ISF: Vampire Frankenstein Girl (2009?) Dir: Yoshihiro Nishimura Not Yet Released Date Seen: May 18, 2010 Rating: 2.75/5
I thought I knew where I stood on Nishimura's brand of surreal, DIY, make-up effects-centric brand of gross-out slapstick horror. I was sure of this after having only seen one of his films, Tokyo Gore Police (I had read a good deal about them though, mostly unintelligible gushing from fanboys).
But this short, packaged with Vampire Girl vs. Frankenstein Girl, makes me think that I might have been wrong about Nishimura. Admittedly, the juxtaposition of a weak short film with Robo-Geisha, a rather silly but also pretty strong feature from Noboru Iguchi, Nishimura's partner-in-latex-crime, is partly the reason for my double take. But this short was so scatter-shot, so flat in its absurd and meaningless exploitation of images of race and sex. Tokyo Gore Police actually had a level of bite and humor to its wackadoo reimagining of Robocop as a sentai show. It was totally bizarre but actually kind of smart, dynamic and well-paced.
Maybe Nishimura just wasn't trying here.
I know good friend and talented critic Steve Carlsen likes Vampire Girl vs. Frankenstein Girl so I should probably give that feature a shot next, though I also didn't like Nishimura's segment from omnibus film Mutant Girls Squad. I have to seek out more Iguchi, probably Machine Girl. One things for sure: Nishimura and Iguchi are both making unique and personal movies. Just not necessarily accessible or consistently entertaining ones.