Blood the Last Vampire

January 01, 1970

(Sony Home
Entertainment, 91 minutes)

 

www.sonypictures.com/homevideo/bloodthelastvampire/

 

BY CHRIS
ZIMMERMAN

 

It’s not
often that an anime makes the jump to live action, but when it does happen, the
results usually vary. Enter Blood the Last
Vampire
, the latest in attempt from Hollywood
to cash in on a preexisting franchise.

 

Originally, Blood began its life as an animated
feature, born straight out of Japan’s
studio Production I.G. After debuting to much fanfare and critical acclaim, it
was only a matter of time before animation transformed into live action.

 

This live
action version, much like its animated predecessor, centers around the
adventures of the half-breed Saya as she tracks and kills vampires for the
mysterious organization known as the Council. Her newest assignment brings her
to a US military base in post World War 2 Japan where she hopes to draw out the vampire lord Onigen.
Of course, Saya is less than welcome and it’s only a matter of time when she is
blamed for the mysterious disappearances of students and military personal. In
this case she is responsible, as the majority of the people inhabiting the base
are indeed vampires whom she have been slaying.

 

After
rescuing a girl named Alice, Saya goes on a
killing spree, slaughtering every vampire in the vicinity. With Alice as a witness, the Council orders Saya to eliminate
her. She refuses, what with Alice not being a
vampire, and is branded a traitor. With enemies on both sides, she is forced to
flee. Gravely wounded from the earlier battle, Saya slips into a comatose state
where her origin is revealed as she reflects on the tragedies of her life.
Sensing that Saya is helpless, Onigen prepares to move in for the kill.

 

Having seen
the original animated feature, it was impossible not to draw comparisons. While
the filmmakers managed to capture the somber mood of the original, everything
else was either off or off putting.

 

Everything
in this film feels forced. The actors are stiff and their performances wooden.
The action sequences are unremarkable and provide gratuitous violence for the
sake of gratuitous violence. As far as the special effects are concerned, they
range from laughable to average at best.

 

If there is
a shining spot in the movie, it would be the lead actress Gianna Jun, who
manages to pull off her own martial arts stunts while still portraying a
convincing sympathetic lead.

 

As it
stands, Blood the Last Vampire is a
jumbled mess. The plot is disjointed and fails to capture the viewer’s
interest. There were good ideas here but the execution left something to be
desired. This was a movie for fans of the source material who most likely will
reject it for straying too far from its roots. Those interested would do better
to check out the animated film on which this is based; it’s much more
satisfying.

 

Special Features: The Making
of Blood: The Last Vampire; Battling
Demons: Behind the Stunts

 

 

 

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