Friday, September 3, 2010

Blood: The Last Vampire - Got Blood?

Nowadays, a girl kicking vampire ass immediately brings to mind Joss Whedon's Buffy the Vampire Slayer - hopefully the TV series version. America hasn't really had a real iconic female super hero with Buffy's iconic status since then. When you say Buffy the Vampire Slayer, images immediately sprout to mind, both good and bad. With that in mind, watching Blood is like watching one of those Slayer flashbacks from Buffy the Vampire Slayer.You almost expect Anthony Stewart Head to start narrating.

In Japan, it's no real stretch to have a strong female lead. Bubblegum Crisis, Sailor Moon, Cutie Honey, Devil Hunter Yohko, all had strong female leads - or several leads - that could kick your ass.

As an American, I loved the original Blood animated short. It was very well rendered. Even to this day it looks gorgeous. It was well acted, well scripted, and just an awesome production all together. I'm not sure how it did in Japan as it does resemble so many other of their animated features at the time, but I knew I loved it.

Viewing the live action version felt like such a treat from the get go. The opening is almost shot by shot taken from the original short. The whole first half of the movie is pretty much an homage to the original short.

The real treat comes in the film's second half when the film branches away from it's animated origin. What lacked in the original was any sense of history that our main character Saya had. It was touched upon, but never explored like how it is here.

This is a big action film, but thankfully it never reaches bullet time, or Matrix-like special effects. The action scenes are long, but I found it refreshing to have this petite Asian woman doing the actioning as opposed to someone like that guy from Crank.

The demons she fights have this Ray Harryhausen quality to them. They gave the movie this sense of fun, but they were still incredibly scary. I was genuinely terrified once they finally made their appearance. It was like I was a kid again :-) I wanna watch Ghostbusters now.

Though I personally loved this movie and will be saving up for the Blu Ray, I'm not sure if it's very welcoming to non-genre fans. I think some knowledge of Horror and Anime would be very integral to enjoying this film. It is worth a rental though. It's a kick-ass vampire movie, it'll be a fun ride at least :-)

Might I also recommend:

Blood: The Last Vampire [Blu-ray]  - The original animated short on Blu Ray :-)
Buffy The Vampire Slayer - Collector's Set (40 discs) - The complete Buffy TV series.
Charlie's Angels [Blu-ray]  - A similiar visual style as the live action Blood, but perkier

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