VAMPIRE CLAY (2017) Reviews of bizarre Japanese horror

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Vampire Clay is a 2017 Japanese horror film in which a plasticine demon devours the denizens of a rural art school…

Written and directed by Sôichi Umezawa. The movie stars Ena Fujita, Asuka Kurosawa and Yuyu Makihara.

Vampire Clay 2 followed in 2019.


“The effects are both the best and worst part of the film, uncanny but also not scary and, at times, unintentionally funny. The plot and characters are virtually non-existent and the narrative peaks too early, stretching 81 minutes into an eternity. Vampire Clay may have begun with the best of intentions, but the finished product is a slight, confused mess.” Bloody Disgusting

“Effects are impressive, while feeling charmingly hand made. These get grisly, ghastly, and surreal, but always in a playfully obscene way. Vampire Clay was clearly designed as an homage to cheapo VHS horror romps where the primary selling was giggles and goofy effects. Umezawa has plenty of those. He’s clearly a fan who knows what he’s doing…” Dork Shelf

“This is your basic blood-splattered red meat, but you have to give Umezawa credit having such a distinctive vision. This film has an unmistakable look and aesthetic, which is definitely something. Recommended for fans of body horror and mutation movies…” J.B. Spins

Vampire Clay is an an absolutely insane film, which can be described as a mix between The BlobThe Thing, and Evil Dead, except with sentient clay. I’m not sure if Vampire Clay is meant to be a horror-comedy, but the scenes of the killer clay attacking the students are often quite hilarious to watch.” Sean Kelly on Movies

“The doll’s design is beautifully creepy, while the arty origin story adds interest, making Vampire Clay slightly more unique. It is, unfortunately, not quite enough to make the film memorable. None of this is to say that Vampire Clay is not enjoyable. A welcomed break from more serious films, Umezawa’s feature is a delight in its jovial energy…” Sordid Cinema

“So if the characterisation was mostly thin (bar around Mitazuka), and the pacing off (due to a lump of exposition right at the wrong time), it was the effects where this was let down and also shone. The polymorphic flesh was reminiscent of something like The Thing, which was great, but lacked the impact mainly because the film lacked gore.” Taliesin Meets the Vampires

“A horror movie doesn’t have to actually be scary to be good, and it certainly shouldn’t have to be realistic…except when it comes to character. And the unfortunate thing is the characters just aren’t here. The reason I liked The Ritual earlier in the festival was largely because of the time given to the characters. Vampire Clay relies too heavily on its absurdity…”  Under the Radar

“There might have been some entertainment value in watching these slurping beasties devour a classroom full of bickering artists, but Umezawa’s feats of stop-motion are undermined by his incoherent staging and editing, which substitute manic energy for the nuts-and-bolts of building tension and clarifying action. Vampire Clay is not exactly a surefire conceit, but a little care would have gone a long way.” Variety

YouTube reviews:


Original title:
Chi o sû nendo

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