Monday, July 30, 2012

Vampire Girls – review

Director: Daisuke Miki Honda

Release date: 2011

Contains spoilers

This is a Japanese DVD release that, unfortunately, does not have English subtitles. Never fear, there are subs out there in internet-land but they are literal translations. The film isn’t quite a ‘pink’ movie. I have heard some suggest it is but, whilst there are some boobs on show and some sex, you’d get more explicit scenes in a HBO series.

The unfortunate bit about this movie is it seemed to have some interesting concepts that it absolutely failed to explore (the literal translation of the subs wouldn’t have helped any, I’m sure, but I think the fault lay within the actual screenplay).

glowing eyes
It begins with a woman, Yumi (Minori Hatsune), in a hotel with a man. He clearly wants her sexually and she says about being cold – something he discovers as he kisses her and finds that her lips are, indeed, cold. She mentions love before saying that she wants his blood. Eyes become glowing, fangs appear and he becomes vampire chow.

happier days
Seiji (Hiroto Kato) gives a voice-over of how, 2 years before, he met Yumi. She seemed a shy girl and they fell in love, getting an apartment together and planning to get married… and then she vanished. That was a year ago and his friend, Haru, wants Seiji to get on with his life, but he continues to search. We see him check a coffee shop where he once went to meet Yumi, when she gave him a cross that has been handed down through her family. Haru phones him and says he has seen her in the Shinjuku ward.

bloodied mouth
Seiji rushes over to Shinjuku, though it is dark when he arrives. Haru is reluctant to tell him where he has seen her and it becomes apparent that she is now an escort. Seiji goes to follow her but loses sight when a woman, Luna (Atsuko Kurusu), gets in his way. Haru tells him that they should leave, as the area they are in has a bad reputation and strange (and deadly) things are meant to occur on the night of the full moon.

I want to kill you
Seiji keeps returning to the place where he saw Yumi and, after he is beaten up for asking too many questions, Yumi goes to him, finding him drunk. She immediately disrobes and has sex with him but flings herself away from him, with inhuman speed, as she climaxes – she is scared as she can’t control herself and she wants his blood, she vanishes before his eyes. When he talks to Haru, his friend suggests she is a vampire.

the pastor
It is here where we get the unusual, and frustratingly sparse, lore. We are told that – due to a contract entered into in Rome, there are only 12 vampires – mirroring Christ’s disciples. Later we get a vampire hunter called the pastor – a priest who is a vampire and who is determined to maintain the contract. The contract allows the vampires to feed on the full moon. Yumi draws his attention by hunting on other nights, desperate to forget Seiji, whom she still loves. The contract aspect is not examined further. Touching a cross to flesh burns a vampire, and this holds true for the pastor, who grabs his cross as a penance it would seem. However they can wear a cross over their clothes with no ill effect.

in the sun
Yumi became a vampire when Luna turned her – finding her about to commit suicide because she had been raped. We are told that becoming a vampire requires an oral exchange of blood and yet we also see three of her victims turn (without being fed her blood). One dies as the sun rises, and seemed to have a normal fang set up but two others had really bad teeth when turned… there is no rhyme or reason to that. Despite being told otherwise, there is a very unusual cure for vampirism… but I won’t spoil that.

funky teeth
The film had limited locations and just seemed cheap. The effects and props were not brilliant (the coffin in Luna and Yumi’s hideout is incredibly cheap and nasty for a prop) and the acting skills seemed limited at best. As I say, the literal subtitles were probably a hinderance but I was not massively impressed with the story. However the contract with Rome was fascinating but under-explored. There are some sexual moments but little is shown and they’re not particularly sexy.

All said, it was a bit of a poor effort. 2.5 out of 10 for intriguing me – even if it proved frustrating. At the time of review there is no IMDb page.

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