Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, December 15, 2011


Wesley Snipes as vampire/vampire-hunter Blade
BLADE (1998). Director: Stephen Norrington.

The character of Blade first appeared in the Marvel comic book Tomb of Dracula. He was human, immune to vampire bites, and on a mission to find the particular vampire who turned his mother, even as he was in her belly, into a bloodsucker. Along the way he'd kill any vampire he encountered. Oddly, when this movie was made decades after Blade first appeared, they borrowed an idea from rival DC comics series "I, Vampire" from House of Mystery, in that like the hero of that series, the movie Blade is also a "good" vampire. A bigger problem is that this film isn't especially well directed, and the action scenes have no true punch, although there is a nifty sequence when skulls tear their way out of vampires' mouths. Wesley Snipes isn't much of an actor, and his performance seems to be a collection of grimaces. As his main adversary Deacon Frost, Stephen Dorff [Xlll] underplays too much and betrays no dramatic flair as the villain. Kris Kristofferson, without stretching overly much, probably gives the best performance as Blade's associate, Whistler. N'Busche Wright is also okay as a young doctor who becomes embroiled in dastardly events after being bitten. Blade is a somewhat noble figure who needs better treatment and a better actor. Unlike Tomb of Dracula, written by Marv Wolfman, the characterization in this film is minimal. Followed by two sequels.

Verdict: Stick with Dracula. **.

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