While reading a brief interview today with Martin Scorsese, where he professed his preference for vampires over zombies, I got to thinking about the different permutations of the vampire mythology. (And no, this is not going to be a post about Twilight, so relax.) A quick search on Film Annex led me to a trailer for a movie entitled Blood: The Last Vampire. This appears to be another English remake of a foreign-language film (Japanese, in this case), which is itself an adaptation of a Japanese anime film which spawned its own legion of manga and anime. But rather than rail on the lack of originality in today's movie offerings, I'm happy to report that I found this blend of vampire mythology and Japanime quite interesting. While it doesn't delve terribly deeply into the vampire mythos (why they exist, their own struggles, etc.), the inner turmoil of the main character--herself half vampire--is palpable right away. Plus, there's something beautiful about the kind of cinematography used in this style of filmmaking. It's something I was hoping would make a movie like Sucker Punch a bigger hit, but here it seems to be done much better. It reminds me very much of the Kill Bill movies, and of course Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.
While the character development appears to be a bit on the shallow side, the story itself is interesting, in an X-Files/Syndicate kind of way, which appeals to me. I've already touched on the beautiful choreography of the fighting scenes, which appear to be frequent. And there's a bit of a twist in store for our heroine, which keeps the story from getting stale.
Blood: The Last Vampire was released in 2009. Despite generally negative reviews, alternating between bad story/good effects or good story/bad effect depends on whose opinion you sought, legendary film critic Roger Ebert gave it three out of four stars, and called it "sincere as an entertainment" that "looks good" and is "atmospheric". Seems like reason enough to give it a try!
The TV series is available for streaming on Netflix, while both the original anime film and the live action remake are available on DVD.