Saturday, July 11, 2009

Blood: The Last Vampire

"Do you know what this means? It means that this - THING- doesn't work at all!"
Young woman is inserted into a high school on a military base to deal with strange murders that are occurring there.

I have never been a huge fan of Anime. But it is my opinion with all forms of art, that no matter how much you may not like the mass majority, there is always at least one thing you can find to like. And so it was that the original short film Blood: The Last Vampire became one of the first Animes I ever saw, and one of the few I really like.
Flash forward nearly a decade, and imagine my surprise when I hear they are making a live action adaptation for the big screen. Now I knew the risks going in, but sometimes you just have to see for yourself- even if your seeing a train wreck. And now, having seen for myself, I must say I was very relieved. I had been afraid the change over would mutilate the character and story I had come to love in Blood, but now I know they are both safe- since this movie has little to do with either of them.
Gone is the mystery of the lead character, and with it the mystery that swirls about the story. It's no wonder then that they completely ditched the "leave the audience in mostly darkness until the end" approach. It built intensity in the original, but would have been lost here. I could go on and on really, but with each lost virtue I point out in this movie I am further disappointed by all the squandered potential there in. I'll just save myself sometime here and put it like this: Aside from the title, the only things Blood: The Last Vampire shares with the original are two sequences and a high school uniform.
One of those sequences, I might add, culminates in the pivotal moments of the Anime. However, all it's meaning and intrigue are completely lost when put in the context the screen play creates for it. Instead of being the moment where the viewer looks on and thinks: "Wow, I wonder what she's thinking? I wonder what this means?" I found myself thinking instead: "What the F is this and why is it in here?"
Comparisons aside this movie is terrible. Parts of it reminded me of seeing Mortal Kombat live as an early teen... Yeah, it was that bad. The special effects are unimpressive, the fight scenes make obvious and terrible efforts to emulate 300's unique style, and the story and characters play like the writer sat down with Grandpa Cinema's Big Book of Cliches and set about flipping through the pages and circling the one's he liked in red pen like a giddy girl with a bridal magazine.
Oddly enough the first thing I thought of when I finished this movie was 2005's Constantine. Coming out of the theater when I first saw it I found myself wondering if it's screenplay hadn't been written as it's own complete entity, then given an established properties name to draw audiences. It was the same as I walked solemnly from the theater yesterday afternoon. But let's not get confused here, that's where the similarities end. True to the cannon or no, Constantine is a spectacular movie that was criminally under seen. Blood: The Last Vampire is an obvious money grab, that will probably have fans (at least American ones) in an up roar.

Reel Deal Reccomends
Blood: The Last Vampire: Yup, the original anime- like you didn't see that coming.


Kello said...

--You wrote "Coming out of the theater when I first saw it I found myself wondering if it's screenplay hadn't been written as it's own complete entity, then given an established properties name to draw audiences."--

I didn't know that they actaually did this with commercial properties until last week, when I was reading that Modern Masters: John Byrne book. Apparently Hollywood wanted to take his "Next Men" (stupid name, I know)characters and do the same thing...

I think this whole "bait and switch" concept makes you realize both how shady Hollywood can be and why so many adaptations veer off from the source material in so many nonsensical ways.

Great post, I wish the whole world could read this review.

Watcher X said...

"I have never been a huge fan of Anime." either.... weird?