Monday, January 14, 2019

The Lingering Blood Sucker

A young woman dies suddenly but then keeps turning up, seemingly alive. One possible reason is suggested in the English title of 1970's The Vampire Doll, though its original title, 幽霊屋敷の恐怖 血を吸う人形, doesn't so clearly categorise the phenomena, translating to something like "The Horror of a Haunted House with a Blood Sucking Doll". The ambiguity is more sensible but this is really a pretty simple horror film mainly worth viewing for its stylish visuals.

Kazuhiko (Atsuo Nakamura) travels to the resort hotel run by his dead fiancee's mother to learn more about her death. The mother, Shidu (Yoko Minazake), drifts about, speaking almost mechanically, perhaps a sign of grief, or perhaps something else. Then Kazuhiko is sure he spots the dead woman, Yuko (Yukiko Kobayashi), outside.

Then Kazuhiko disappears and his sister, Keiko (Kayo Matsuo), and her fiance, Hiroshi (Akira Nakao), travel to the hotel to see if they can learn anything. Their investigation gets further than Kazuhiko's--after Keiko survives an encounter with Yuko, they meet Yuko's doctor, Yamaguchi (Jun Usami), and ask him questions about Yuko. If she's dead, why does she seem to be roaming about, disappearing and reappearing, her eyes glowing?

Yamaguchi doesn't give a very straight forward reply, instead delivering an intriguingly, disturbingly ecstatic speech about ghosts, telling them almost feverishly about how he saw a ghost once. This is one of the most impressively weird moments in the story.

The movie's based very loosely on an Edgar Allan Poe story--telling you which one would be a spoiler but it's not "Fall of the House of Usher". Vampire Doll does, though, have a lot to do with eerie, unstated passions in a family. It's a good story but even better is the lovely hotel. I certainly wouldn't mind haunting it. The Vampire Doll is available to stream for free for those who have Amazon Prime.

Twitter Sonnet #1195

The extra metal teeth could play a song.
For added strength a bar contained a neck.
The muscles lift a paddle playing Pong.
An analogue could put a watch in check.
A path of clouds above the road was dark.
A heavy colour, quiet, cold, and slow.
Unnoticed drops of rain deluge the park.
A crafty cricket quickly starts to row.
Withdrawing clouds expressed their good intents.
The sky adopted stripes to make a hue.
A tightly knitted azure thread condensed.
The av'rage person called the colour "blue".
Acrylic halls absorb the shadow rads.
A freight of goods were shipped to packaged bads.

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