Choice Cuts: Bad Biology, New Daughter

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And, Nightmare Blu, Vampire Girl vs. Frankenstein Girl

Vampire Girl vs. Frankenstein Girl (U.S. Release: TBD): Insane and absolutely silly, it’s hard to take anything about this film seriously past the first ten minutes during which the titular “vampire girl” (cutie Yukie Kawamura) dispenses with three girls in incredibly graphic ways. Meat is peeled from the bone. Skulls fly. And there’s no skimping on the blood. Then again, what did you expect? Tokyo Gore Police‘s Yoshihiro Nishimura co-directed with Naoyuki Tomomatsu, director of the zombie flick Stacy.

The gags here are hit-or-miss (and, at times, racially-fueled to some bizarre extremes) as the narrative focuses on a young man named Mizushima who falls for Kawamura’s Monami and enters into a love triangle. You see, another girl named Keiko wanted this dude as well. Ultimately, things go sour and Keiko becomes “Frankenstein girl.” Cat fight ensues. Limbs fly. Blood is hardened to form sharp weapons. There are also nods to classic monster archetypes – such as a mad scientist and an “Igor” – that manage to squeak through the absurd romance and subplots about wrist-cutting.

Sporting crude FX at times, the film is probably better appreciated with an audience. Nevertheless, it’s not hard to revel in the fountains of crimson mayhem that jettison from the split flesh on display.

A Nightmare on Elm Street (Blu-Ray: Available Now): No better time than now to resurrect Wes Craven’s classic on Blu-Ray, which has already been made available in other regions on this format. Those in the States are rewarded for their patience because this transfer is a beauty. And after looking at comparisons between the U.S. Blu and the Canadian transfer, the former is indeed superior.

Warner Home Video imports all of the usual bonus features we’ve seen before and makes them easily accessible via the Blu-Ray menu. The sound transfer is rewarding as well.

A fixture of my childhood (my first experience with Nightmare was listening to the whole film from my bedroom while my dad watched it in the living room), it’s hard to knock anything about what Craven established. There are aspects that are dated, for sure, but Krueger’s introduction to cinema remains strong. If you have a Blu-Ray…no doubt, this is a must buy.

Bad Biology (U.S. Release: Available Now): Oh, Frank Henenlotter, you rascal. Absent from the feature filmmaking scene since ’92, you’re back with a vengeance and packing plenty of sexual deviancy. Too bad I couldn’t groove to it. I’m still trying to put my finger on why, exactly.

It’s not like Henenlotter’s out of his form. He’s doing what he does best, but perhaps it was around the fourth time he cut to a shot of a mutant penis splitting floorboards to pursue and rape a female victim that I said, “Is this what it all builds to? A giant cock running rampant in New York City?” Henenlotter hasn’t lost his edge, but this isn’t his most inspired film and some moments feel forced.

In case you were wondering, it’s a boy meets girl tale. He’s got a monstrous member with a mind of its own and she’s a nympho with several clits and a penchant for killing her lovers. You can imagine it doesn’t go so hot when they meet up. In typical Henenlotter fashion, the FX are as sketchy as the performances and the humor is pitch black.

Henenlotter’s return wasn’t the warped home run that I was expecting; I simply hope that if he’s here to stay again, Bad Biology is a sign he’s just getting warmed up.

The New Daughter (U.S. DVD Release: May 18): I didn’t see this coming. A Kevin Costner creature feature that Anchor Bay is trying not to sell as a creature feature for some reason. Furthermore, it’s Costner creature feature that is mighty bleak.

At one hour and 40 minutes, it feels a tad stretched out, but man, piecing the clues together as to what’s happening to Costner’s on-screen daughter, played by Pan’s Labyrinth‘s Ivana Baquero, leaves you with an icky sorta feeling in your stomach. Not to mention director Luiso Berdejo (one of the writers on Rec) knows how to play on building dread.

Costner is a recently divorced dad trying to make it work with his son and daughter (since mom ditched them all). As the daughter is the oldest, naturally there’s friction between her and her pop. When she finds a giant mound out behind their massive country house, she builds a strange fixation with it. Soon enough, she’s acting bipolar, her hunger builds and she’s vomiting quite a bit. You damn well know it has something to do with the mound, but I won’t spoil the specifics.

Costner has his strengths but when the film builds to his breakdown during some intense moments, his performance falters. Baquero, meanwhile, plays it pretty one-note conveying adolescent angst. The creatures are a mix of practical and CG; their design not particularly memorable. But I’ll get right to it: This is a weird f**kin’ movie where nothing seems to happen and when something does happen, it’s happening elsewhere with Baquero or happening off-screen (such as most of the kills). No wonder it went into an extremely limited theatrical run last December.



Source: Ryan Rotten, Managing Editor