Blade (1998)

Posted in Reviews by - August 31, 2015
Blade (1998)

Judging by the hyper violence, the tortured antihero and the gruesome horror, it is abundantly clear that the story of vampire hunter Blade is comic book based. But this is much more than just an aggressive episode of Buffy: The Vampire Slayer. It’s more Batman than Dracula, and given how the film’s gothic style predates movies like The Matrix, you could argue that Norrington’s wild supernatural action film was something of a trendsetter.

This gripping nightmare possesses all the hallmarks of a long-running franchise with much of the film’s substance deriving from the personal demons of our hard-bitten hero. The bloodletting and kung fu fighting form ample deterrent from the story, and given that Snipes turns in such a strong and iconic performance, it would be hard to not think of this as the defining moment of his career.

Blade is a half-breed – both human and vampire – inhabiting all the superhuman characteristics of the blighters minus their weaknesses. He is conflicted about his inherited tendencies, so spends his time kicking and shooting a lot of vampires, assisted by Kris Kristofferson playing his physician and spiritual guide who also doesn’t much care for the creatures either. They’re everywhere, you see, and the half-breeds are the worst; particularly sinister psycho Stephen Dorff who intends to use Blade’s blood to resurrect the Blood God and become a super bad-ass, stealing Blade’s girl in the process.

The film is aesthetically dark with a steady pace which steers proceedings along nicely. From a martial arts point of view, Blade can be sited as the moment Hollywood fully realised the mass appeal of strong and exciting fight choreography, and a plethora of superhero films would follow suitably in its wake.

This post was written by
Editor and creator of Kung Fu Movie Guide and the host of the Kung Fu Movie Guide Podcast. I live behind a laptop in London, UK.

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