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Film review: Blood The Last Vampire (2009) July 13, 2009

Posted by ashiah in Film.
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bloodcoverI know, I know. I’m terrible. I went into hibernation for nearly 5 months without bothering to update my poor, poor blog. Fortunately (or maybe unfortunately), it took seeing such a craptacular film to bring me out of my writing hibernation. Oh, boy. I didn’t think they still made movies so mind-numbingly awful.

Blood: The Last Vampire is the live-action adaptation of the popular anime series about a half human/half vampire, Saya, who hunts other vampires while being undercover as a schoolgirl. I’ve never seen the anime series, but I always knew it was a series that had a large fan base behind it. To be honest, most live-action adaptations tend to be hit-or-miss, so I wasn’t exactly expecting a masterpiece or anything. But from the first scene I knew it was going downhill — from the overdramatic closeups of Saya’s face, to the over-the-top violence that wasn’t cool or stylized but just silly and cheap.

Speaking of the violence, this film has possibly the worst CGI I have ever seen anywhere. Everyone splurts big, shiny globs of gray-ish bubbles. And 15 minutes into the movie and the audience was already cracking up, especially at Saya (played by Jeon Ji-hyun)’s deadpan delivery: “I don’t investigate. I kill. *dramatic closeup*”

Oh! Or how about the part where Saya is battling a karate professor/vampire who spirals into some kind of short demon/gremlin thing, who then cannonballs off the roof of a building and sprouts wings. The whole theater was rolling at that one. In fact, if the film was intentionally aiming to be this terrible, it could possibly be the best film of the year.

bloodscene

When my hair dangles in my hair like this it means I’m MAD.

Another major factor weighing against the film was the overwhelming amount of Western influence muddling with the plot; I’m mostly referring to the character Alice. Alice, played by some horrible actress I don’t feel like looking up, is the daughter of some general on some military base where Saya is sent (as as you can see, I’m too lazy to bother looking this stuff up). Basically, the whole story arch around her is completely useless. Her sole purpose in the film is to stand around, cry, sweat and not die (even though I’m sure everyone in the theater wanted her to).

Her role in the film magnifies the problem with East Asian films in North America, which are studios who think Asian characters can’t lead a movie. The film should have been entirely from Saya’s point of view, but instead she has to spit her screen time with a pointless and unnecessary white character. In fact, if all of Alice’s scenes were cut, the later half of the movie might have been somewhat salvageable. Maybe.

But even with its unintentional hilarities, possibly the biggest disappointment was the final boss battle. Despite all the horrible acting, the disjointed plot, the Western interference, the unintentionally hilarious fight sequences, at least we can expect an awesome boss battle, right? Unfortunately, the film couldn’t even do that.

But hey, it could make an excellent party film! Take a shot every time someone gets sliced in half. Or, take a shot every time the camera zooms in on Jeon Ji-hyun’s greasy bangs. The choice is yours! Otherwise, skip it.

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