Vampire mythology meets body-horror in this demented splatter film. A love triangle between Vampire Girl, the mutant Frankenstein Girl and a high school boy leads to a bloody showdown and gut-churning climax.
Directed by Yoshihiro Nishimura and Naoyuki Tomomatsu (the former of whom wrote and co-directed Tokyo Gore Police) Vampire Girl vs Frankenstein Girl premiered at the New York Asian Film Festival in June 2009. It’s based on a manga of the same name by Shungiku Uchida.
Set in a typical Tokyo High School, the main thread of VG vs FG is the love triangle between schoolboy Mizushima (Takumi Saito) and the two girls battling for his attention: the ultra-violent Keiko (Eri Otoguro) and the perpetually teenage vampire Monami (Yukie Kawamura). When Monami falls for Mizushima, who is then going out with Keiko, she tricks him into eating a ‘honmei choco’ (a romantic treat) filled with her vampiric blood and turns him into a half-vampire.
Fighting for his affections (literally) Keiko falls to her death, ending her human life –although that’s barely the beginning of this demented story. She is brought back to life by her mad scientist father who is conducting a series of experiments on school kids, in the hope of discovering the secret of reanimating the dead. Keiko is brought back from the dead; transformed into Frankenstein Girl. Rather than becoming a slow, stumbling monster, she gains super-strength and mutant powers (watch out for the al-arm-ing twist on Inspector Gadget). Vampire Girl and Frankenstein Girl then battle each other to win Mizushima’s heart, with exciting fight scenes choreographed by Tak Sakaguchi and, as you might expect, a huge and squelchy dose of body-horror.
VG vs FG features parodies of subcultures in Japan, particularly Lolita fashion and Ganguro girls, whose characteristic deep, fans tans have become blackface. As in yesterday’s Tokyo Gore Police, self-harming cults are similarly mocked, with the inclusion of a cutters’ club that functions like a typical cheerleading team, complete with a competition.
Oh, and keep your eye out for the strangely disturbing scene where Vampire Girl, Monami prances around, laughing in a shower – it’s a scene that would look charmingly innocent if she was dancing in the rain, rather than the blood of her her latest victim. (Compare and contrast with the parasol/blood spray scene from Tokyo Gore Police).
Luckily for those without cast-iron stomachs, this crazed response to the popular vampire flicks (teenagers, vampires, love triangles – but with a smattering of organs rather than sparkles) is mostly gross fun, too bizarre and over-the-top to be scary. There is even a rather cool animation style sequence accompanied by a song that sounds quite similar to this one by Japanese metal band, Mad Capsule Markets.