Nine years after the popular Japanimation wowed audiences across the world, Samuel Goldwyn is bringing a live-action adaptation of BLOOD: THE LAST VAMPIRE to theaters this summer with some pretty high expectations. In fact, the film had such a high profile at one point that Ronny Yu (Freddy vs Jason, Bride of Chucky) was attached to direct. With Chris Nahon getting behind the camera instead, the worst cane scenario for me is that we’d at least get to see some kickass action sequences (considering he directed the fun Jet Li flick Kiss of the Dragon). I was wrong. Oh jeez I was wrong…
BLOOD, THE LAST VAMPIRE tells the story of a mysterious half-demon girl known as Saya (Gianna Jun), who is employed by a covert US government agency to eradicate a species of vampire-demons that is about to threaten mankind. She crosses paths with a girl named Alice Mckee (Allison Miller) who somehow becomes a prime target of the demons.
Is there a word that transcends abysmal? BLOOD is the lowest form of cinematic garbage that carries not a single shred of redeemable screen time. It’s shocking to me that the movie even got the “go ahead” as the core of the problem is the screenplay penned by Chris Chow. Looking at his IMDB credits it’s not that shocking as his previous efforts were THE EYE 3 and FEARLESS, two films I wouldn’t be proud to stick my name on.
Where to begin, where to begin – oh, how about with the inane exposition that makes you want to drive a nail into your head? From second one to the very last frame Chris Chow feels the need to explain everything; but even more shocking is how unclear half of the story is, considering how much yip-yapping goes on. I couldn’t for the life of me figure out why Alice was set up by her teacher to be killed by demons, why Saya shows up when she does and why the demons are even after Alice in the first place. There’s all this talk of Onigen (Koyuki), who is the inspiration for Saya’s revenge. Apparently, she killed Saya’s mother and father, and that’s whom she’s been hunting down for an eternity. We see Onigen once early in the film and Chow’s way of developing her character is to have her kill a hotel attendant when he steps on a spider. Even more aggravating is how Onigen just “appears” out of thin air to fight Saya and then reveals the “shocker” that she’s actually Saya’s mother. For a guy who couldn’t help himself from writing what appears to be a 200 page script, somehow he manages to exclude any details on character motivation. We know Saya wants to kill Onigen, but beyond that we have zero clue as to Onigen’s motives, or the demon’s motives as a whole. They’re just “bad” I guess?
The screenplay is just the beginning as pretty much every single aspect of the film is “off” ranging from the wardrobe to odd American actor casting. The secret society members wear a hilarious looking cheap suit, sunglasses and a fedora; none of which even look cool. The American government officers all have beards and also wear sunglasses (their future is so bright), and are laughably bad actors (I always wonder where these American actors in Japanese films come from).
And don’t even get me started on the directing by Chris Nahon. Nearly every single shot goes in and out of focus (I guess that’s how they did it in the 70’s?) and 90% of the action is impossible to follow. Even beyond that there’s not a suspenseful moment in the film; even when Saya is battling a demon on a jeep suspended between two rocks (just after falling off a cliff) I was falling asleep. Even the big climactic battle was all talk and no do; at one point I was screaming in my head, “Shut up, just shut the fuck up already!” One of the main problems with the suspense is that there was nothing at stake. Humanity is fine, who cares about Saya, and for some reason Alice just won’t fucking die (she survives a massive explosion and falling off a huge cliff).
But here’s the kicker, the real mind-blowing aspect of BLOOD… even through all of this garbage, had the blood and violence been up to par, it would have been at least enjoyable… but they couldn’t even do that right! I’m not exaggerating when I say that every single aspect of BLOOD fails to the fullest extent. The blood and CG in this film will have you pulling your hair out as they decided it would be cool to make the digital blood look comic-esque. Whether it’s on purpose or not, it looks fucking terrible. At no point in the entire film do you see practical blood in use, everything is digital and everything looks as fake as Pamela Anderson’s boobs.
I don’t want to waste another second of my life thinking about this turd. It’s not funny, it’s not funny bad and it’s not worth a second of your time. I am giving you this one and only warning to avoid this at all costs, instead go pick up the original anime from 2000 or the Manga books that came short after. And there you have it, BLOOD: THE LAST VAMPIRE MOVE JAPAN SHOULD EVER MAKE. That’s my title.