Posts tagged "Junko Ikeuchi"

Vampire Bride

Vampire Bride

aka 花嫁吸血魔 aka Hanayome Kyuketsuma
Vampire Bride
Directed by Kyotaro Namiki
Vampire Bride
Vampire Bride is female melodrama turned into a revenge creature horror film. The beginning is very different from the usual tale of murder and revenge, or a woman scorned. Forget all those rape and revenge tales that have driven the genre since the 1960s, the villain that drives the plot here is female jealousy. Women that are angry with the main character for various reasons – be it her looks, her career, or which man has her attention – conspire to take her out of the equation. They leave her battered and broken and reap the benefits of life without her. But those benefits are bittersweet, and they made the mistake of not killing Fujiko off. For she returns, returns to haunt their lives, and to stalk and end their lives. As she returns as a vampire beast, and it’s dinner time!

The Shintoho Film Festival this is a part of was originally curated in 2010 as part of the Udine Far East Film Festival by Mark Schilling. The films have finally made their way on tour across the US in 2013, and have stopped by San Francisco at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, who has been kicking butt lately with awesome Asian film retrospectives. Vampire Bride played a double bill with Ghost Cat of Otama Pond, and I had the pleasure of attending the screening along with good buddy duriandave of SoftFilm. The Shintoho films are a great cross-section of exploitation cinema, as well as creative outlets from filmmakers who were doing amazing things that just weren’t appreciated by the right people at the time.

Vampire Bride stars Junko Ikeuchi, who was a Shintoho star due to her clean-cut good girl image. But she ran off and got married, then had to come slinking back after that marriage quickly ended in disaster. Shintoho studio boss Mitsugu Okura wasn’t about to let her back that easily, and cast her in this revenge tale, where her beautiful face would transform into a hideously ugly monster. Like Ikeuchi, her character Fujiko’s suffers a fate of things not working out for her. What is to be a good career and a good married are tarnished by betrayal, and she can only look longingly at the life she would have had.

Vampire Bride was the one film I wanted to see most of all, both due to the promotional picture of the Vampire Bat Creature, and an iconic shot also used in promotional material of the three deformed characters staring into Great-Grandma’s magic cauldron (which I can’t seem to find in digital form!!)
Vampire Bride
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2 comments - What do you think?
Posted by Tars Tarkas - May 22, 2013 at 6:17 am

Categories: Movie Reviews, Ugly   Tags: , , , , , , ,