Monday 23 July 2012

Blade (1998)

As part of's Vampire Week 2012, which runs from July 22 - 28, I'll be reviewing 8 Vampire movies. Yes, that's right, EIGHT, this is my favourite sub-genre! This is the second film...

"There are worse things out tonight than vampires"

Born half human, half vampire, Eric Brooks, is taken in as a teenager by father figure and mentor Whistler. Having all the strengths but no weaknesses of a vampire, except the need to feed, he grows up to become BLADE, a highly skilled killer with an agenda to find the one vampire that attacked his mother who survived long enough to give birth to him...

A guy and girl are in a car, on the way to a very exclusive club. When they arrive at their destination, which is an inner city slaughter house, the girl talks to a security guard but speaks in another language. They get let in through the door and it's filled with what at first seems to be ravers. The girl soon leaves they guy to dance by himself and a few moments later he notices a couple of drops of blood on his hand.

The ravers start to raise their hands, the beat of the music gets heavier and the sprinklers start to rain down with blood. This is no ordinary rave! The guy gets punched and kicked around by the blood covered vampire ravers, but is interrupted by a figure dressed in black. The blood stops pouring, the DJ stops the music, the vampires begin to move back and whispers can be heard, "it's him"..."it's the day walker." Enter BLADE!

Vamps are being thrown and wasted left right and centre in a mass of bullets, silver stakes and a high level of martial arts. With the entrance of Quinn, Blade switches to his sword and quickly dispatches what's left of security, leaving Blade and Quinn to have some quality time together, along with two silver stakes and fire! Blade tells Quinn "give my regards to Frost" before he sets Quinn on fire and then makes his exit.

Frost is a vampire that Blade has been tracking for a while but Frost has his own agenda. He's busy trying to unlock the secret of an ancient vampire text and unleash a vampire apocalypse on the world, defying the Mafia type structure that has served vampires so well for many generations.

Along Blade's journey to finding Frost, his path crosses with Karen Jenson, a doctor at a hospital he's led to when he finds Quinn so he can finish off the job he started earlier. She's bitten by Quinn as he tries to escape. Blade saves her and takes her back to his hideout where Whistler awaits and spends his time engineering new weaponry.

Dr. Karen Jenson is a haematologist and after her life is saved she tries to help Blade by finding a cure to his thirst. In the process she develops a weapon instead, that Blade eventually uses to great effect.

In a world sugar coated from the truth about vampires, Blade is in a race against time and possibly the end of the human race, after discovering Frost's plans. But first he must face the truth about his past and future. He now has no choice but to be the last man standing an an epic battle with the ultimate power Frost has unlocked.

"The Blood god's coming and after tonight, you people are fucking history"
This is one of my favourite films of all time, not just in the vampire sub-genre.
Why? Well, here's the story...
When I went to see this, I was on vacation in Florida with six friends, it was our first time visiting the states and one of the lads suggested we go see the movie after noticing an advert in a newspaper. We saw it at the theatre in Downtown Disney. All we knew about the film was the title and that Wesley Snipes was playing a half human half vampire character. After the first scene (fight scene in the club) we all looked at each other and just nodded in approval for the film choice. To this day, I still think it's got one of the best opening scenes in any genre of film. So I guess it was the over all experience plus the fact that it's a great film.

Superbly written by David S. Goyer (The Puppet Masters, Dark City), who later went on to write Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises, Man of Steel, The Unborn, Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance and of course Blade II and Blade: Trinity. His vision was put on screen perfectly by Stephen Norrington, although he only had one other film under his director's belt (Death Machine).

The film offered some of the best special effect around at the time. With each strike from Blade, vampires would conbust and fizzle away into ash, much like lighting up a piece of paper and watching it go out. The mix of these effects along with great martial arts choreography, score and acting made it more then just another typical vampire film. The vamps in this movie are cool, sexy and embrace their role in life as top of the food chain, unlike the others that drift alone through the years of a sad existence as portrayed in so many other movies. Even the 1968 Dodge Charger was cool!

Blade is still my favourite role that Wesley Snipes has played. He plays it so simple, yet with great depth. He definitely brings his dark side to this role. Then there's Stephen Dorff, who has never been that great in anything else I've seen him in before or after. He plays the perfect villain to Snipes' hero. He's got class, presence, and enough control in his little pinky to teach the best of actors how to tone it down. Let's face it, Dorff is cool as fuck in this movie! I feel that there are no weak links in this film as the rest of the cast provide perfect support.

I believe that it's over looked as one of the best Marvel comic adaptions, with it's perfect mix of action, blood and substance. If you haven't seen this yet then make it a priority!

I love this film so much that I have Deacon Frost's vampire mark tattooed on the back of my neck!

Blade gets 10/10

Writer - David S. Goyer
Director - Stephen Norrington

The Cast -
Wesley Snipes as Blade/Eric Brooks
N'Bushe Wright as Dr. Karen Jenson
Stephen Dorff as Deacon Frost
Kris Kristofferson as Abraham Whistler
Donal Logue as Quinn
Udo Kier as Gitano Dragonetti
Sanaa Lathan as Vanessa Brooks
Arly Jover as Mercury
Tim Guinee as Dr. Curtis Webb

Check out the opening scene below...

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