Sunday, October 25, 2020

Bram Stoker's Dracula As Inspiration For Japan's Toho Studios

Max Schreck, Bela Lugosi, Lon Chaney Jr, John Carradine, Francis Lederer, Christopher Lee, Frank Langella, Gary Oldman, or even Wesley Snipes are just some of the actors associated with film versions of Bram Stoker's classic 1897 novel "Dracula". As far as motion picture studios making films about the "Vampire King". Two stand out, Universal Pictures in the United States and Hammer Studios in the U.K. 


INTRODUCTION

In 1956 there was a Japanese film from Toho Studios and directed by Nobuo Nakagawa entitled 吸血蛾 (Blood Sucking Moth). Which is also known as "The Vampire Moth".



Some reviewers consider this feature to be the first Japanese Vampire motion picture. That is incorrect, as there is no real vampire in the story. The screenplay presents what the audience is led to believe is a vampire until the climax and the human villain is revealed.

This plot has two sources, the first is either director Tod Browning's 1927 "London After Midnight starring Lon Chaney, Sr., or his 1935 remake "Mark of the Vampire" co-starring Bela Lugosi. The second is either the 1927 Horror Mystery Comedy, "The Cat and the Canary" starring Laura LaPlant and Forest Stanley, or its 1939 remake starring Bob Hope and Paulette Goddard
.

On May 8, 1958, not in England as would be thought, but Milwaukee, Wisconsin. British studio, Hammer film's "Dracula", under the American name of "Horror of Dracula", had its World premiere.

On August 2, 1958, the motion picture, as 
"Vampire Dracula", 
was released in Japan.

The version released in Japan has become "Legendary" for the claim, based upon editing records, of having a more "explicit" tone to it and some possible nude scenes. However, as of this writing, no copy of that Japanese version has ever been located, but the above poster might give us a hint as to the changed content.

The first true Western Style Japanese Vampire motion picture was not from Toho Studios and was also directed by Nobuo Nakagawa. "Onna Kyuketsuki (The Woman Vampire)" was released on March 7, 1959. Just eight months after the Hammer "Vampire Dracula" played in Japan. 


"The Women Vampire" aka: "The Lady Vampire" is the story of a woman who disappeared 20 years before and returns to her village not looking a day older. Her daughter, played by Junko Ikeuchi, sees a semi-nude painting of a woman that looks just like her mother. Then with her reporter boyfriend, played by Takashi Wada, they investigate its connection, if any, to her mother's strange return. The main vampire is not the title character, but a man played by Shireru Amachi.. 

While the title vampire, played by Yoko Mihara, does not pursue new victims of her own and is uneasy with her eternal life.  

The screenplay gives the audience the backstory of the male vampire! Which is set in feudal Japan and clearly is a version of Bram Stoker's vampire count's own background as written by Bram Stoker.





The same screenplay gives the audience a homage variation of screenplay writer Curt Siodmak's famous werewolf poem for the 1941 Universal Picture "The Wolf Man":


"The moon is rising. It joins my doom with that of Kisaragi Castle. How hateful is the moon, how unkind...."










When mentioning Japan's Toho Studio, it is usually their Kaiju films that first come to mind. That era started with 1954's "Gojira", re-edited and dubbed into English as 1956's "Godzilla, King of the Monsters". While others might be more interested in Toho's Science Fiction with films like 1957's "Chikyu Boeigun (Earth Defense Force)", re-edited and dubbed into English as 1959's "The Mysterians". 

Toho is known for its period pieces such as director Akira Kurosawa's 1954 "Seven Samurai", or his 1957 version of William Shakespeare's "Macbeth", becoming "Kumonosu-jo (Spider Web Castle)" aka: "Throne of Blood" starring the great Toshiro MifuneToho also made some excellent detective thrillers and a few ghost stories, such as director Masaki Kobayashi's classic 1965 "Kwaidan".

For those fans of Akira Kurasawa, my article: "William Shakespeare By Akira Kurosawa: Kurosawa By America and Italy" can be read at:

http://www.bewaretheblog.com/2016/01/william-shakespeare-by-akira-kurosawa.html



This is a look at three motion pictures made by Toho studios in the 1970's. Which took the same director's inspiration from  Bram Stoker's novel with a definite Asian slant to the stories.


THE BLOOD THIRSTY TRILOGY


His name was Michio Yamamoto and he was born on July 6, 1933 in Nagaoka, Niigata, Japan. I could not locate any specifics on his life, but Yamamoto started directing at Toho studios, as an assistant to Akira Kurasawa, on 1957's "Throne of Blood". He worked on six other films as an assistant director until his 1969 crime 
 drama "やゅの復活 (Yaju's Resurrection)". Which was a Japanese version of the American 1957 Crime Drama "The Brothers Rico". That starred Richard Conte , Diane Foster and Kathryn Grant.

Michio Yamamoto would next turn to vampires and the first installment of his Horror trilogy.

To set the record straight, there is no character called "Count Dracula", or "Count Alucard" in any of the three motion pictures that make up director Michio Yamamoto's trilogy. However, in the second film, the name, "Dracula", appears twice, but the official list of characters does not show a character by that name.

As the title of my article states, it was Bram Stoker's 1897 novel, or more directly the Hammer film series that inspired Yamamoto. Prior to the first picture of what became the trilogy. "The House of Hammer" had released, in Japan, besides 1958's "Dracula". Three other vampiric feature films the included1960's "Dracula, Prince of Darkness" and 1966's "Dracula Has Risen from the Grave". Both movies starring Christopher Lee in the title role. Additionally, Hammer released the misleadingly entitled "The Brides of Dracula" in 1958. There was no "Dracula" in the story but, closer to Michio Yamamoto's films, actor David Peel as "Baron Meinster".

幽霊屋敷の恐怖 血を吸う人形, (THE VAMPIRE DOLL: FEAR BLOODTHIRSTY DOLL) released in Japan on July 4, 1970.


There are two release dates for the United States of the picture. The first was released as "The Vampire Doll" on February 24, 1971. Six months later, on August 6th, the feature was retitled "Night of the Vampire".

When the picture came to video in the United States. The title was once again changed to "The Legacy of Dracula".






The motion picture was produced by Executive Producer Tomoyuki Tanaka and Associate Producer Fumio Tanaka. 

The screenplay was co-written by Hiroshi Nagano and was his third screenplay. Between 1992 and 2003, Nagano wrote 17, made for television, mystery movie screenplays for the Japanese series "Red Dead Wagon". Each of the separate 17 movies, for that series, carried a number, such as "Red Dead Wagon 1" and "Red Dead Wagon 8".

The other screenplay writer was Ei Ogawa. Ogawa started writing screenplays in 1958 and for Toho Science Fiction fans. Ogawa wrote 1970's "Gezora, Ganimes, and Kamoebas: Decisive Battle! Giant Monsters of the South Seasknown in the United States as "Space Amoeba". 

All the photos used this article are from "Toho Kingdom" at:

https://www.tohokingdom.com/

The Basic Screenplay:

In pure Gothic Horror tradition, the story starts on a very stormy night as a young man, "Kazuhiko Sagawa", played by Atsuo Nakamura, is taking a taxi to the home of his lover/fiancée "Yuko Nonomura", played by Yukiko Kobayashi. She lives with her mother, "Shido Nonomura", played by Yoko Minakaze, and it been six months since he heard from her. "Kazuhiko" also has a present for "Yuko", a carved wood doll, because she collects all kinds of dolls.



"Yuko" and her mother's house stands out from the typical Japanese homes of the area. It is also surrounded by an impenetrable forest that and can only be reached by a single one lane road. Substitute the description of "Jonathan Harker's" carriage ride to "Castle Dracula". 

It will be mentioned, in a "Throw-Away-Line", that the house was designed and built by a diplomat in the "Nonomura" family in an unmentioned year of their past.




When "Kazuhiko" arrives and knocks on the front door. His knock is answered by a poweful looking man named "Genzo", played by Kaku Takashina.


Entering the house, "Kazuhiko" meets "Yuko's" mother, "Shidu Nonomura", who informs him that her daughter was killed in an accident during a previous storm. Her death was a result of a rockslide that crushed and buried her car. During their conversation, "Kazhiko" can't help but not notice the crescent shaped scar on "Shidu's" neck.




A semi "Jonathan Harker" moment, 
"Kazuhiko" is to spend the night in the house's guest room and is awakened by the sounds of a woman weeping. The sound is coming from down the hallway. He gets up and follows it to a door and looking into the room through the keyhole. He sees a female human shape sitting in a rocking chair and then its just gone. "Kazuhiko" opens the door and enters, but there is no one to be seen, However, he sees a closed closet door and opens it. There in front of "Kazuhiko" is his beloved "Yuko" with her eyes gleaming a golden color and, suddenly, he is knocked unconscious by "Genzo". Upon regaining consciousness the next morning in his bed, "Kazuhiko", goes out of the house and to "Yuko's" grave.


There she's appears crying and begs him to kill her. As the two embrace, "Yuko's" eyes take on that gleaming golden color----


as she raises her arm and holding a long knife
and-------



-----the screenplay, suddenly, switches to "Kazuhiko's" sister, "Keiko Sagawa", played by Kato Matsuo. She awakes in her bed and has everything the audience been seeing only "Keiko" dreaming?

Later that morning, "Keiko" asks her fiancé, "Hiroshi Takagi", played by Akira Nakao, to help her investigate her brother's disappearance and drive out to the "Nonomura" house he was going to visit "Yuko" at.


There they meet by "Shidu Nonomura" and "Genzo" and are told they never saw
"Kazuhiko", but invite the two to stay at the residence for as long as they're in the village.


The following day the two go to speak to the local authorities about "Kazuhiko's disappearance, but it is while speaking with the local villagers. That the two discover they all consider the  "Nonomura House" as:
CURSED BY THE GOD OF DEATH!

In the village, "Keiko" and "Hiroshi" meet "Dr. Yamaguchi", played by Jun Usami. Who besides being the only medical doctor in the area, admits to dabbling in the occult and local superstitions. Slowly the two put together the back story of the "Nonomura Family".


Many years ago, after World War Two, somebody broke into the "Nonomura" house, according to the story, to rob them. Then, for an unknown reason, the robber murdered everyone, but "Shidu". Whom he raped and afterwards she attempted suicide leaving the crescent shaped scar. Nine months later, "Shidu" would give birth to "Yuko".  

"Keiko" and "Hiroshi", just after midnight on their second night at the house , decide to explore it while "Shidu" and "Genzo" are asleep. The two start to hear the sounds of a woman weeping. Entering "Yuko's" room, "Keiko" finds the golden eyed girl with a bloody arm and her long knife. "Yuko" starts to approach "Keiko", but the light of the others flashlight hits "Yuko's" face, she stops her approach and leaves.





Everything that has occurred in the three days since she started investigating her brothers disappearance is upsetting "Keiko". "Dr. Yamaguchi" wants to administer a sedative to calm her down, but she resists and he orders "Genzo" to restrain the young woman.




"Hiroshi" prevents "Dr. Yamaguchi" from administering what he claims is a sedative.

"Hiroshi" believes the doctor may be more involved in what is going on then "Keiko" and himself have been told. In fact he is also starting to believe that "Yamaguchi" may be the one controlling the still alive "Yuko", because of his power of hypnotism. Along with "Sidu Noromura's" belief that the devil was whispering to her and in the end she sold her soul and brought her daughter back to her.

Next, "Keiko" and "Hiroshi" go out to "Yuko's" grave site and decide to approach the authorities about having her body exhumed. As they have seen "Yuko" alive and what she might know of  "Kazuhiko's" disappearance. It obvious to the two that "Yuko's" mother and "Genzo" are hiding the truth.




They get the authorization to exhume "Yuko" and "Keiko" waits at the house.


When the coffin is exhumed and the lid removed, the body jumps up as if alive, but turns out to be the life size doll of the title. "Hiroshi" leaves to return to "Keiko" and the grave digger prepares to reclose the grave.


Now the story continues to move faster, the running time is only 71 minutes, and if the audience was thinking besides a homage to "The House of Hammer" there might be a little homage to Alfred Hitchcock? This is confirmed when "Keiko" and "Hiroshi" enter the house's basement and find somebody sitting in a chair facing away from them. When they spin the chair around, the two see "
Kazuhiko's" body.


Returning from the basement the two are met by "Dr. Yamaguchi" with a gun a he comes down the stairs.



Suddenly, "Yuko" appears and slashes the doctor's neck in an extremely blood scene. All the murder victims have had slashed necks. "Yuko" is not the fanged vampire of Bram Stoker's "Dracula", but a ghoul of the type first seen on the motion picture screen in 1933 starring Boris Karloff from the U.K.


In the end the doll that "Kazuhiko" was to give "Yuko" is broken, her mother was telling him the truth about her death in the rock slide, and she is now free from the control of "Dr, Yamaguchi". "Yuko" falls to the floor and before "Keiko's" and "Hiroshi's" eyes turns to dust. The audience sees only see her hand deflate like Christopher Lee's in Hammer's 1958 "Dracula".


A year later director Michio Yamamoto directed the second installment of his trilogy.


呪いの館 血を吸う眼 (LAKE OF DRACULA: BLOODTHIRSTY) released in Japan June 16, 1971

The motion picture was released as "Lake of Dracula" in the United States on August 31, 1973. It is also known as "Curse House: Bloodsucking Eyes".






Once again there is no character called "Dracula" in the screenplay co-written by Ei Ogawa and Masaru Takesue. Takesue wrote only written one screenplay before this picture and immediately followed it with four episodes of 1973's "Zone Fighter".

The Basic Screenplay:


"Akkio", played by Michiyo Yamazoe, is a five years old girl playing with her friends by the Pacific Ocean in a Japanese harbor town. At sundown her friends leave and she stays awhile longer. As they walk on the sand, suddenly, her dog, "Leo", runs away and she goes after it. "Akkio" sees her dog enter an out of place, for Japan, European style mansion with dead overgrown trees and plants. As she starts toward it an old man, played by Hideji Otaki, appears and attempts to stop her from going into the house.  




However, "Akkio" avoids the man and enters.


Like any child she is following her dog. Inside she finds "Leo" by a piano being played by a dead woman.




"Akkio" turns away and sees the vampire, played by Shin Kishida, coming down the staircase.


Then the story switches to 18 years later and the audience meets the older "Akkio Kashiwagi", played by Midori Fujita, living by the serene setting of a large lake. She is both a painter and local school teacher. "Akkio" lives in a small town with her younger sister "Natsuko", played by Sanae Emi.

"Akkio" is still haunted by "The Dream" she had as a child and is about to have it turn into a full fledge nightmare.

She takes her German Shepherd, also named "Leo", for a walk from her house to the lake's boathouse to meet the proprietor, "Kyusaku", played by Kaku Takashina. The two begin a friendly conversation as "Leo" starts to run away, causing "Akkio" to have a momentary flashback to the vampire, but she is able to stop the dog as he is still on its leash. "Kyusaku" remarks how strange it is for "Leo" to want to run away.


Afterwards, a delivery truck arrives and drops off a large crate. When questioned as to who the crate belongs too and why it's being dropped off at the boathouse? The driver can only reply he is following the instructions of his employer.



Attempting to get more information about the crate, "Kyusaku" only gets a cold stare from the driver. Who then drives away.


"Akkio"  returns to her house and "Natsuko" mentions the strange painting her sister had just finished of a sunset with a golden eye instead of the sun.




"Akkio" says the idea just came to her, but "Natsuko" believes it has something to do with that nightmare her sister experienced when she was five years old. Adding, she needs to stop obsessing over the nightmare as her boyfriend wouldn't like it. "Akkio"  says  she's not obsessing over the nightmare and has almost completely forgotten it.

Back at the boathouse, "Kyusaku" calls the transportation company about the crate. He tells the person on the other end of the line that the label, he finally found on the crate, just says:
from Dracula visa Nisihara Transport.

The other person just hangs up on "Kyusaku". He decides to open the crate and discovers a coffin inside. He opens it and finds the coffin empty. Just then he is attacked from behind by a strange man.

The night "Akkio's" boyfriend, "Dr. Takashi Saeki ", played by Choei Takahashi, some sites have the actor's name as Osahide Takashashi, visits the sisters. 



After dinner and "Natsuko" is away, "Akkio" suggests that her sister is also in love with the young doctor who ignores the idea. She also mentions that "Kyusaku" was supposed to have joined them for dinner and could "Saeki" drop her off at the boathouse? So she can find out why he didn't come? He agrees and leaves "Akkio" there. 

"Akkio" enters the boathouse that is unnaturally dark without the lights on and no sign of "Kyusaku". Calling for the boathouse keeper a strange man enters and stares at her. She recognizes the stranger as the man in her dream and runs out the back door. 

The following day as the sisters shop in the small town, "Akkio" tells "Natsuko" about her experiences the previous night, but convinces herself that "Kyusaku" was off somewhere else and the stranger was just that a stranger she had never seen before.

"Akkio" calls "Takashi" at the hospital and asks him out to dinner. As he is about to confirm the date, he is told an emergency patient has arrived. "Takashi" is now confronted with the vampire's first victim with two tiny puncture wounds on her neck. There are no visible other signs of trauma and he orders up a blood transfusion to see if that will bring her out of a coma.

While this is occurring, the sisters finish their shopping and return to the house, but "Leo" is missing. "Akkio" finds "Leo" dead as if he had been ravished by some wild animal.


"Akkio" kneels by her dog and then notices "Kyusaku" approaching her from behind. He knocks her out and brings her to the boathouse, places "Akkio" on top of a table, and then the stranger appears and approaches her. However, voices are heard approaching and "Kyusaku" and the stranger step back into the shadows as two anglers enter to ask to rent a boat. This causes "Akkio" to faint and the two men bring her to their fire on the beach to warm up, but do not believe her attack story. As there was nobody in the boathouse except "Akkio". "Akkio" leaves the fishermen on the beach by their fire. While back at the hospital the girl suddenly wakes up and leaves her room. A nurse attempts to stop her and is confronted with a fiendish stare as she grabs the nurse and drinks her blood.


"Takashi" sees the girl walk out the door, down the descending staircase, toward "Akkio's" waiting stranger. A security guard goes after the girl who falls off the staircase to her death. 

Meanwhile, "Akkio" returns home and finds "Natsuko" missing and the door from the kitchen to the outside has been left open. Fully terrified, "Akkio" calls "Takashi" to come over as she is in a panic over the night's events. When "Takashi" arrives, "Akkio" tells him of all the events starting with "Kyusaku" attempting to rape her. She's calmed down by "Takashi" and stays at her home the rest of the night.

"Natsuko" returns home the following night and "Akkio" wants to know where she went and why she left? "Takashi" is on his way to the sister's house and is attacked by "Kyusaku" hiding in the backseat of the car.


The car crashes and the two men get out and start a fight ending with "Kyusahi" dying, or was he already dead? 

Back at their house, "Akkio" is confronted by the vampire brought in by her sister. "Akkio" runs and hides in a closet as the other two leave not finding her hiding place. "Takashi" arrives and is told what happened and how strange it all seems to "Akkio", but not to the young doctor after the experience with his patient.

"Akkio" and "Takashi" start to search for the two and find a dying "Natsuko" on the beach. With her dying breath, "Natsuko" begs the two to burn her body.


Instead, she is taken to the morgue and while being prepared for an autopsy. "Natsuko Kasiwagi" rises as a vampire and leaves the morgue. Reaching back to Curt Siomak's 1943 "Son of Dracula", director Michio Yamamoto recreates a plot point. In 1943 it is "Dr. Harry Brewster" who researches vampires and in this film is is "Dr. Takashi Saeki". How do they do their vampire research? By reading Bram Stoker's novel "Dracula". Which becomes the second mention of the "Vampire King" in this feature.

"Takashi" hypnotizes "Akkio" to force her to relieve "The Dream" and realize that it was real. After "Akkio" accepts the reality of her childhood, the two decide to go to the old mansion.


At the mansion they find the body of the old man from "Akkio's" youth and his diary.


In it is why the house was built and who the vampire actually is. Apparently, the old man's father built the house, because although he was human. He was still a descendant of a vampire and didn't want any visitors. The old man was born, but was, also, not a vampire and married. However, on his son's twenty-fifth birthday, the young man turned into a vampire and it was he that five years old "Akkio" met and has now turned "Natsuko".


Now, "Akkio" and "Takashi" must find and destroy "Natsuko" and the old man's son. They find "Natsuko's" resting place, but she leaves for the upper portions of the house and the two follow her.




"Akkio" goes into one of the rooms and meets the vampire as her sister enters blocking her exit. The Vampire is finally happy to be able to make the little girl one of his brides.



"Akkio" sees the vampire's golden eyes and realizes they were the sun of her painting.



Now the old man's son, name never given but not obviously "Dracula", makes "Akkio" come to him. As she fights him off, he prepares to bite her jugular vein.


"Takashi" enters and the vampire turns toward him permitting "Akkio" to get free. The two now start fighting and go out of the room onto the wooden balcony. Suddenly, the vampire's father, whom he turned into a vampire also, grabs his foot. 





The vampire stumbles and breaks through the wood railing. The vampire falls to the ground, becoming impaled on a stake created by part of the railing and, in true Christopher Lee, 1958 "Hammer Dracula" style, turns to dust.





With the old man's son destroyed, both his father and "Natsuko" are freed from his control. Their corpse's reflect their souls being at peace and they're buried. Back at her house "Akkio" burns the painting.



I now come to the final entry in Michio Yamamoto's "The Blood Thirsty Trilogy".


血を吸う薔薇 (BLOOD THIRSTY ROSE) released July 20, 1974

The movie was released in the United States as "Evil of Dracula" on April 2, 1975.





For the second time director Michio Yamamoto used screenplay writers Ei Ogawa and Masaru Takesue, This is the only screenplay that gives credit to Bram Stoker's novel. Although there is no "Count Dracula", but once again a definite vampire played by Shin Kishida. Who is referred too by many Horror Historian's as "The Japanese Dracula". 


The Basic Screenplay:

The look of the motion is more Gothic than the previous two with just a touch of nudity. Reminding one of Hammer Studios Gothic "The Karnstein Trilogy" starring Peter Cushing. Which was based upon Sheridan Le Fanu's 1872 novella, "Carmilla",that predates Stoker by 25 years. The trilogy is made up of 1970's "The Vampire Lovers", 1971's "Lust of the Vampire" and "Twins of Evil".

I look at the "Karnstein Trilogy" and other non-Bram Stoker inspired vampire films. Such as Tobe Hooper's "Lifeforce", Hammer's "Captain Kronos Vampire Hunter" and Mario Bava's "Planet of the Vampires" in my article "Not the Same Old Vampire Movies, or Get Your Dentures Away from My Jugular Vein" at:

http://www.bewaretheblog.com/2017/10/not-same-old-vampire-movies-or-get-your.html

"Professor Shiraki", played by Toshiro Kurasawa, with long mid-1970's hair and bell bottom flared pants, arrives by train at the Nagano station, enters the main building, and asks a worker how to get to the "Seimei School for Girls" his new post. The worker, strangely cold in his response, informs "Shiraki" that there are no buses that go that way. The Professor walks out as a car pulls up and the driver, after determining he's "Professor Shiraki", tells him to get in and drives to the school.


On the way, they pass a car wreck, and "Shiraki" inquires about it. He is told that the driver was drunk and caused the accident that killed him and a passenger, the School's Principal's wife.

At the school "Professor Shiraki" is taken to the Principal's house and told to go in. Inside, he notices a picture over a mantle of the Principal and his late wife with a white rose below her painting.


After "Shiraki" calls out to see if anyone is in the home. The Principal, played by Shin Kishida a give away, comes down the stairs and greets him. 


Above, Toshiro Kuroawa on the left, and Shin Kishida on the right, in hairstyles and clothing of the "Mod" 1970's subculture that was even being adopted in Japan at the time.

"Professor Shiraki" offers his condolences and asks if he might go to the Principal's wife's grave to pray for her? Instead, he is told the body is in her coffin in the basement. According to the Principal this is per a local custom and his wife will stay there seven days so that prayers may be said, before her burial. The Professor asks directions to his quarters and will go there to get settled in, but the Principal asks him to stay at his house for the night as his guest. "Shiraki" is next offered a glass of very old brandy and is shocked to find out he was hired not to be just a teacher, but the Principal's replacement.


Next comes a true "Jonathan Harker" moment, as "Shiraki" is in the guest room and hears what sounds like a woman singing. He follows the song to another bedroom and sees a woman in a blue nightgown looking out of the balcony window. When he asks, if she was the one singing. The woman, "Keiko Nonomiya", played Yasuko Agawa billed as Tomoe Mari, turns to reveal a deathly pale face and that she is bleeding from her breast. 


"Shiraki" approaches the woman to point help cleanse and bandage the blood, but "Keiko" opens her mouth to reveal sharply pointed fangs and attempts to grab the Professor. He runs into the hallway and is confronted by the Principal's wife, played by Mika Katsuragi, who comes after him also. 




Suddenly, he is hit from behind and knocked unconscious. "Professor Shiraki" awakes the next morning on the guest room's bed with his neck sore from being hit from behind. Not sure, if he was dreaming, leaving the room, he finds the house empty, but the cellar door is open. The Professor walks down the steps to find the coffin of the Principal's wife with a single white rose on top. "Professor Shiraki's" curiosity over takes him and he opens the coffin to see the Principal's wife, the women he thinks he saw last night. He feels her hands and determines she is dead, but the Principal enters the basement and angrily shouts at the Professor for being there and demands that he never go into the basement again.


Which "Shiraki" showing shame as to what he has done, readily agrees.

"Professor Shiraki" now heads for the tennis courts and meets three students, "Kumi Saijo", played Mariko Mochizuki, "Yukiko Mitamura", played by Mio Ota, and "Kyoko Hayshi", played by Keiko Aramaki. 


He now learns two things from the students.

The first is "Keiko Nonomiya" recently went missing, but as strange as that may sound. It seems to be a normal occurrence at school.

The second is that there is a man watching the four, who was the driver that picked up "Shiraki" at the train station, and is "Professor Yoshi", played by Katsuhiko Sasaki, the French literature teacher. The girls say that 'Yoshi" might have been the reason "Keiko" disappeared and the Professor tells them not to make up stories. As "Shiraki" passes "Yoshi", the French literature teacher quotes a passage in French as "Shiraki" continues on his way.

Going inside the school's dormitory, the Professor now meets the school's doctor, "Dr. Shimomura", played by Kunie Tanaka, The doctor starts to regale "Shiraki" with his knowledge of local folk tales about demons and especially vampires. "Shimomura" is the school's authority on the subject.

"Professor Shiraki" now gets the key to "Keiko's" room and finds her student I.D. still there and opening it to the photo section. He sees the young girl in his dream. Suddenly, he hears the dream song and goes out into the hallway and finds "Kumi". She tells him that the song was a favorite of "Keiko". The Professor responds by telling "Kumi" he believes "Keiko" was in his dream wearing a blue nightgown. A somewhat shocked "Kumi" confirms that "Keiko" had a blue nightgown like the "Shiraki" just described. 

Meanwhile, "Kyoko" ventures out of her room to find "Kumi" and steps on a white rose, the thorn cutting her ankle. Next, "Kyoko" notices the door to "Keiko's" room is wide open and enters. There wearing a large black cape is the Principal. He stares at the girl and his eyes paralyze her in place. The Principal rips open "Kyoko's" dress and with large fangs bites her upon her breast. When "Kumi" returns she finds "Kyoko" lying still on her bed with a White Rose in a vase next to it on a nightstand. When the vampire drinks blood the white rose turns into a vivid red rose. "Yukikio" going up to "Kumi" mentions that "Kyoko" went out looking for her, but hasn't said anything since returning to their shared room.

In his psychology class, "Professor Shiraki" is showing his students several Rorschach inkblots and asks the students to write down what they see. 
 

"Kyoko", who looks very pale and somewhat sickly, starts to hallucinate after seeing one of the blots and faints. She is taken to "Dr, Shimomura" by "Professor Shiraki".



"Dr. Shimomura" doesn't find any visible signs of an illness, but there are two tiny puncture marks on "Kyoko's" neck. "Kumi" and "Yukiko" decide to stay with "Kyoko" in the dormitory until she feels better.


While "Professor Shiraki" mentions his unease over events that seem to be happening at the school to "Dr. Shimomura". The doctor decides that he needs to show the other a grave with an unearthed coffin and the flashback begins.

About 200 years before, a foreigner was ship wrecked and washed ashore on Japan. His name and nationality were unknown, but he was a Christian, a band religion in Japan at the time.


Because the man was tortured as a Christian and persecuted for his faith. He finally denounced his Christianity and spit upon a crucifix. Not only had this man lost his God, but eventually his mind also. The man wandered through Japan in search of his own salvation, but ended drinking his on blood to survive. This turned into an insatiable blood lust and he attacked and killed a 15 years old girl and drank her blood.


The man outraged at what he had done took the girl's body into the wilderness and weeped for her. Miraculously, the girl came back to life, panicking the local townspeople. Who killed both of them and buried the man and girl together inside a large coffin. 

"Professor Shiraki" looks inside the coffin and sees its completely empty without any signs of bones. He tells the doctor that "Shimomura" is telling him this, because he doesn't believe this is just a story but the truth and the two escaped the coffin and are still in the area. The two men go to a local bar and "Shiraki" tells the doctor that the Principal picked him as his successor. "Dr. Shimomura" tell the other the same thing happened ten years previously and that "Successor" is in a mental institution.

"Shiraki", "Shimomura", and a school security guard, played by Haro Suzuki, go to the dormitory with the guard standing watch. The doctor now shows the Professor that other "Successor's" journal that he has never read. "Professor Shiraki" states according to the journal, that the current teacher and his wife changed dramatically after he became the school's Principal. It adds that the two who proceeded them also changed in the same fashion. 

Then there was a cryptic entry in the journal:
That if the devil walks among humanity, he must not appear as the devil. Rather, must take the form of a man, hiding in plain sight
The three men decide to stand guard at the dean's office, downstairs, waiting for they no not what to happen, but the Principal appears in "Kyoko's", "Yukiko" and "Kumi's" room and slashes "Yukiko's" breasts with his sharp claws, but before he can drink her blood. The three men come running into the room and the Principal leaves through an open window.

As "Professor Shiraki" and "Kumi" attend to "Yukiko's" wounds, "Kyoko" grabs a pair of scissors and attempts to stab the Professor.




"Kumi" warns "Shiraki", who manages to dodge the scissors and "Kyoko" flees the room with the Professor and "Kumi" in pursuit. In the short chase "Kyoko" throws herself over the staircase and breaks her neck.


When they return to the girl's room, they find that "Yukiko" is missing.

"Dr. Shimomura" discovers "Yukiko" with the Principal and him feeding on her neck. "Shimomura" takes some photo's, but the Principal sees him and strangles the doctor.

"Shiraki" calls the police and two officers arrive, but claim a suicide is not in their jurisdiction. The Professor claims a man broke into the girl's room and attacked "Yukiko" before "Kyoko" killed herself. The two detectives agree to interview the Principal, but "Professor Yoshi" is present and claims he was with the Principal and the detectives leave with "Professor Shiraki". Then, "Yoshi" goes down to the basement and removes the Principal's wife from her coffin and passionately kisses her. As she prepares to bite down upon his neck the story cuts to "Shiraki" and "Kumi".

Apparently, the Principal didn't know about the camera and the two develop "Shimomura's" film from the camera discovered in the woods. The developed film only shows "Yukiko", but looking more closely at each frame. They realize she seems to be in the embrace of somebody else. "Professor Shiraki" tells "Kumi" the two have no allies and they're fighting something that is not human. 
 
Now, "Professor Shiraki" tells "Kumi" to stay away from "Yukiko" and not to let anyone into her room until he returns. He's going to investigate something that may solve the mystery of what's happening. He's going to the mental institution!

We now have our "Renfield" moment, as "Professor Shiraki" speaks with "Shimazaki", played by Susugu Katayama, who wrote the journal. The man uncovered something nobody would consider as truth and the man was declared insane. As "Shiraki" reads the journal out loud to "Shimazaki", he comes to a part about the vampire taking off the face of his victim to become them. Now, "Shimazaki" proves what he wrote, by showing "Professor Shiraki" a large scar on his neck where the vampire was attempting to remove his face.

"Professor Shiraki" heads for the school and the dormitory. "Yukiko", becomes agitated and says that "The Madam", the Principal's wife, is calling her. She leaves, goes to the Principal's house, down to the basement and his wife. "The Madam" slashes "Yukiko's" breast and feeds on her blood, places the girl on a table and removes her face with a help from her familiar a raven.

Next, the new "Yukiko" goes to the dormitory to convinces "Kumi" she is the real "Yukiko", but "Kumi" sees through the ruse. "The Madam" attacks and starts to feeds on the girl.
When "Shiraki" arrives, he finds "Kumi" missing and "Yukiko" there. "Yukiko" now asks "Shiraki" to marry her, but the Professor reveals the vampires plans. After he marries the fake "Yukiko" his own face will be removed. "The Madam" tells "Professor Shiraki" that the bodies of the other three girls and the doctor are now at the bottom of the nearby lake with hundreds of other victims, because she was the 15 year old girl and the vampire the foreigner. 

Just then, "Professor Yoshi" arrives under the complete control of the Principal's wife, but not a vampire and attacks "Shiraki". Who fights back and the fight moves outside the house and to the lake. "Professor Shiraki" kills "Professor Yoshi" by pushing him into the lake where he drowns! "Shiraki" runs up to and enters the Principal's house and finds "Kumi" unconscious in "The Madam's" coffin. He revives her and as the two start to leave the basement, the Principal and his wife attack. The Professor tells the girl to flee upstairs which she does, but the Principal catches her and starts to feed. "Professor Shiraki" gets away from "The Madam" and stops the vampire from feeding on "Kumi". She runs upstairs followed by "The Madam" and there is now two distinct fights going on in the house.


"Shiraki" gets his hands on an axe and throws it directly into the vampire's chest.



The vampire hisses and is fighting to remove the axe as upstairs "The Madam" collapses. The Principal pulls the axe out of his chest and throws it at "Shiraki", but misses the Professor. The axe imbeds itself in a nearby wooden post. Now, "Shiraki" pulls a hot poker out of the fire place and throws it at the vampire impaling him in the heart. "The Madam" joins him as he pushes the poker through his body, but both the Principal and his wife start to age rapidly.









Eleven years after their last live action vampire motion picture, "Evil of Dracula". Toho Studios, in 1985, made its next vampire motion picture, but that was an anime feature based upon the first of the manga series by Hideyuki Kikuchi, "Vampire Hunter D".



 




 


































 





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