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Vampire Girl Vs. Frankenstein Girl and Corpse Princess Part 1 DVD Reviews

 

“Vampire Girl Vs. Frankenstein Girl” is ridiculously stupid.

“Corpse Princess” is weird, flawed, but oddly compelling.

The plot: A teenage vampire girl (Monami) falls for a human teen boy (Mizushima) who is already dating a fellow student (Keiko). However, Mizushima’s current romance doesn’t stuff Monami from trying to woo Mizushima (and eventually turn him into a vampire). Things become even more complicated when Keiko accidentally dies but is resurrected by her crazy mad scientist father and turned into Frankenstein Girl. As you might expect, the rest of the film revolves around the inevitable fight for Mizushima between Vampire Girl and Frankenstein Girl.

Don’t let the title fool you, this is not a kiddie horror flick. Instead, it’s a crazy, violent, ultra-weird Japanese horror comedy. To say this movie is baffling is an understatement. Not only is the film filled with bizarre bloody sequences involving a gun helmet, a skull tearing off a face, arms/feet being used as a helicopter, a boomerang hand, but there’s also random and needless subplots such as the wristcutting school club and a school club involving Japanese girls wanting to be black. Add in the fact that there are quick cut edits, stylized direction, a killer nurse, blood chocolate, pop music, blood fountains, and a hunchback janitor named Igor and I think you can get a picture of the cluttered film you’re in for.

Chaotic story structure aside, the film does have a few strong points. Although it is generally a low budget film, the filmmakers wisely put most of their budget into the gore f/x and the creature f/x. The special f/x are undoubtedly the most visually appealing aspect of the film (especially since a lot of it is practical f/x). The creative, demented set pieces (such as the body part weapons) certainly make the film more interesting from a visual standpoint which is all the film really has going for it.

Summary: If you like “out there” Japanese live-action films, you might want to give “Vampire Girl Vs. Frankenstein Girl.” It’s dumb, gorey and certainly not for everyone, but you can’t knock it for not being somewhat unique.

The widescreen picture quality is hit-and-miss. Sometimes the film looks shakey and blurry and at other times, it looks colorful and well shot.

The English Dolby Digital 5.1 works well in the music/sound f/x department, but the English dub is laughably bad. The Japanese 2.0 Stereo track, on the other hand, is fantastic when it comes to the acting. As far as I’m concerned, this is the only way to watch it.

Extras:
* Trailers for “Hong Kong Connection,” “Vampire Girl Vs. Frankenstein Girl,” “Robogeisha,” “Hana,” ‘Shinobi,” “Love And Honor,” “Ichi,” “Mushi-Shi,” “Daytime Drinking,” “Ghost Train,” and “Synesthesia.”
* “Opening Day Stage Greetings”- A Q&A with the directors and lead actresses following a screening.

* A 2 part 64 making of video containing a behind-the-scenes look at the production, set footage, the cast and crew talking to the camera talking about their days on set and so forth, a look at certain scenes and the make-up/special F/X, etc.

Corpse Princess Part 1:

The story: An anti-corpse Monk group known as the Kougon Sect (led by Keisei) team up with a walking dead teen girl (Makina) to kill other walking corpses. If Makina kills 108 corpses/shikabane/the 7 Stars, she can go to heaven. Naturally then, many of the stories revolve around Makima hunting and killing shikabane such as a murderous vampire, a J-Pop singer, children, a former classmate of Ouri, a Bandit, and the weirdest of all, a killer SUV. Other subplots involve Buddihist Monks, death, murders, a talking black cat, a vampire, reanimated corpses, a high school by named Ouri who is involved with Makina, a traitor priest, and other Shikabane hunting teams (reminiscent of D.Gray-Man) like Shuji Isaki and Minai and Rika and Saki. This set contains the first 13 episodes.

At first, I didn’t know what to make of “Corpse Princess.” Sure it was unique, atmospheric, and beautifully animated, but the cartoony humor and excessive descriptions and inner thought monologues were off-putting to me. Luckily, the show manages to improve over time and by episode 8 I was sold on the show. Without giving away any spoilers, let me just say that the show spices things up in episodes 12 and 13 with some intriguing character moments and game changing plot twists involving Makina and Ouri. By the time you’ve finished the set, you’ll no doubt want to acquire part 2. And really, what’s a better sign of a good anime series than that?

The widescreen picture quality shines thanks to colorful, sharp looking animation.

This set contains both English Dolby Digital 5.1 and Japanese Stereo audio tracks. The English track sounds fine as the sound f/x and English dub are clear. The Japanese Stereo track is the way to go here. Granted, it is just a mere stereo track, but it’s so much stronger in terms of acting.

Extras:
* Trailers for “My Bride Is A Mermaid,” “Sengoku,” “Trigun,” “Oh! Edo Rocket,” “Linebarrels Of Iron,” “Hetalia Axis Powers,” “Vampire Girl Vs Frankenstein Girl,” “Dragon Ball Z Kai,” “Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu,” and “Ghost Hunt.”
* Textless opening and closing songs.
* Episode 12 commentary by the English voice director and a voice actress and voice actor. As with most commentaries by English dub crews, they don’t have much to say aside from their experiences in recording a dub.

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November 2, 2010 - Posted by | DVD review | ,

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