After watching the feature film Blood: the last Vampire I felt it was yet another missed chance. Increasingly (and rightly so) a lot of Anime titles have been filmed. In recent news I heard that Leonardio DiCaprio picked up the biggest title Akira. I have no doubt that if they ever film it they will mess it up completely. That wouldn't even be so much their fault as Akira is very specific in its reference to the japanese culture and about the youth of a new generation taking over to lead a new culture - among other themes. Also the story is extremely complex and multi-layered making it extremely un-fitting for a large-audience action film.
But back to BLOOD. The anime is actually a short movie (50 min. long) and was an attempt of bringing forward an original story instead of using existing stories (from the japanese Manga as is so often done).
Even for being a short film with a simple story it's again layered and feels like much more than just an entertaining short-film. The storyline is a Vampire Slayer (who is an old Vampire herself) is hunting down the Blood Suckers with the help of a secret organization. Her hunt leads her to an American military base (story takes place in Japan). However the story takes place during the Vietnam war, which I thought was a great twist. It made it more easy to connect to it somehow.
The feature film is hard to place as it's a collaboration brought up by the producer of Hidden Dragon, Crouching Tiger, with the help of PATHÉ (french film company), Manga Entertainment and Production I.G. (who made the original Anime version). The main actress is Korean yet the language used in the movie is English.
The director Chris Nahon is french and had done music videos and commercials previously. Why him?
The Korean actress is cute and has the right look for the role as well as being a decent actress...yet her English is terrible. It's a pain to listen to.
The simple enough story is messed up. Now it follows much more the daughter of a General on the base, a character that never existed in the original story. Next we have a "bad boss", the leader of the Vampires. Oh, and last but not least - the Vampires aren't really Vampires but some kind of Demons. There is a long scene from the past of our Vampire Slayer girl from ancient Japan which is nothing but a weird kung-fu action scene with some ninja-like guys supposed to be Demons. The main bad boss shows up and also looks very human.
I don't want to spoil the end for you who wish to see this movie ...but I can't resist as it made me laugh. As the Vampire Slayer is fighting the bad boss - who is a woman (again someone who can't speak English) - the Bad Boss reveals "I am your mother".
Brilliant. Not only do they use the Luke drama but both are asian women who are very hard to understand while they have this dramatic conversation. Made me cringe.
In the very end I save a scene I thought was a really bad rip-off. Check the clip below (with the kung-fu scene described above) but scroll to minute 7:30.
A Demon attacks them while they are driving a truck. Immediately I was reminded of this scene from Underworld: Evolution
Conclusion. Blood: the last Vampire was a movie I had actually been excited about after I first heard rumors they were making it into a feature film. Another great chance flushed down the toilet because people who don't know the material they are dealing with.
All in all 10 out of 10. ;)