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DVD Review

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Info:

  • Audio Rating: B+
  • Video Rating: A
  • Packaging Rating: B
  • Menus Rating: B
  • Extras Rating: A
  • Age Rating: 17 and Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: FUNimation Entertainment, Ltd.
  • MSRP: 24.98
  • Running time: 85
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series:

Vampire Girl vs Frankenstein

Vampire Girl vs Frankenstein DVD Review

By Mark Thomas     February 08, 2011
Release Date: October 19, 2010

What They Say
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, 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.

The Review!
Audio:
For this viewing, I listened to the Japanese 2.0 track. An English dub is also provided in 5.1. The mix is fairly basic, with dialogue spread evenly along both channels but some decent directionality with the sound effects. A spot check on the English dub suggests that there is little movement front to back, but the overall effect of the 5.1 is naturally more robust.

Video:
The video came through really well on this release, colors are bright and the transfer is free of technical issues. Most importantly, the blood is bright and plentiful, and really, that is all I ask.

Packaging:
Pretty standard amaray packaging for this release. The front cover has a picture of Monami and Keiko, almost posing as if sitting for a photo shoot, but the effect is subverted by Monami's fangs and Keiko's Frankenstein scars and bolt holes. The back a movie summary, some screen shots, and the technical details. The cover is reversible with a picture of one of Keiko's father's failed experiments.

Menu:
The menu is a pretty basic affair. It features the same picture from the front cover of the case, with the selections overlaid to the right of the girls and the main theme playing in the background. The highlighted selection turns a lighter shade of grey, which might be a bit tough to see on lesser setups, but it is otherwise fine.

Extras:
There is some pretty decent stuff on here. First are two 'Making of' videos that provide about an hour's worth of behind the scenes footage of the film's shooting. The original trailer is also provided. The last is a Q&A session filmed at the movie's premier in Japan with the two directors and the two main actresses (Yukie Kawamura and Eri Otoguro). I had to laugh during this because the directors look as if they were just dragged in off the street, while the two actresses look pristine in their school-girl sailor outfits.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Vampire Girl vs. Frankenstein Girl was a movie that I wanted to see based purely on the title alone. I really did not need to know anything else about it going. It was B horror, and has a great title. Good thing the movie is a lot of fun too.

Keiko runs her school. Her father is the assistant principal, and she uses that fact to get her way every time she needs to. She has a group of lackeys willing to do anything for her, she threatens teachers if she does not like them, and she is dating the best looking guy in class (Mizushima). Everything is going great for her.

Until a very self-confident girl names Monami transfers in and also shows interest in Mizushima. And unluckily for Keiko, he seems interested back. When Monami gives Mizushima chocolate on Valentine's Day, he happily accepts it, only to find a strange red liquid inside. He also starts having hallucinations after eating it. When he confronts Monami about it, she admits that the liquid was her blood and that she is a vampire. She wants to turn him vampire too so that they can be together forever.

When Keiko gets wind of what is going on, she confronts Monami on the school roof, but falls over the side in the ensuing struggle and dies on impact. Luckily for her, her seemingly wishy washy father is actually a mad scientist looking to prove the viability of Dr. Frankenstein's theories, and with the help of some of Monami's blood, he is able to resurrect his daughter, allowing her the opportunity to seek her vengeance.

One of the interesting things about this movie is that it is not as random as other Japanese B horror movies. It has randomness of character and not so much randomness of plot and scene. So aside from the Vampire Girl and the Frankenstein Girl, we also have an eclectic cast, such as Deep Tan Club (a parody of the Ganguro lifestyle, but who adopt their tanned skin so much they actually embrace and identify with African American culture), the Wrist Cutters Club (they have a national competition apparently - who knew?), and of course Keiko's mad scientist father who does his work in full Kabuki regalia. These character-types create some random circumstances, but they build this randomness through character rather than plot.

This emphasis on bizarre characters rather than random plotting actually makes the story a bit tighter than other entries in this genre tend to be. It is not Shakespeare by any stretch, but there is a little more depth to it than just gallons of gore and silly humor. Part of this depth is that it is a movie that there is no real 'good guy' in it. The way the plot sets up, it seems that Keiko should be the protagonist as Monami is the invader looking to take everything away from her, but she is such a bitch that she easily fills the villain role. Monami ultimately slips into the protagonist's role as the outsider trying to find her place in the world, but she proves to be just as much of a bitch as Keiko. And frankly, I loved it.

But even with a plot that is slightly more complex than two-dimensional, it is still a movie in a genre that sells itself on a ton of blood, some sexy women doing some sexy things, and not a small amount of absurdity. And Vampire Girl vs. Frankenstein Girl has these in spades. Between the sexy nurse in her skintight outfit dancing around with the body parts of the Kabuki's victims (at one point, she is playing with eyeballs as if she were teasing her own nipples'"I never would have guessed that could be so titillating), Monami dancing around in the sprays of blood of her victims, and a reborn Keiko attaching her own arm to her head to use as a helicopter blade, this movie covers all of its bases well.

In Summary:
I wanted to see Vampire Girl vs. Frankenstein Girl based on the title alone. I knew I would probably enjoy it to a certain extent because I love the genre; what I got was one of my favorite titles in the genre. Like with any B horror movie, you need to watch it with an open mind, because it is supposed to bend your mind, not challenge it, but if you love these types of movies, then you should love this. Highly recommended.

Features
Japanese 2.0 Language, English 5.1 Language, English Subtitles, Opening Day Stage Greetings, Making Of Video

Review Equipment
Magnavox 37MF337B 37' LCD HDTV, Sony BDP-S360 BluRay Player w/HDMI Connection upconverted to 1080i, Durabrand HT3916 5.1 Surround Sound System


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littlemikey979 2/8/2011 11:26:48 AM

Sounds good.

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