Blood the Last Vampire DVD Review - www.impulsegamer.com -

Feature 6.1
Video 7.1
Audio 8.0
Total 6.1
Distributor: Madman
Running Time: 91
Reviewer:
Edwin Millheim
Classification: MA15+

6.1


Blood the Last Vampire

Directed by Chris Nohen, Blood: The Last Vampire, a live action version of the Anime of the same name comes to DVD. With fight and action choreographed by the great Corey Yuen it has some over the top fights that made the United States reviewers (Edwin and Donna) giggle with glee because the fights are so darn cool.

If your a snooty foo foo that needs to pick a film apart even when you know it was not made to be anything more than a fun entertainment action film, mixed with some shallow dramatics, and allot of cliche, then look some place else. If you don't have a stick wedged firmly up your nether regions and actually can relax and suspend your disbelief for the viewing, with such glorious action.... This film is for you.

Granted some of the plot is thin and predictable, but what a fun- fun film. Some of the demons when they show true form look pretty lame in some respects but that is half the fun in my opinion.

The movie opens as a really cute young women is sitting in the seat of a speeding train, the only other passenger seen is some middle aged guy who she soon chases down and kills. Interesting opening as now you kind of wonder is this the good guy of the film, or is she a villain? We soon see that this very question sort of plays itself out in subtle ways to the character as well. Human or demon? Something in between? Can the two halves coincide, or will demonic blood-lust take over and she becomes the very thing she fights? 

Gianna Jun brings a lot to the role of Saya, the half vampire half human anti-heroine. We see the character in flash backs hundreds of years ago when she was a child and into her teens, when she was innocent and very much a different character.  Then during the present time (Present for the movie that is), when she is a single minded brooding demon killing machine, with one goal in mind. To hunt down and kill the Demon/vampire overlord Onigen. The different characterization of Saya are wonderfully acted by Gianna Jun, in the films present time line scenes she seems hollow and has all but lost faith in her human side.

While the live action version has changed in many ways and provides more back story, (For what it is) to the primary character, it's a change that is welcome and lends itself well to the character's on screen development.

The basics can be gone over in the story which kind of is in a jumble in some respects, never really knowing what it wants to get across other than action, blood, sword slashing, blood and demon killing. Half human half demon/vampire Saya is working along with a group known as the Council, you never really get to know much about this group and in some way's that's good. They are mysterious and their back ground stays that way. Saya works with them getting rid of demons, and they come in and clean up after her.

There is also a general's daughter who befriends Saya, perhaps to provide that extra anchor for the character humanity. These two meet when Saya is assigned to go undercover at a school on an American Military base. People are getting killed there and thus far the Council has been hiding it pretty well. Of course, not soon after Saya's arrival there is a roller coaster ride of flashing blade and thick gobby demon blood that sprays in glorious slow motion.

Be prepared for a final show down that is full of revelations that are pretty obvious long before it shows up, but does not dampen the fun in anyway nor the ride to get here. Even if this final fight seems almost anti climactic and in some ways short.

Camera work for the film has a definite style of it's own, inter-cut with the editing of some of the fights, it almost robs the viewer of some of the more inventive maneuvers and new ways it shows in using the environments in the fights.

While the first part of the film is a bit of a mess story wise, with some scenes that seem like the flavor of the day or we had no better footage or story to fit here, the other half of the film is saved with the spectacular visuals of dark rainy back street scenes, misty leaf strewn forests and ripe with tons of wire work,  and sword slashing action. Demons, Vampires, Samurai sword slashing and dare I say it? Vampire Ninjas? What is not to like?

Video/Audio

There are plenty of scenes that display allot of sharpness and detail along the way.  Skin tone looks pretty good and not overly killed in make up, but not allot of textures to them. There are deep shadows that come across well with actors and objects melting away into them with out turning into a gray blob. The gobby blood of the demons as it sprays out is almost a 3d, which is more from the rendered and keyed in effect not being color burned into the scene.  Either it was a mistake by the digital effects people or a very masterful move.  All sounds come across very crisp, atmospheric and primary sounds make full use of the surround sound speakers, even the sub-woofer at times gives off pleasing thumps that can practically be felt. Bullets wizz past and each sword slash makes you cringe from the sound of the cuts alone.

The extras included in the DVD cover the making of the film, and also what went into the stunts. As always being an actor as well, I always appreciate a look into the process and smile when I see someone else working so hard to bring something to life. Gianna Jun worked her butt off getting the fights and wire work done.  Though the making off is pretty droll at times, it does provide incite to some of the hardships and hard work that go into a production that some of us may never even think about. 

Blood: The Last vampire on DVD is one for any action fans library, as well as any anime fan for this live action adaptation. Other casual viewers may not get much out of it and may want to rent it.

Have fun, play games, watch movies!
Edwin Milleim






 
 



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