Movie Review: Blood: The Last Vampire (2009)

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Gianna Jun in Blood: The Last Vampire
Photo: Samuel Goldwyn Films

Adapted from a short 43-minute Japanese anime of the same name, Blood: The Last Vampire is a direct-to-DVD quality theatrical release filled with digital blood droplets and enough quick editing to give you an eye-sore as director Chris Nahon does his best to hide the fact it was made on a limited budget. But I don’t think the film could have been any better with the choppy script filled with bad dialogue and the “what kind of trouble can they get in next?” approach to the action. Topping it off, the supporting cast on display doesn’t help matters.

Strangely enough, I have a bit of a soft spot for direct-to-DVD quality films and sometimes wish I had more time to spend with the myriads of them that show up on my doorstep almost daily (such as that Vinnie Jones B-movie horror Legend of the Bog I refuse to put into storage until I’ve watched it). Unfortunately, direct-to-DVD films belong on DVD and Blood: The Last Vampire serves as further proof. It costs too much to go to the theater and waste our time with CG creatures that look half-finished and moments of intensity concluding with a gunshot and the triggerman yelling, “Who’s stupid now?”

Blood stars the relatively unknown actress Gianna Jun as Saya, a 400-year-old vampire in the body of a teenager working for a secret organization set out to rid the world of demons. Saya’s motivations stem from the loss of her family and her master at the hands of said demons with her sights primarily set on the leader of the pack, Onigen played by Koyuki, whom I haven’t seen on the big screen since her turn opposite Tom Cruise in The Last Samurai.

The film finds Saya chopping up demons in the streets and across the rooftops of what is supposed to be Tokyo. Toward the end she finds herself teamed up with a local military daughter who shows a surprising dedication to Saya’s cause after knowing her for a few minutes and her ability to drive a massive military transport truck sure comes in handy, but if you call what she is doing acting then I need to get myself an agent.

Perhaps there is room to applaud Blood: The Last Vampire for actually making it to the big screen as opposed to immediately being sent to the shelves at Wal-Mart, but to give credit to a film for simply being made and released seems a bit silly. Fans of the anime may have fun with this one, but the two are hardly comparable. I would even hesitate to call this a live-action movie as it seems the live-action moments merely serve as go-betweens to the next CGI battle.

Don’t waste your time with this one. It will be on DVD shelves shortly enough where you can rent it and watch it at home and most likely enjoy it much more than you would have had you wasted your time in the theater with it. While you’re waiting, check out the animated original, it’s on Netflix Instant Play for those who have the service and at 43-minutes it’s not half bad.

GRADE: C