Japanese/African American relations about a thousand or so years by brandishing a subplot involving ganguros, Japanese women in blackface. Basically, they are the equivalent of the suburban American wannabe white kids who talk ebonics taken to an offensively farcical level (see Seth Green in CAN’T HARDLY WAIT or pretty much any Jamie Kennedy film for reference), but of course, these girls go extra racist by wearing big afros, sporting sweat suits Run DMC would be ashamed of, and flapping inflated and plate lip make-up that you haven’t seen on screen since those racist Loony Tunes cartoons were banned. I swear to god, one of them is carrying a spear. These scenes prove to be some of the most uncomfortable ones of VAMPIRE GIRL VS FRANKENSTEIN GIRL and again threaten to toss the film completely off course.
But despite the annoying performance of the mad doctor and the racist ganguros, VAMPIRE GIRL VS FRANKENSTEIN GIRL is a pretty fantastic work of gore cinema. Blood flows by the barrel in this film. Vampire-bitten necks spray high into the air. Murder weapons splatter gore all over murderers creating crime scenes that would make Dexter drool. All forms of body parts are used as weapons (Frankenstein Girl screws her arm on top of her head and spins it like a propeller and flies, while Igor uses an extended rib cage and spine as a Jet Li style roped blade). There’s even a tasteless cutter competition where depressed students compete to see who can slice their wrists the most effectively plopped into the middle of the story for no real good reason other than to use about fifty more buckets of blood.
As I’ve said quite a few times in this review, this is a gore film. Plot is secondary and things making sense…well, that’s a concept thrown out the window. There are numerous scenes where our love struck teens are lamenting their undying love to one another on a rooftop, then there’s an extended cut to another subplot for about five minutes, then there’s a cut back to rooftop and the kids continue their conversation. Sure this is a bit jarring, but because the interrupting scene was so fun, I found myself forgiving the film for it.
It’s so hard these days to make something truly original and fun, but despite its faults, VAMPIRE GIRL VS FRANKENSTEIN GIRL is nothing short of fantastic. The final fight between these two tiny titanesses atop the Eiffel Tower is the stuff of legend, as is the battle between the mad doctor’s reanimated lab assistant and Vampire Girl’s bone armor-wearing assistant Igor. VAMPIRE GIRL VS FRANKENSTEIN GIRL is a cinematic gore-de-force that must be seen. Plot-wise, the film comes up somewhat lacking, but VAMPIRE GIRL VS FRANKENSTEIN GIRL makes up for it with blood, guts, and creativity with said grue.