Blood: The Last Vampire (DVD / Blu-ray)
Reviewed by Uncle Creepy
Starring Gianna Jun, Allison Miller, Michael Byrne, Yasuaki Kurata
Directed by Chris Nahon
Distributed by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Let me preface this review by divulging the following: Although I am very familiar with Blood: The Last Vampire, I cannot say that I've ever seen the anime or read any of the comics or manga. That being said, I'm reviewing this as a stand-alone film based solely on its merits as such. Take that for what it's worth, or read our other Blood: The Last Vampire review here. With that out of the way ... let's begin.
Saya (Gianna Jun) is a half-human, half-vampire samurai who preys on those creatures of the night who feast upon human blood. She's centuries old and in this flick finds herself attending a military base high school during the Seventies by order of The Council, a shadowy government organization that is hellbent on the destruction of anything on two legs with fangs. Things go wrong, people and creatures are killed and maimed with varying degrees of CGI splatter, and then the credits roll. Sure there are a couple of other plot elements thrown in here and there like who or what Saya's mother is, but by the time we get to the film's halfway point, all attempts at a cohesive storyline are flushed down the toilet so I'm not even going to bother getting into them.
I know that sounds harsh, and it should. Somewhere in here there's a good flick looking to be found, but the awful script buries it. The only things Blood: The Last Vampire really has going for it are the Seventies soundtrack, which lent a feeling of authenticity to the period in which these oddities were taking place, and the fighting. A whole lot of fighting. We're treated to one action sequence after the other, after the other, after the other. By the time we get to the thirty-third chase or bout of sword-swinging action, we end up finding ourselves on the bored side of the fence. Not only because of their frequency though. It's their execution that lends itself to giving the biggest headaches.
If I see one more person flip around in slow motion or one more speck of poorly rendered CGI blood, I am likely to commit hara-kiri with my Blu-ray remote. Yes, Mr. Nahon, you're going for a stylized look. We get it. But how about you pull the camera back and let us see these wonderfully staged fights without the tight close-ups and fast-paced editing? That too much to ask? Apparently so.
The DVD does a good job transfer-wise, but the Blu-ray looks absolutely brilliant. I only wish director Nahon would have kept the camera at least sort of still long enough to be amazed at how impressive these set pieces could have looked. Oh well.
In terms of supplemental material there are a few Blu-ray exclusives, but they mainly boil down to a storyboard gallery and BD-live connectivity. The meat of this package lies in the two featurettes, The Making-of Blood: The Last Vampire and Battling Demons: Behind the Stunts, and they are strictly cookie-cutter fare. Much like the film itself, there's not much for the viewer to write home about here.
In the end, Blood: The Last Vampire could have been epic. I can't say that it sucks because for the most part it was entertaining ... in an in-one-ear and out-the-other kind of way. Sheath your sword and fight another day.
2 1/2 out of 5
2 1/2 out of 5
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