Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Blood: The Last Vampire

I'm pretty easy to please when it comes to action/horror flicks like "Blade", "Hellboy" and "Underworld" -- I'll even cop to watching "Van Helsing" on more than one occasion, so obviously I'm gonna flip for a movie about a hot, brooding vampire slayer who takes out vamps with her trusty samurai sword, right? Eh, not so much...

While the film tries admirably to capture/expand on the short anime that it's based on, the result is mostly flat. Especially the dramatic scenes -- Come on, Scream! This isn't supposed to be "Memoirs of a Geisha"! Are the action scenes original and kick ass? Hmm...

Look familiar?

Saya hunts Chiropterans -- let's just call them vampires, but she's really after a specific vamp for clich├ęd reasons that we'll learn as the story predictably unfolds. One of her missions winds up leaving a "loose end" named Alice. Saya's forced to protect Alice from the vamps who want her dead, as well as the human "cleaners" that she works with.

Not a total train wreck, "Blood" does have its moments (like the goofy afro vampire fight above), but too often becomes weighed down by the cheesy and uninspired. I've seen better monsters on "Dr. Who". Basically, the film couldn't compete visually with the anime, especially with a modest 35 million dollar budget. The expanded story didn't do it any favors either. There's a twist near the end that Helen Keller and Ray Charles could've seen coming a mile away. I also question the sequence where the antagonist has the obligatory villain monologue in English and not in her more comfortable native tongue (with English subtitles). Finally, I can't think of a film that ends with a more forced line of dialogue. The lesson here? Less is more. Watch the anime, wait for this on DVD -- which will probably be sooner than later.

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