Sunday, May 31, 2009
"Blood: The Last Vampire" (2009)
Vampire fans alert!
Just back from a preview screening of the live-action adaption of Hiroyuki Kitakubo's intriguing but over-brief animation from 2000. (The original was intriguing not only because the signature costume of its heroine stems from a joke, but also from its dubious racial, political and religious undertone.) While Gianna does look exceptionally hot here as Saya the non-smiling demon slayer (who also happens to be a vampire - don't ask), I'm sad to report that this film makes even less sense than the original despite doubling its runtime.
Let me put it this way: the parts based on the anime are mostly pretty awesome, but the back story that the filmmakers supplied to Saya is embarrassingly cliched AND non-sensical. Casting Allison Miller as Saya's sidekick is a misstep into teenage drama territory (although I can see the reasons they replace the ordinary-looking schoolteacher character in the original), while Koyuki's involvement as Saya's nemesis - without elaborating further, because of how incredibly ridiculous the final twist is - is nothing short of a joke.
So if you like the original and wish that it was longer... well, stop wishing and just stick with it.
(This is meant more as the ranting of a disappointed fanboy, rather than a proper review...)
Finally, a fact that's probably funnier than the film itself: in Hong Kong, Blood: The Last Vampire is scheduled for a June 4 theatrical release, i.e. on the 20th anniversary of the Tiananmen Massacre, under the Chinese title of "血戰新世紀". Talk about irony.