Vampire Doll

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Vampire Doll
The Vampire Doll in The Vampire Doll
Alternate names Yuko Nomura, Vampiress Yuko
Species Vampire
Relations Shidu Nonomura (mother),
Dr. Yamaguchi (father),
Kazuhiko Sagawa (lover)
Played by Yukiko Kobayashi
First appearance The Vampire Doll

The Vampire Doll (血を吸う人形,   Chiwosū Ningyō) is a kaijin who appeared in the 1970 Toho horror film The Vampire Doll.

Name[edit | edit source]

The name "Vampire Doll" comes from the Japanese and English titles of the character's debut film, The Vampire Doll. Within the film itself, the character is referred to by her given name, Yuko Nonomura (野々村夕子,   Nonomura Yūko). Some Japanese sources give the character the alternate name Vampiress Yuko (吸血女・夕子,   Kyūketsu Onna Yūko).

Development[edit | edit source]

Director Michio Yamamoto was inspired when working on The Vampire Doll by the works of horror manga author Kazuo Umezu, and also drew inspiration from Edgar Allan Poe's short story "The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar." Specifically, he based the concept of the Vampire Doll being kept alive through hypnosis on the latter work.[1] Yamamoto also watched the Shochiku horror film Goke, Body Snatcher from Hell for reference prior to filming.

Yukiko Kobayashi, an established Toho star, was chosen for the titular role of the Vampire Doll. Kobayashi had been enthusiastic about the role after reading the film's script. Per Yamamoto's idea, the Vampire Doll makeup which Kobayashi wore included color contact lenses which made her eyes appear golden. According to Kobayashi, she could not see through these lenses at all and frequently bumped into objects during each take when she was wearing them. Despite this, the lenses achieved a satisfactory effect in not only making Kobayashi's face look monstrous, but caused her movements to appear unnatural and inhuman due to her aforementioned inability to see when wearing them.[2]

Appearance[edit | edit source]

The Vampire Doll maintains the appearance of Yuko Nonomura when she was alive, save for the now white pale complexion of her skin and her eerie glassy yellow eyes. Her right arm is covered in blood as a result of the car accident which killed her. Yuko wears a white nightgown, the same attire she was wearing at her time of death.

Origins[edit | edit source]

Yuko Nonomura became the Vampire Doll after her father, Dr. Yamaguchi, placed her under hypnosis at her time of death following an automobile accident. For as long as the hypnosis remained, Yuko was placed in a state between life and death, spending her days weeping and begging for death and her nights as a vampire in search of blood.

History[edit | edit source]

The Vampire Doll[edit | edit source]

When Kazuhiko Sagawa traveled to the Nonomura family mansion to see his fiance Yuko, he was informed by her mother Shidu that she had passed away. Sagawa, still in disbelief about his lover's death, lie awake in bed in the mansion that night when he heard a woman weeping in the next room. Sagawa investigated that room and saw Yuko, her face deathly pale and her eyes glassy and yellow, hiding in the closet. Sagawa was hit from behind and rendered unconscious, and when he awoke he was told by Shidu that the whole incident was just a dream. Sagawa returned to his room and saw Yuko pass by his window, then ran outside after her. He came upon her grave, then turned to see her standing behind him. Sagawa was relieved his lover was still alive, but she begged him to kill her. Sagawa, believing Yuko must be sick, embraced her and promised to make her well. Yuko's eyes again turned yellow as a hideous grin crept across her face. She then lifted a knife in her hand and prepared to stab Sagawa.

Sagawa's sister Keiko traveled with her fiance Hiroshi to the Nonomura mansion in search of her brother some time later after they did not hear from him. Shidu told them he had already left, but the two were suspicious. When they visited Yuko's grave, they found a trail of dead birds with their necks broken and one of Sagawa's blood-covered cufflinks. Believing Shidu was hiding something, Hiroshi sabotaged his car so the two would have to stay at the Nonomura home. While sitting at the dinner table, the two overheard weeping and Hiroshi set out to investigate. As he descended the stairs to the source of the noise, Hiroshi was stopped by Shidu, who explained that the weeping sound was merely the sound of wind traveling through the skylight window. While in her room, Keiko saw Yuko approaching her and knocked down a lamp as she recoiled in horror. The light blinded Yuko, who vanished shortly afterward. Keiko was convinced Yuko was still alive and that her brother was somewhere in the mansion, and convinced Hiroshi to investigate further in the nearby town. They learned that Yuko's whole family save for her mother was killed before she was born by a burglar, and her tragic death was another terrible event to befall the family. They visited the doctor who proclaimed Yuko dead, Dr. Yamaguchi, and Keiko explained what she saw. To her surprise, Yamaguchi said he believed her, as he himself had seen a ghost during the war. Keiko was not content to stay in the village and drove to confront Shidu, while Hiroshi remained behind and made a deal with the gravedigger to exhume Yuko's corpse.

The gravdigger dug up Yuko's coffin and Hiroshi asked him to open it. As soon as the lid opened a doll sprung from the coffin, sending the gravdigger running. He soon came face to face with Yuko, the Vampire Doll, who fatally stabbed him in the neck. Hiroshi found the man's corpse but was attacked by the Nonomura family servant Genzo. Hiroshi killed Genzo by throwing him into a chasm, then ran into the mansion. Keiko had gone ahead and was sedated by Yamaguchi after Shidu told him she was delusional. Hiroshi confronted Shidu and got her to confess that Yuko was still alive. When Yuko lay dying after being fatally injured in a car accident, she called out Sagawa's name, the only man who had brought her happiness. Unable to let her die unhappy, Shidu had Yuko placed under hypnosis to keep her alive. However, all this did was suspend Yuko between life and death. By day, she wept and begged for death, while by night she became the Vampire Doll and killed in search of blood on which to feed. Hiroshi asked her to break the hypnosis, but Yamaguchi entered the room and explained he was the one who hypnotized Yuko. He elaborated that Shidu was his fiance before the war, but when he returned she had remarried. Enraged, he broke into her home and killed everyone except Shidu, who he could not bring himself to kill. Shidu became pregnant with Yamaguchi's daughter Yuko, and he remained in the nearby town to watch over them both. Keiko awakened in a room where Yuko was lying in bed with a figure seated in a chair next to her. Keiko investigated only to find the figure was the rotting corpse of her brother. The Vampire Doll awakened and went after Keiko, who escaped to the mansion's main hall. Hiroshi overheard her screams and ran to her, but both were subsequently held at gunpoint by Yamaguchi. The Vampire Doll then entered the room, prompting Yamaguchi to try and explain he was her father. Uncaring, the Vampire Doll lunged at Yammaguchi and slit his throat, causing himm to bleed to death on the floor. With Yamaguchi's death, the hypnosis was broken and the Vampire Doll collapsed to the ground. Her deathly appearance returned to Yuko's beautiful appearance as she finally embraced the release of death. Shidu knelt by her daughter's corpse and sobbed as Hiroshi and Keiko looked on.

Abilities[edit | edit source]

The Vampire Doll wields a knife which she uses proficiently to fatally stab victims and feed on their blood. As an undead being, the Vampire Doll cannot die unless the hypnosis over her is broken.

Weaknesses[edit | edit source]

The Vampire Doll has an aversion to light and as such remains indoors during the day. She also recoils from the light when Keiko knocks down a lamp. When the hypnosis which transformed her into the Vampire Doll is broken, Yuko finally reverts to her human self and dies.

Gallery[edit | edit source]

Main article: Vampire Doll/Gallery.

References[edit | edit source]

This is a list of references for Vampire Doll. These citations are used to identify the reliable sources on which this article is based. These references appear inside articles in the form of superscript numbers, which look like this: [1]

  1. Uchusen Vol. 118 (May 2005). Asahi Sonorama. 1 May 2005. pp. 106–107. ISBN 01843-05 Check |isbn= value: length (help).
  2. Toho Special Effects Movie Complete Works. villagebooks. 28 September 2012. pp. 136–139. ISBN 9784864910132.


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