Fragmented Films April 2010

Evil Bong

Vampire Girl Vs Frankenstein Girl (Eastern Eye) is an excuse for slapstick gore that pretends to be a love story. Set in an over the top Japanese high school there are wrist-cutting competitions for emo kids, a mad scientist in kabuki getup mutilating students in the name of science, and a gang of Japanese Obama quoting girls in blackface. When a sexy new vampire schoolgirl has her sights set on the class stud the gore begins.

Fans of Machine Girl and the Incredibly wrong Tokyo Gore Police will find this film the Brewsters Millions of hyper gore, it’s like being given all the KFC you want, only to have the bones stick in your throat. Just when you think it’s gone way too far it escalates, like when during battle Frankenstein Girl unscrews her knife wielding arm and flings it at Vampire Girl, using it as a lethal boomerang. But that’s just the beginning. She then somehow attaches it to her head, it begins spinning, and she becomes a human helicopter. Then of course there’s the dialogue, “dicing one’s daughter is true happiness,” screeches the kabuki scientist. Gold.

Evil Bong (Beyond) is remarkable. It’s totally insane. We’ve had Freddy, Jason, even Chucky, and now a jive talkin Afro Mamma Bong called Eebee that sucks the soul out of all who dare take a toke. Yet that’s not what’s so bizarre here. It’s the totally deranged and cliched vision of America’s youth coupled with some of the most inept storytelling you could ever imagine. A jock, surfer, rich kid turned stoner and a nerd order a haunted bong mail order. After the jock’s girlfriend takes a toke she does what can only be described as a mating dance, inexplicably jumping around in a pogo stick frenzy repeatedly moaning ‘I’m horny.’ Then there’s the ‘supernatural’ element demonstrated via cutting edge 80’s video effects, which is a shame given that Evil Bong was made in 2006. When Eebee steals someone’s soul they are transported into, wait for it, a strip club inside the bong. Which is apparently a bad thing. Then Tommy Chong arrives to save the day with a chainsaw. This is so far beyond genius that genius is but a distant memory.

Veteran Hong Kong filmmaker Johnie To (Election) offers a super cool, hyper stylish cracker of a film in Vengeance (Eastern Eye). When his daughter’s family are brutally murdered, a French chef travels to Hong Kong to exact revenge. It exists somewhere between Bronson’s Deathwish series and a hyper violent spaghetti western, filled with tough men acting honourably in between brutally slaughtering people. “They killed my daughter’s family, I wont eat their food,” offers Johnny Halliday with a straight face. It’s like John Woo used to do it before he went to seed in Hollywood, a mixture of stylish hyper choreographed gun battles and emotional cheese. Many of the action scenes come off as dance, ludicrous set pieces, including the climactic sequence with all the gangsters pushing large balls of newspaper towards each other whilst engaging in a pitching gun battle.

Blood The Last Vampire (Eastern Eye) comes from anime, and it’s so stylishly shot and carefully controlled that to some extent it still doesn’t feel like live action. It’s from the producers of Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, which may explain why there’s so much awkward English language in this Japanese film set on a Vietnam era American military base. Demons have infested the earth and whilst the war is occupying the humans, there is another war going on. Heaping cliche upon cliche and existing purely an exercise in style, it’s Buffy The Vampire Slayer meets Men in Black without the humour. Though you have to be happy with one thing – at least they put the demon hunter in a cute schoolgirl outfit.

Can it get any better than Nazi zombies in the snow? In Dead Snow (Madman) before the zombies are unleashed a group of horny teens head to a remote cabin. Before you can say Evil Dead one of the guys goes to the outhouse to take care of business and a girl sneaks out and mounts him whilst he is still sitting on the latrine. Nothing like a spot of coprophilia to kick a movie into gear. Then the splatter begins. Sorry bad choice of words. It’s hilarious and over the top, with the creepiest Nazi zombies since the 1976 Peter Cushing vehicle Shock Waves. Yet those came from the ocean, and these come from the snow which makes them scarier. Right?

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