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Tokyo Shock: Vampire Girl vs Frankenstein Girl (2009)

August 17, 2012

MY CALL:  More cutesy-story-driven and less goretastic than Tokyo Gore Police (2008), but still a fine addition to the Tokyo Shock genre.  This is like a high schooler’s Tokyo Shock flick; a good taste of the style.  Lovers of the genre won’t be disappointed.  [B-]  IF YOU LIKE THIS WATCHTokyo Gore Police (2008), Helldriver (2010), RoboGeisha (2009).  LANGUAGE:  Japanese; I got the 2-disc DVD, which offers English dubbing.

Intentionally over-acted like an early Troma film, this movie is about Keiko (Frankenstein Girl; Eri Otoguo) and Monami (Vampire Girl; Yukie Kawamura), clearly the protagonist.  It’s Valentine’s Day in their high school and both of them like the same guy, Jyugon.  The first half of the movie is really just about Monami pursuing this guy and Keiko figuring out what’s going on between the two of them.  Then, when she confronts the lovers, she accidently dies.  Luckily, this happens just as her father discovers how to make Franken-monsters.  And so, two-thirds into the movie, we finally get Frankenstein Girl and a 25-minute fight scene involving the majority of the movie’s characters.  The finale closes with a happy ending, a goofy surprise ending, and a cutesy little twist.

When I see trailers for Tokyo Shockers from Sushi Typhoon or Magnet entertainment, I wonder “just what nonsense is in this flick that I won’t want to miss?”  Well…flesh is stripped away in lengthy strands, stretchy faces are peeled off, swords are gorily worked into bodily crevices that I dare not mention, amputations leave behind uber-fake stumpy prostheses which Gallagher-cannon fake blood, sometimes it simply “rains” blood a la Broadway as Monami dances and soaks in it to some happy-go-lucky music, an animated intelligent blood droplet, a blood cocoon, a two-footed one-handed one-eyed Franken-thing reminiscent of Jeffrey Comb’s creation from Bride of the Re-Animator (1990), living “screw” worms, a “smashed” face, an arm used as a helicopter propeller screwed into someone’s head, bone-shard katanas, projectile fingered eye-nipples, and a hail of blood bullets.

ABOVE: Three examples of why I love this movie.

My next thought might be “well what sort of weird hybridized bad guys are there and what weapons do they use?”  A sword-armed sumo wrestler with a holy helmet gun, buzz-saw ankle-wheels made out of crystallized blood, and after we think she’s been defeated Frankenstein Girl returns as an odd, spider-like mechanized menace.

These movies tend to add some other flavor particles as well (e.g., strange commercials in Tokyo Gore Police).  The pale and awkward Wrist-cutters Club girls practice with box-cutters like cheerleaders preparing for the 13th Nationwide High School Student Wrist Cut Rally (which is really nasty).  There is an extremely racist depiction of a clique of black girls—one is actually a spear-toting tribesman, another a fro’d 80s hip-hop black panther mix—it’s really inappropriate…and that makes it funny.  Lastly, like any Asian movie, even this slapstick sensation features some informative background, in which Scream Queen Eihi Shiina cameos as Monami’s mother during a backstory flashback.

Any movie that manages to mix over-the-top racism with a fast and loose Singing in the Rain reference gets my vote.

There is some goofy, almost farcically cartoony, CGI.  They even feel like they’d be in a macabre version of Pee-Wee’s Playhouse, especially when we see Keiko’s Dr. Frankensteiny father (dressed up like Sgt. Kabuki Man) and his assistant (the sexy school nurse) hacking up some poor guy.

I have no explanation for this.  Nunchucks are simply awesome.

It’s so wonderful when two great minds can work together to produce something so beautiful.  Director Yoshihiro Nishimura also directed Tokyo Gore Police (2008), Mutant Girl Squad (2010), Helldriver(2010), and the upcoming The ABC’s of Death (2012) and The Profane Exhibit (2012), in addition to doing the make up for dozens of Tokyo Shock flicks.  Co-director Naoyuki Tomomatsu directed Zombie Self Defense Force (2006), Maidroid (2008), Maidroid 2 (2010) and Rape Zombie: Lust of the Dead (2012), along with a lot of writing experience in the subgenre.  Scream Queen Eri Otoguo (Frankenstein Girl) and Scream Queen Yukie Kawamura (Vampire Girl) each have some exploitative slaughter movie experience as well.

DVD Special Features:  I have warned before about the lack of content and/or re-release of these films in my Beginners Guide to Tokyo Shock Cinema.  The features are nothing special.  Just some footage of “the making of” the film.  It’s entertaining seeing how cute Yukie Kawamura is in between scenes.  But we don’t get any interesting insights about making the film.  These features could have easily fit on to one disc with the movie.  I wonder if they made it a 2-disc unit to fool people into thinking it would be something special.  But, like Tokyo Gore Police, expect a re-release with an additional disc with some real special features.  Then, maybe even another re-release with more stuff.

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