21 Nov 2009

Blood The Last Vampire

Everywhere you look nowadays you can’t avoid vampires, not literally of course that would be some kind of dystopian horror show. Yet, on our TVs there are shows like True Blood and Being Human, in the cinema, films such as Cirque du Freak and Thirst are doing the rounds and you’d find it hard to sit on a bus or train which doesn’t have someone reading one of the Twilight saga books. This isn’t anything new; cinema and TV have fed from the necks of the vampire genre for years, from Bela Lugosi as Nosferatu to Sarah Michelle Gellar as the much loved Buffy the Vampire Slayer. As an audience it appears we are, and always have been, in love with this incarnation of the undead.

Blood the Last Vampire continues this trend, combining a high school setting akin to Buffy and Twilight, with the action of such films as Blade and Underworld. It’s with these action scenes that Blood has really thrown all its efforts. Using wire technology for the fighting scenes, the film is full of fast flowing, adrenaline pumping moments that look as equally gruesome as they do visually stunning.

The film is set in 1966 and focuses on Saya, a 400 year old half-human, half vampire samurai who works for an ancient, undercover organization which prays on those who feed on human blood. When sent to an American military base in Japan to further investigations, she finds herself enrolled in high school where she finally comes one step closer to her main target, Onigen, the evil patriarch of all vampires.

The film came under much undeserved criticism upon its release. You see Blood is actually a remake of an Anime film of the same name. Released in 2000, it gained a cult following, the only detriment leveled at it was for its short runtime. When the news hit that it was too be made into a live action feature many fans of the original thought their prayers were finally being answered. However, as with most of these things, expectations were too high. As the film had a limited release it only reached a small audience, mostly the loyal fans of the original. Some believed it had strayed too far away from the original source material, whilst others felt that the remake added little to what they had seen before, the age old case of never being able to keep everybody happy. Now that the film will be reaching a larger audience through the rental and retail markets it should, hopefully, be seen for what it is, a decent action packed addition to the ever growing Vampire franchise.

Director: Chris Nahon
Starring: Liam Cunningham, Colin Salmon, Gianna Jun, Allison Miller, Masiela Lusha, Andrew Pleavin, JJ Feild, Koyuki, Constantine Gregory, Joey Anaya, Ailish OConnor & Daniel Rosenberg
Certificate: 18
Runtime: 85 minutes (approx.)
Release date: 2 November 2009
RRP: £15.99

Patrick Gamble


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