HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
American Fiction
Poor Things
Thunderclap
Zeiram
Legend of the Bat
Party Line
Night Fright
Pacha, Le
Kimi
Assemble Insert
Venus Tear Diamond, The
Promare
Beauty's Evil Roses, The
Free Guy
Huck and Tom's Mississippi Adventure
Rejuvenator, The
Who Fears the Devil?
Guignolo, Le
Batman, The
Land of Many Perfumes
Cat vs. Rat
Tom & Jerry: The Movie
Naked Violence
Joyeuses Pacques
Strangeness, The
How I Became a Superhero
Golden Nun
Incident at Phantom Hill
Winterhawk
Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City
Maigret Sets a Trap
B.N.A.
Hell's Wind Staff, The
Topo Gigio and the Missile War
Battant, Le
Penguin Highway
Cazadore de Demonios
Snatchers
Imperial Swordsman
Foxtrap
   
 
Newest Articles
3 From Arrow Player: Sweet Sugar, Girls Nite Out and Manhattan Baby
Little Cat Feat: Stephen King's Cat's Eye on 4K UHD
La Violence: Dobermann at 25
Serious Comedy: The Wrong Arm of the Law on Blu-ray
DC Showcase: Constantine - The House of Mystery and More on Blu-ray
Monster Fun: Three Monster Tales of Sci-Fi Terror on Blu-ray
State of the 70s: Play for Today Volume 3 on Blu-ray
The Movie Damned: Cursed Films II on Shudder
The Dead of Night: In Cold Blood on Blu-ray
Suave and Sophisticated: The Persuaders! Take 50 on Blu-ray
Your Rules are Really Beginning to Annoy Me: Escape from L.A. on 4K UHD
A Woman's Viewfinder: The Camera is Ours on DVD
Chaplin's Silent Pursuit: Modern Times on Blu-ray
The Ecstasy of Cosmic Boredom: Dark Star on Arrow
A Frosty Reception: South and The Great White Silence on Blu-ray
You'll Never Guess Which is Sammo: Skinny Tiger and Fatty Dragon on Blu-ray
Two Christopher Miles Shorts: The Six-Sided Triangle/Rhythm 'n' Greens on Blu-ray
Not So Permissive: The Lovers! on Blu-ray
Uncomfortable Truths: Three Shorts by Andrea Arnold on MUBI
The Call of Nostalgia: Ghostbusters Afterlife on Blu-ray
Moon Night - Space 1999: Super Space Theater on Blu-ray
Super Sammo: Warriors Two and The Prodigal Son on Blu-ray
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
   
 
  Vampire Princess Miyu What are little vampire girls made of?
Year: 1989
Director: Toshihiro Hirano
Stars: Mami Koyama, Naoko Watanabe, Katsumi Toriumi, Kyonobu Suzuki, Masako Ikeda, Mayumi Shou, Ryo Horikawa, Yuji Mitsuya, Yumi Takada, Emi Shinohara, Goro Naya, Hiromi Nakamiura, Kaneto Shiozawa, Kazuhiko Inoue, Kiyoko Kobayashi, Masato Kubota, Tessho Genda
Genre: Horror, Animated, FantasyBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: A cloaked vampire is behind a spate of attacks upon young women in Kyoto. Meanwhile, stylish “medium” Himiko (voiced by Mami Koyama) is summoned when a little girl grows comatose with a suspected case of demonic possession. Himiko survives her brush with the bloodsucking fiend who is vanquished by Miyu (Naoko Watanabe), an enigmatic vampire schoolgirl able to walk in daylight and upon whom, crucifixes and holy water have no effect, and her Noh-masked servant Larva (Kaneto Shiozawa). Ancient and all-powerful, Miyu is Earth’s only protector from the Shinma, a race of “demon-gods” from another dimension. Though she survives on human blood, she claims her bite bestows immortality and comfort on those seeking escape from a life of pain. Over a several encounters, Himiko witnesses the vampire princess battle a hideous giant worm, a creepy ghost girl with a doll fixation, and a handsome devil god called Pazuzu, whose past intersects with Miyu’s own.

This four part anime serial was adapted from the manga by creator, character designer, animation director Narumi Kakinouchi, in collaboration with her husband Toshihiro Hirano, one of the true maestros of horror anime. Unlike more notorious genre fare such as Wicked City (1987) or Urotskidoji: Legend of the Overfiend (1987), this forgoes the usual tentacle rape and ectoplasmic ejaculations for subtle chills, intriguing twists and an elegantly eerie atmosphere that gets under your skin. There are Lovecraftian overtones in the demon-gods waiting to reclaim the Earth that bring shades of Hirano’s masterpiece Iczer-One (1985) and its sequels, while supernatural battles rendered via flowing silks and exploding flowers recall A Chinese Ghost Story (1987), but this is essentially a shojo (“girls manga”) horror.

In Japan the foremost consumers of manga are adolescent girls and horror is especially popular. Hence the stories adopt a romantic, psychologically driven approach that involve offbeat twists like the child who loses her mind because she is kept alive by blood transfusions from her dying parents, or the pretty-boy victim that actually wants to be consumed by the female monster (which becomes a twisted love triangle when Miyu vies for his immortal soul). Interwoven is a bleak and haunting reoccurring theme wherein people withdraw into fantasy worlds when reality proves unbearable, and where Miyu challenges Himiko’s preconceptions about good and evil. Critics have taken issue with liberties taken with traditional vampire lore and the fact that Miyu sometimes seems no different to the monsters she’s hunting, but such ambiguity works in its favour.

Kakinouchi’s delicate character designs have an almost tactile quality, from the writhing, seeping, slithering monsters to the silkily sensual heroine. Golden eyed and silkily sensual, Miyu is an alluring, yet unfathomable protagonist whose sense of style must prove a plus point to the target audience. As does the fact she has her own handsome boy-toy under lock and key. Hirano works his magic via some unsettling set-pieces (e.g. crimson netherworlds where giant eyeballs hang from haunted trees; milky-skinned phantoms; scary haired ghost girls that hark back to Kwaidan (1964)), most notably the doll episode that unfolds in the stilted style of a traditional puppet play, complete with weird chanting and percussion effects that add to the creepy mood. The team reunited for a 1997 television series that added a host of supporting characters including little bat-winged rabbit Shina, and for a follow-up Vampire Princess Yui (2001), that concerns a girl whose mother was bitten by Miyu while pregnant.
Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

This review has been viewed 3365 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Enoch Sneed
  Louise Hackett
Darren Jones
Mark Le Surf-hall
Andrew Pragasam
Mary Sibley
Graeme Clark
  Desbris M
   

 

Last Updated: