Thursday, November 12, 2009

Blood The Last Vampire

Blood: The Last Vampire 2009
Director: Chris Nahon
Writer: Chris Chow
Starring Gianna, Allison Miller, Liam Cunningham, JJ Feild, Koyuki, Larry Lamb, Colin Salmon and Andrew Pleavin

I had been wanting to see this, as I am a big fan of the original anime and I was wondering how it would translate to a live action medium. The transition from anime to live action film is handled very well. This version of the story reminds me in some aspects of both Kill Bill and The Machine Girl. It has wild action sequences and very bloody moments. Some of the elements of the story are also very reminiscent of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The whole high school motif and the whole idea that there is a shadow group that is behind the war on vampires, while protecting the human race by keeping them in the dark. The cast is very good too, Gianna is a great presence as Soya and Miller is very reminiscent of Amber Tamblyn. The fights in the film are fast and frenetic and have you transfixed throughout the entire battle. It is also great how creative some of the fighting is.
The plot basics are this, it is 1972 in Japan and a new student, Soya (Gianna) enters the high school in a U.S. military installation. She is not what she seems though, she is far older than she looks and is on a mission to destroy all vampires and is hunting Onigen (Kyoko), the master of all vampires. She comes to the rescue of the General's daughter, Alice (Miller) who is attacked by 2 vampires that are posing as high school students. Soon, Soya has created a bond with Alice and they are now united together to stop the vampires and to finally defeat Onigen. There are many obstacles, from more vampires too a betrayal of Soya from the Council member that is moving up his own agenda.
This was a fun as hell film. Nohan's direction is great, he has a real touch for action scenes and also uses the dark and the alleyways of Japan very well. The scene outside the bar is an excellent example of this, it is dynamic and pulse pounding. The script is taut as well, the relationship between Soya and Alice is very humanistic and you really empathize with them. The villains are quite good too, especially the slimy Council member who tries to eradicate Soya. The cast is very good, Miller is very good as the human center point, Alice. You feel her issues and root for her. For the most part Gianna plays Soya as a cipher and that works really well. I also liked the small part Salmon played as the fencing coach, who is more than you think. The SFX is amazing, they use both CGI and practical effects really well. With plenty of blood flying this will be a great treat for grue fans. For fans of the original anima and vampire films in general this one is highly recommended.
This one gets 4 out of 5

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