Blood of Dracula Review


Time for a very obscure vampire film. Part of why I chose this poster in particular is to show you how the vampire actually looks in the film. The effects aren’t great here but the film seemed to be proud of it since we get a recycled transformation sequence a few times. Now I doubt there are very many who have heard of the Blood of Dracula, I certainly hadn’t before now. With a title like that you may be expecting Dracula so I may as well let you down easy now and tell you that this isn’t the case. Dracula is going to be missing this adventure. There really isn’t any connection to him so that was just to sell tickets. This one’s more of a personal story as we find out the dangers of messing around with science.

Nancy is being taken to a private boarding school since her father just remarried and the step mom isn’t a big fan of Nancy. It’s one of those annoying elements where you realize the dad is just as guilty for not noticing this and remarrying so quickly. Apparently it hasn’t even been 2 months since Nancy’s mother died so this feels really quick. It’s all just to get the parents out of the way. The school seems normal at first even if all of the other girls are bullies but the real issue here is that Miss Branding, one of the teachers here is running some dangerous experiments to turn people into vampires. She has always wanted someone tough to experiment on and Nancy is that person. Can she get out of this school safely?

The plot may work well with a thriller context as the vampire starts bumping everyone off but the film’s actually a lot more low key than that. In a way it even makes for several climaxes as I thought the film was gearing up for the end a few times and then suddenly it would go back to some slice of life times until the next event. It’s an interesting attempt but in the end the film just ends up being a little more on the dull side. It doesn’t help that the case is rather weak.

Every girl in the school is against Nancy for basically no reason. It seems like they formed a clique right away and the newest member has to go through initiation. If she doesn’t submit then they will do their best to break her. Nancy is trying to act like the tough girl in some respects but then in other ways she isn’t so it makes her a frustrating lead and doesn’t do anything to make the other girls better characters. They all even take turns dating Eddie since he’s the only guy on campus which makes them look really desperate. I’m sure he loves the arrangement but they are cool with this?

None of them get a whole lot of development except to raise a death flag before they die. Myra is really the only one that really gets a decent sized role here as she knows about Branding’s experiments but looks the other way. As a student it makes sense she wouldn’t want to get in the teacher’s way but she really does nothing to help or alert Nancy. Ah that’s right, it’s because she is one of the bullies as well. So the school really had no likable characters to protect themselves.
As the “tough” character in the film, what Nancy could have done to have been more of a solid character is to have actually fought back. Where she effectively failed the test is when the girls jump her and rob her of all her belongings. That was absolutely the time to fight back and just show them what was up. By not doing that she set the stage for the bullying to proceed more and more. You have to take at least one of them down from the start to lay down the groundwork for their leaving you alone. Perhaps you can’t beat all of them but throw a few punches during the attack and the outcome’s a lot different.

Additionally Nancy just takes the blame for the noise and everything which didn’t make sense. Her worst scene is in the climax though. So presumably as a vampire you have a level of super strength and speed or durability right? During the various action scenes this seems to be the case although with how everyone falls down and looks shocked, this isn’t a guarantee. It was hard to believe when Branding is actually able to overpower Nancy’s vampire form though. That just shouldn’t happen in any context.

The ending is really a letdown on the film’s part. It really didn’t live up to the potential that the movie had although I wouldn’t say it was a ton of potential either way. This was never going to be a great title because vampire films just aren’t built that way but it could have been better is what I’m getting at. The climax is trying to be intense and give the final fight that we’ve been waiting for but it just doesn’t work.

By the end you’re also wondering on the point of these experiments. We may have needed some villain exposition for a change so we can understand the purpose. She says repeatedly that these experiments will help humanity but in what way? It’s very unclear as to how turning into a vampire will help humanity in any way. Is it only some chosen people whose dna is able to activate with her talisman or can anyone be picked? There are a lot of unknowns and at the end of the day we don’t even know if she has more talismans to hypnotize people with.

Also, as in all hypnotism films you just wish Nancy would look the other way or fight back against the control a bit. In all of these films the character is mind controlled so very easily. It’s like they have no self control or will power to defend themselves with. It also doesn’t make for the most riveting scenes as the characters just stare absentmindedly into the abyss. That said, mind control isn’t an excuse on why Nancy was so cold with her boyfriend though. She couldn’t give him a single straight answer and it just made their relationship strained for no real reason. Just tell him you need some space but will rejoin after the school term has ended if you want him away from the danger or ask to drive off with him if you want to get away from the evil school. Either option would have worked better than just being completely vague the whole time.

That guy gets credit for driving so far to check on her and make sure she was okay since he hadn’t received any word from her. He’s braver than Eddie who was scared to even be in the graveyard with one of the girls when everyone is used to hanging out there. That guy was doomed the instant we found out there was a vampire on campus. As a vampire film you have the usual amount of victims as their blood gets sucked away and you even have the police step in at one point but it isn’t as exciting as you might expect. The one police officer who believes in vampires is quickly laughed off in their first scene. You would think that after the first murder or two they would just shut the school down but that takes a while to even be considered. Even then it’s mostly in the background as the principal discusses the possibility of the parents making a move. (I like the level of dread that is felt whenever the “parents” are mentioned. The best conversation is between him and the lead teacher as they talk about the school’s reputation.

The film is a lot more tame than most vampire films so there isn’t a lot of blood sucking or anything like that. That’s a good thing at least but ultimately it can only help out a bit since the rest of the film is more on the mediocre side. It just doesn’t hit with the kind of power you need in any aspect. Throw in a likable character or give the police investigation more screen time and you could have something interesting here. As it is, there’s really no hook to the film.

Overall, Blood of Dracula is a film that really goes through all of the motions without a whole lot of emotion or feeling. There is no mystery here as you know Nancy is the vampire right away and the main drama is trying to figure out how she can break the hypnosis. The issue is that she just isn’t really able to even try since she doesn’t remember. Each time she has a feeling that something’s off but just goes back into the teacher’s office like nothing is wrong until the very end of the film. It felt like this movie wasn’t sure if it was a slice of life or a thriller at times and as a result just meekly walks through the adventure. The worst thing you can say about this one is that it would have been better off just being a normal slice of life flick. You’ll want to give this one a skip.

Overall 4/10

Our Blood Oath Review


Ready for another cancelled title from the ole Jump archives? Well, with a title like this and a plot involving Vampires I can see why it was booted out. Look, I’m not the biggest vampire fan. In fact, I would go on record to say that it’s usually a rather poor genre. There isn’t a whole lot of interesting things you can do with a vampire story but there are a lot of pitfalls you can fall into. Mainly animal violence and sucking blood since they’re both pretty bad. This one is no exception.

Literally the first page begins with a cat dying. So now the manga has my attention but in a very bad way. This doesn’t earn it any points and instead is actually just getting it on my bad side. Immediately fans were probably thinking about cancellation. So anyways the cat dies and we see this monster in the background. The opening chapter works sort of as a one shot to introduce the world as we follow a random kid who will end up being a main character.

In the world of Blood Oath, vampires are actually real and a decent amount of them live on the planet. Most humans do not know that they exist though and the vampires have actually encouraged fictional representation of them like Dracula to make this seem even more unbelievable. It’s honestly a pretty good tactic. Most vampires just want peace but there are certainly those who dislike the humans and want to destroy them all. It’s a vicious cycle where both sides have big grudges. There is also a human group that goes around slaughtering vampires but they only appear for about a chapter so you can forget about them.

If a vampire goes for too long without drinking blood though, it will turn feral and become a monster that’s more like a hollow. These monsters are mindless and also become less physical so they actually possess people. The series can’t seem to decide if they’re spirits or actual monsters at times but it’s a different take on the vampires so that part’s interesting enough.

We’re then introduced to our two main characters. Shin is the primary lead and he has taken a blood oath to protect Ko, a royal vampire kid of immense power. Shin was raised by vampires and believes that there is a chance for peaceful coexistence between both races. That’s his complete goal and he will do whatever it takes in order to make that happen. In the meantime he does his best to take down all of the violent vampires who would do their best to oppose this goal.

As someone who has undergone the blood oath, Shin has abilities beyond that of a normal human like with his super punch. In general he’s also faster and more durable than a normal human which is handy in this world. Shin’s a good lead, there’s not a whole lot to him yet but it’s a solid goal and he does his best to achieve it.

The other main character is Ko and he’s basically a kid. I know with Vampires the ages are hard to confirm for sure but he acts like one so that’s what counts. As pseudo brothers he and Shin always look out for each other but Ko isn’t quite as forgiving as Shin is. Shin desperately wants peace but Ko doesn’t care about all of that. He just wants the two to be together and if someone attacks Shin then he takes it personally. Their dynamic is good but otherwise as a character I wouldn’t say he’s all that high up or anything.

One thing that the series struggles with right off the bat is the power levels. Sometimes Ko seems like he is the stronger main character and other times it’s Shin. Both of them lose in rather embarrassing ways early on but Ko is supposed to be a royal vampire that is way more powerful than the others so what gives? Well, it seems like he can only activate his true form after sucking Shin’s blood which is a huge weakness since that will weaken Shin in the process. Ko seems completely dependent on this.

That’s fine against the monsters but against the actual vampire villains then this gets a little more dangerous. For example we get two main villains by the names of Kaine and Haiga who show up at one point and they definitely have the edge in battle. Assuming that they aren’t the strongest out there then the heroes are going to be in big trouble. It’s not anything new for the genre as the heroes are almost always completely out of their league in vampire titles.

As a short series though, Our Blood Oath has to try and redeem these villains really quickly which is hard to buy. Take Kaine for example. This vampire loves murdering humans and even makes a big show of it. The reason is humans murdered Kaine’s whole family so that built a grudge quickly. So, how can this villain suddenly become a good guy within 10 chapters? it feels very accelerated as a result and I would have just kept Kaine as a villain. If this series had kept on going I’m sure Kaine would end up being a good rival character but it’s not as effective in a short series.

The battle with Kaine and Ko was likely the best one in the series so I have to give that a thumbs up though. The artwork here is really nice and that is certainly the highlight of the series. It’s all very clear with good progression through the attacks and you always know exactly what is going on. None of the characters look too similar so you won’t be mixing them up either. So just an aside but when the series is focusing on the battles then that’s when it is at its peak. There aren’t a whole lot of battles but enough where you know this is a Shonen right away.

Kaine’s partner Haiga seems a lot less villainous from the start but it’s not like he’s against murdering innocent humans. He does whatever Kaine wants and will do so with a smile. The guy’s loyal though and I liked him well enough. Haiga and Kaine had a good dynamic going and were fairly memorable which is important. The guy could also fight on his own very well too as he was easily overpowering Shin.

There’s a vampire elder named Alice who shows up for some lore and info dumping at different points. That seems to be her only role in the story and also to check off the classic trope of having a little girl appear who is actually hundreds of years old. She would need to fight to stand out more and so far that didn’t end up happening.

Finally you have Rangetsu who appears near the very end of the series. He’s a wild card since his motivations seem unclear. The guy has a ton of power though so everyone has to approach him cautiously. The human secret service was afraid of him and same for the vampires. The guy trained Shin at one point and seems to believe in the same kind of peace that the lead wants but he could be trolling. One thing’s for sure, Rangetsu is not nearly as merciful as the main characters and doesn’t mind torturing his opponents.

I wouldn’t trust him for an instant. His interests may align with that of the main characters at times but I can’t imagine that being anything other than temporary. If they ever have to rely on him that will really be the death of them. This is all setting up interesting seeds for the future but he doesn’t appear until the final 3 chapters or so, so you would have to hope for a sequel series for this to even mean anything.

There are a few other characters but that’s about the sum of it. Needless to say this was not a series that I liked. I would put it in the same ballpark as I Tell C but for completely different reasons. First off, throwing in the dead cat in the first chapter was just abysmal. There was no need for it. It’s only there for shock value and that’s not the kind of thing you need in chapter 1 or any other. This isn’t even a really dark series otherwise.

It maintains a classic Jump feel. It’s lighthearted but with its share of dark moments. The dark moments can be a bit much though. I mean, the main character’s family is murdered in front of him and same for one of the villain. At this point that’s old hat though and you almost expect it. Otherwise the darkest moment here is when Kaine locks a vampire child up with a human girl to the point of starvation. This ends up playing out with the human girl draining the vampire and turning into a monster.

It’s a really dark plot and one that felt out of place here. Did we really need to have a child fatality like this so soon? Additionally, this makes Kaine’s change of heart feel even more forced. If Kaine was already casually committing acts like this and bragging about it then how does a villain come back from that? There’s always the chance for redemption but within the span of a few days it’s hard to see that happening naturally.

I also dislike most of the vampire scenes. I’ve never liked the classic draining blood as they bite each other’s necks or chest as this series does. Ko needs to drain blood from Shin to fight and that happens several times. The villains do this to themselves as well, normal humans, etc. Honestly the series would be a lot better if you just stuck to the human kid trying to run away from the vampires. The guy from chapter 1 wasn’t half bad if not for the fact that he has the whole running gag with kids. That destroyed him and may be why the guy vanishes. I mean, he does appear from time to time and part of his suspicious actions were from being blackmailed but the character is at his best when the series isn’t trying to make him funny. When it does, that’s instantly game over. You can tell this series was not built for comedic dialogue.

The opening villain Kyoko did make for a decent threat though. Shape shifting is always handy in any kind of series and her plan was relatively solid. I would argue she probably should have just attacked Ko straight up instead of doing all of the planning but I suppose that’s hindsight. Getting back to the main point though, a vampire series is always limited because of the concepts that come with it. I could say to just not have any blood sucking series but then it’s probably not a vampire series anymore right?

So what would I have done differently to keep this one from being cancelled? Well, I think the lore should be cleaned up a bit. No reason you should have monsters, vampires, and humans running around right off the gate. Have it be plain Vampires vs Humans. The whole hybrid creature angle can be saved until the series is in double digit volumes or something like that. As it is there should be a ton to explore even without all of that.

I’d cut out the scene with the two girls who get locked into a room until one of them goes crazy. If the idea is to redeem Kaine and Haiga then you can’t have them do anything too disturbing or it just doesn’t work. Alternately your best bet is just to prolong the redemption arc for a long time so they have time to regret their actions and change sides.

That’ll also help keep the tone more consistent as you can’t have a super upbeat series where everyone is dying violently like this or stuck in such bad positions. This way the world won’t feel quite as hopeless. After all, the worse it gets, the more Shin’s dream will end up being seen as a weakness instead of a strength. It’s all good to want peace but if you’re watching both sides get slaughtered as this is being said, then it starts to feel empty.

I’ll at least give the series this, the bond between the two main characters as blood brothers is a good one. It’s also a nice twist here as they aren’t related by blood…but in a way they are since their blood is now linked. They do a good job of looking out for each other and that’s a fairly rare main character dynamic. We’ve seen brother and sister like in Demon Slayer but usually in Jump one of the brothers would end up being evil so this is a good twist.

It’s also at least one positive dynamic here since the series really focuses on how bad humans are as per usual. They’re shown to be traitors, sell outs, and are quick to turn murderous in the various flashbacks. It already looks like the vampires made the right move in staying secretly hidden so that’s why Shin has to think really carefully before he brings all of this out into the open. Our Blood Oath doesn’t leave you very optimistic about his odds, especially with a whole mercenary group that exists purely to destroy vampires.

Overall, There are definitely enough vampire manga as it is so it’s easy to see why this one was cancelled. The world building also just wasn’t on point. Within 10 chapters we’re already meeting royals and such when there should probably be more build up to this. How long can the series go on if the big shots are already walking around? I assume the only way is if the series went for a more dramatic/political angle rather than heavy action but that would bring along its own share of risks. Ultimately you have to be careful on striking the right blend but as long as this is a vampire series I don’t see it coming out in the green. Hope the next one fares a bit better.

Overall 4/10

Underworld: Blood Wars Review

This review is of the edited TV-14 version of the film. All thoughts below should be addressed as such as a review of the unedited version would be more negative

It’s the end of an era, I have made it to the final Underworld film. Blood Wars wraps things up although there’s enough still going where you could easily have many more sequels. Still, it’s fair to say that one side has basically claimed victory in the war at this point unless the government steps in again. They basically miss this film since to their view they’ve already won.

The movie starts with Selene on the run from a pack of wolves. She may be an elder powered vampire death dealer but she isn’t ready for a pack of normal wolves…..fortunately David steps in and she manages to keep her life. Additionally the villains only wanted to capture her. Selene has no time to dwell on how weak she has become because she’s very defensive at having to be alone again. Eve has been written out of the film and wants nothing to do with Selene anymore so now the heroine really has nobody left to turn too.

Meanwhile the vampires are once again on the brink of extinction. There are only two bases left and one’s very small so nobody cares about it. The other one is fairly powerful so they’re confident that nobody can break in. The issue is that the Lycans have a new leader, Marius. This guy will stop at nothing in order to destroy the vampires and wants Eve to accomplish this goal. Fortunately nobody knows where Eve is but the guy intends to take down Selene in order to find her. David’s father and one member of the cabal convince the council to pardon Selene so she can train their new recruits how to fight. Will this really allow them to claim victory?

It’s a pretty good premise and a nice way to bring the war back. My main issue is with Selene’s character regression. There’s no way someone of her power should be losing to random Lycan. Additionally, I thought the plot point of why she was separated from Eve to be very forced. There’s no logical reason to split up. The only difference is that now if Eve is found then there will be nobody to protect her. Sure, she will end up being the strongest vampire ever but being on your own is always risky regardless.

Underworld has had a very shaky history with power levels as it is though. As it stands you have Humans<Vampires<Lycans<Vampire Elders<Hybrids<Tri-Warriors in terms of overall battle potential. Physical strength-wise a human can never overpower a vampire and likewise as you go through the list. Eve is the only true tri-warrior here as she has everyone’s blood at this point. I would argue that Michael should count as well although the film seems to suggest he only counts as a Hybrid.

Despite this rather clear power structure, it doesn’t always play out like that. Selene’s power level seems to fluctuate the most to the point where she needed another power up in this film. It’s a great upgrade to be sure but it’s almost too good. Here’s the issue. She can now move with incredible speed to the point where even Quicksilver would be proud. Yet a lot of the time she forgets she has it and still takes a lot of hits. The worst part was when she started day dreaming about her times with Michaerl so the villain lands a 16 piece combo on her. He just keeps whacking away at her until she wakes up and ends the fight in an instant.

With her speed she could have taken out every Lycan warrior in an instant and prevented a lot of lives from being shed at the end. Her power was completely broken which is also tricky. You just know that if we get another film she will either be incredibly nerfed or will just get wrecked anyway. Needless to say it wasn’t her best film. In the last film she was resolute with her mission to murder anyone in her path and save Michael while here she seems to have just given up on everything and doesn’t even want to fight anymore.

She even gets punked by Varga, a random vampire with no enhancements. How could she let herself get stabbed like that? Yeah this was a rough film for her. I’d still say she’s a fun lead but one who has seen better days. David gets a fairly big role here as well. Now that he has some of Selene’s blood that means he no longer has to fear the daylight which is a really good power boost for him. He also gets to fight some important battles and is around a lot so he looks pretty good here.

Semira is one of the new villains for the film. One thing I can appreciate a lot about this installment as a final film is that there are just so many characters running around. You have Semira and her traitorous ambitions, the Lycans led by Marius, the corrupt council, and a vampire who is secretly working with Marius. There are so many traitors and subplots here that the film is always keeping you busy with something going on.

Back to Semira though, she worked rather well as a traitor. She had some decent plans even if they were a bit short sighted. With all of the trainees dead, how would she possibly stop the Lycan threat? Even if her plan succeeded that would just mean that the vampires are without their most powerful asset and would quickly be destroyed. Her abilities are impressive though as she was even able to take on an elder like Thomas.

Thomas looked good here. He was at least ready to help David and Selene even if he ultimately didn’t last too long in the 2 v 1. Considering that Semira was amped up I suppose that makes sense but I would have liked to have seen him dominate the two for a while longer. Varga’s more of a weak character though. I can’t take him seriously and the guy is always willing to debase himself when Semira is around. Even by the end it was far too late for him to go up.

Marius doesn’t really get a whole lot to do so I would say he has less character than Lucian. Still, he does make for a good leader as he keeps the Lycans united and reminds them not to quarrel among themselves. He was utterly crushing Selene during their fight though which felt like a bit much. This guy was that much stronger than her once he had Michael’s blood? Well, good show to him I suppose. Once Selene ascended into her godlike abilities by the end though then the tables turned pretty fast.

Finally, shoutout to Lena who looked really good. Considering that she is a normal vampire, her speed is incredible. The movie seemed to treat this part of the clan sort of like the Valkyries. They had mysterious powers and rituals allowing you to bypass death. Now she looks really impressive but it’s another thing that kind of breaks the power balance of the series since nobody should be hitting her with speed like that. Anyone who would try should just be crushed. My head canon is that there’s some kind of super strict time limit that seals your movements.

As a final film I wouldn’t say it’s the strongest one as it loses to films 1 and 4 but it beats films 2 and 3. Ultimately it’s a satisfying way to close things out even if it will leave you with some plot directions that make you shake your head. In the end Underworld has a long history that it can be proud of as getting 5 films isn’t easy. Now you’ve probably been waiting for the inevitable comparison to Resident Evil. Ultimately I would say that series won. Pretty much area by area Resident Evil is the stronger series. It’s fairly close I suppose but Resident Evil really tackled a lot of the same themes but just executed on them in a much stronger way.

As far as negatives for Blood Wars goes…you know the drill. We’ve got the usual super violence everywhere with characters even getting tortured. Fortunately Michael’s was mostly off screen as it definitely looked quite painful. You have a Mortal Kombat finishing move used at the end of the film which was pretty intense to be sure. The film doesn’t really have any romance this time around except for villains manipulating other villains. Those scenes are usually worth a cringe. Underworld has a good enough story where the films could really excel if they just got past these elements.

Of course if you want to make the films truly great you’d also just need to rework the story a bit. Vampires and Werewolves inevitably lead to blood sucking and eating their opponents. To get those elements out you would need to change the structure of the mythos a bit to make that unnecessary. It shouldn’t be all that hard to do though and it’s an easy way to boost the series.

Overall, This is the end for now. Hopefully the series gets more sequels soon since it’s always fun to have more installments. In the meantime though we can just assume that the status quo at the end didn’t change so we finally have a full winner in the war between the Vampires and the Lycan. I certainly had one side I supported from the start just because I’ve always thought them to be a lot stronger in the mythos. Still, both sides got their hits in and of course if they get out of control then the government will probably take them out again.

Overall 2/10

Underworld: Awakening Review

This review is of the edited TV-14 version of the film. All thoughts below should be addressed as such as a review of the unedited version would be more negative

This may be the last Underworld review for a little while but it’s been an intense marathon to be sure. Awakening takes the series in a pretty solid direction as I would say it is the best title in the series so far. Now I suppose this is fairly relative as you’ll notice that there really isn’t much of a change in score.

The movie starts with the government finally deciding to step in. Now this is a plot I had definitely been looking forward to because you know that these guys are going to tip the scales. They don’t disappoint either. We learn that they have immediately wiped out virtually all of the Werewolves and even the Vampires are in hiding with only a small handful of bases left. The humans have won once more as always. They even managed to take down Selene and Michael with incredible ease.

12 years have passed and Selene is freed from her deep slumber. She doesn’t know who has freed her and why but now she wants to find Michael before it’s too late. She goes around slaughtering all the humans in her way but is no closer to finding him. She then meets up with a little girl who seems to have mysterious powers and a vampire named David. Together they will locate Michael but they also have to keep Eve (the little girl) safe as she is being hunted.

There’s a lot of action throughout in this film. After all, Selene is now powered by the elders so her power has grown exponentially. She is effectively on par with the hybrids now which is a pretty good power bump. Then you have the fact that she was already one of the most experienced Death Dealers and the villains need to watch out. The war between the vampires and werewolves is over. At this point everyone is scrambling for survival.

I had a feeling that this would be the best film early on. When Selene broke out of the test tube it was like something out of Resident Evil when Alice remembered everything and started a massacre. That’s pretty much how this plays out and it feels like Selene has the highest body count yet. She is not taking any prisoners at all and it’s nice to finally see her using these abilities well. It’s Selene’s best appearance by a longshot.

Fans of Michael from the first two films likely won’t enjoy that he is written out so quickly though. The guy gets less than a minute of screen time here and doesn’t look great. There’s a scene near the end where you have to question what he’s doing. He really didn’t think this one through. Now there is some extra context in the next film that you may feel retcons things to an extent or if not, it’s at the very least a little implausible how this would have went down.

The new main guy is David and he’s pretty solid. He may not be quite as powerful as Michael but he’s determined and does well at defying his vampire community to help Selene out. Then you have Eve who is pretty powerful. She isn’t quite old enough yet to really be able to know what she’s doing like the others but she does take down her share of enemies. Her berserker stage can definitely hold its own with the other characters.

As you can probably guess the fights are on point here. Any time Selene is beating up on the fighters with her twin gun style or just using some hand to hand it’s pretty impressive. I had a bit of a hard time believing that the super wolf at the end could give her so much trouble though. I guess we needed some tension or it would be too easy though. It did make for a great final fight.

At its core this is why the film exceeded the others. It had the best action easily and I would also say the story was the best even if it’s a lot lighter than the others. In terms of scope and mystery then the first film wins but this one was really a good revenge story about her search for Michael. As I mentioned, the army’s involvement was also pretty solid and I like how easily they were able to end this war. It had been raging for hundreds of years among the the two species but the government ended it in 12.

That’s really impressive. It would have been nice to see a bit more of them since they effectively vanish but I think we’re supposed to know that they still have the edge at this point. The vampires need to lie low for a while and the Lycan have been all but exterminated in the meantime. If anything this would have worked rather well as the final Underworld film even with the loose ends that stuck around.

Of course it wouldn’t be Underworld without incredible amounts of gratuitous violence at all times. The series likes to give the fighters as many gruesome injuries as possible before ultimately blowing them up. Because both species have regenerative abilities it allows the films to really go all out in having them get thrown around. If you would just tone down the violence, blood sucking, and biting then this series could have really ended up being close to top notch.

You could probably stand to fix some of the power levels a bit too. After a while Hybrids don’t seem to special if they can be taken out with one hit and how is Selene being overwhelmed by a giant wolf like that? She should still be able to win with pure skill the whole time. The way she defeated the final opponent was quite clever though so it was nice to add some strategy to the mix.

Overall, Underworld: Awakening feels like it has gone back to the roots of the series. We get a lot of excellent visuals and the city is back in the forefront. We get to see the world’s reaction to the beasts which is cool although it would have been even better if they were thrown in a court room or something. Selene’s investigation into what happened to Michael also makes for a great story beat. We’ll see if the series can continue this one’s momentum. While it may be kept as far away from the top as ever, at this point you’re invested in seeing how it all goes down.

Overall 2/10

Underworld Evolution Review

This review is of the edited TV-14 version of the film. All thoughts below should be addressed as such as a review of the unedited version would be more negative

Time to delve into the sequel to the original Underworld film. It was a film with a very interesting concept. While the movie ultimately ran into a lot of issues, it did capture your attention. Evolution switches things up quite a bit. Ultimately I would say the first film wins but it’s fairly close and the film did some unexpected moves which I thought was admirable.

The movie picks up right away with Selene and Michael still on the run from the vampires. They need to find Markus since he is the last remaining elder alive. Now….they know for a fact he is back at the mansion where the first film’s climax is so why are they searching? Presumably Selene is suckering Michael so she can leave him at the safe house and go on a solo mission but it seemed at least for a bit like they were going to legitimately search. I dunno, just one of those things I guess.

Well, either way they won’t have to search for long. Markus awakens and murders Kraven before attacking Selene. Fortunately she and Michael are able to fight him off. Markus’ main objective is to awaken his brother, the king of the werewolves known as William. Together they can rule the world and create an army of hybrid warriors. Can Selene possibly stop such a powerful threat?

Compared to the first film, this one’s more of an isolated adventure. The war isn’t really the focus here so it’s more of a direct “Stop Markus at all costs” adventure for the heroes. I suppose without Lucian the Werewolves don’t really have a whole lot of backup anyway though so it’s in their best interests to let the vampires destroy themselves. Selene is a little more distracted here than in the first film since Michael still plays a main role. They need to bump that guy off already.

He hasn’t really improved from the first film. Additionally, he may be a hybrid but the guy is still getting absolutely wrecked when he fights another powered up fighter. His super speed from the first film appears to be gone as well. None of the fights in this film are quite able to match up to the climax of the first and I miss some of the bigger gun fights but we do have more battles between the metahumans hybrids so that’s always nice to see.

There’s still quite a bit of action here to be sure. Hopefully Michael ends up getting more of a personality for the third film. Getting weakened and having to drain Selene’s blood isn’t really doing him any favors. As for Selene, she finally gets a power up here which is nice to see. I can only see this being a net positive for her since it means she should be able to dominate most of the cast now. Very few fighters should be able to match up to this level of strength.

As for Markus, he’s not nearly as impressive as Viktor. The guy is strong but you don’t get the feeling that he is worlds away from the others as you did with Viktor. His final fight with Selene is pretty good though. The guy may not seem like much of a hero but I suppose at the very least I’ll give him points for being very consistent about wanting to help William. The poor guy’s been locked up for hundreds of years which is crazy when you think about it. I suppose Werewolves don’t need food the way that vampires do or he would have really been shriveled up by now. William doesn’t really have any character though as he’s a pure wolf meaning he is basically mindless. He only has just enough of a mind to know not to attack Markus.

Underworld: Evolution falls into most of the same cinematic traps as the first film. The violence is quite over the top with all of the characters being hacked to pieces and dying in rather gruesome ways. Nobody ever gets a really happy ending in these things when you consider just how much they had to go through first. The fact that the film’s about Vampires and Werewolves means you’re going to see both species biting into each other the whole time.

There’s also a lot of blood sucking which is always annoying and rather gruesome. Now that this film shows it as the main way to see memories you can expect to see it a whole lot more often than usual. Mix in Michael’s low stamina and you’ll have more scenes of it as well. Some horses even get mixed up in the action which is sure to have you shaking your head.

The memory absorption also creates a rather big plot hole to the first film I have to say. Viktor did not believe Selene initially about Kraven because the transfer was blurry. All right…so he could have bitten her at any time to read her mind and didn’t? Clearly this wasn’t thought of until the sequel but it definitely creates a bit of an issue there. Not the biggest thing of course but it’s an element that still sticks out.

One of the biggest disappointments has to be Alexander here though. So this guy has a whole government force working for him as he silences the truth about the war between the supernatural forces. As the father to both leaders he wants to stay neutral. That’s all well and good but he should have incredible abilities right? Well, not really since the guy goes down to a single hit and never even looks slightly intimidating. Now that’s a quick way to make this guy as underwhelming as possible. If he doesn’t want to fight that’s fine, but allowing yourself to get messed up like that? It’s pretty unfortunate to the men who worked for him. I’m still waiting to see a true human force show up to mess with both sides.

Overall, Underworld: Evolution is pretty similar to the first film. So if you liked the original then you should like this one as well. It’s not trying to tackle a lot of the more ambitious plot setups as the first one and is going for more of an outdoorsy vibe than the cool city aesthetic with the characters prowling around. I’d like to see more of a return to form when the sequel comes up but I suppose it’s rather relative since I don’t see the film fixing any of its core issues in the near future. For now this is still a series to skip. With all of the vampire elders down for the count I’m expecting some secret Vampire King or something. If not, perhaps Selene can rule them now since there’s nobody who could possibly oppose her right? Have Michael rule the Wolves and then just like that they will rule the whole planet. Having them join forces against aliens or something would be awesome.

Overall 2/10

Underworld Review

This review is of the edited TV-14 version of the film. All thoughts below should be addressed as such as a review of the unedited version would be more negative

I’ve certainly been aware of the Underworld series for a long time. After all, I saw all of the Resident Evil movies and this has always been its biggest rival. The question is if it could possibly defeat that title. The Resident Evil films typically scored around a 2 so it’s not like that should be a tall order except that vampires tend to be just as bad as zombies if not more so. Ultimately Underworld is about what you would expect and I’d say it’s losing to Resident Evil so far but I am early on in the franchise.

The movie starts with introducing us to the situation on the planet. A war between the Wolves and Vampires has been raging on forever. The vampires have effectively won the war as their numbers greatly overshadow that of the Wolves but they still have to take down the stragglers. The first scene is Selene and a few of the vampire warriors attacking one of the Wolves, but this turns out to be a trap and most of the Vampires are defeated. Selene tells the vampire leader Kraven that they need to take this seriously but he doesn’t care. What can a few Wolves do right?

Meanwhile on the Wolf side, the leader Lucian is planning his big assault to take the Vampires down. His side has been relying on hit and run tactics for a while since they can’t win in a full frontal assault but now he may be able to use a more direct approach. His lead scientist has come up with a special kind of bullet that can destroy a vampire in a single bullet. Mix that in with the vampires’ complacency and now he has a fighting chance. Everything will come down to the human known as Michael. Whichever side obtains him first may end up winning the war as his blood is special.

Selene is the main character here but while you may assume that it means the vampires are the heroes here, the film is quick to remind you that is not the case. Both sides are as corrupt as can be so there are no good guys. Whoever wins, it is still not good for humanity. At least Selene has some sense of justice and duty compared to most but ultimately since she is working for the villains that makes it hard to root for her either. After all, at the end of the day any accomplishments she has will go over to the rest of the group.

As a main character Selene is decently good. I would say she easily beats most of the characters in this film in terms of being likable although since I don’t like most of the characters that may not be saying much. There will likely be a lot of comparisons between her and Alice from Resident Evil as they use similar outfits, weapons, and even their abilities seem similar. They’re both analytical fighters and try to keep up a tough front. Right now Alice is certainly winning in the head to head though as she ultimately doesn’t falter the way Selene doesn’t.

Selene has a scene where she faints after talking tough to Michael which really destroyed her credibility there. Additionally, despite being one of the tough assassins among the vampires, she doesn’t tend to win a lot of fights except against unnamed minions. For example, she was losing against Raze and was unable to take him down in the opening fight. She got a hit on Lucian but was unable to take him out before the guy bit Michael and had to hastily retreat. She was completely no match for Viktor in the end and had to rely on some help.

Now, it’s not as if she is amped up past normal vampire abilities so it makes sense that she wouldn’t be stomping everyone but Alice had a tendency to hit above her weight class. Selene will need to do something similar to move on. All that said, I do like her as a character particularly because of her confidence. She is willing to follow her plans through even if it puts her at odds with the other characters.

Kraven doesn’t make for a good villain though. The guy complains a whole lot and isn’t much of a fighter. He’s only good at sneak attacks and his plans aren’t even that good. Lets say his plan had gone without a hitch, does he really think things would end well for him? The wolves would tear into him at any time. Nothing about his plan made any sense so the guy got real lucky. His obsession with Selene doesn’t help matters either.

Then you have Lucian who does his best to be an interesting villain at least but ultimately the attempt fell apart. The guy just didn’t really stick out and the way he goes down was just sad. Did he not see that coming? His right hand man Raze was a lot more impressive and may have been the best wolf. He looked really good in the opening scene and was really taking down a lot of fighters. He can look back at his achievements proudly.

Michael is the main human here but the guy doesn’t have much of a personality at all. He’s just some guy who gets roped into this and doesn’t really have any feelings about it. The guy is constantly overwhelmed. The romance with him and Selene is also pretty bad, the idea of them getting together so suddenly just doesn’t work and it’s especially a bad idea for him to fall for her. Put it this way, vampires do tend to take prey from time to time and there’s no reason for Michael to assume he would be any different. For all he knew he would just get drained dry so the guy comes off as kind of desperate. Definitely wasn’t a fan of his.

Finally there is Viktor who is one of the Vampire Elders. His strength is immense and it’s easy to see why the vampires had been winning the war with him in charge. This guy is lethal and doesn’t spare any of his opponents. He just goes in and gets the job done without any issues. That’s the kind of guy who commands respect in the end. He’s absolutely twisted and a villain through and through but at least he’s one who can fight.

Ultimately Underworld may have an interesting premise of this war going on but it can’t save the film. I like the idea of introducing two factions and then slowly we see them all converge at the end. It’s good but the massive issues here just tend to come with the genre and style this film is going for. First off, the violence is incredibly over the top. There are a ton of violent moments that will have you shaking your head at how gratuitous they are.

In general that’s part of why Vampire and Werewolf media never really did it for me. Drinking blood and such is just disturbing and the Werewolf bites are always rather graphic. That’s why I was actually on board with both sides using bullets instead. It makes for more stylized fights that don’t tend to be nearly as gritty or violent. If the whole film focused purely on guns then the violence probably would be toned down although it probably wouldn’t matter if they would go in to finish each other off afterwards anyway.

At least the soundtrack is pretty hype though. You’ve got a lot of high intensity beats going on the whole time which helps amp up the battles. The visuals are also on point with the world looking like a normal planet and yet it’s a little extra colorful. The scenery when the heroes are in the town during the opening scene probably had some of the most impressive shots in the film. A rainy backdrop in the city can work quite well when used correctly.

Also aside from the gun fights we did get one true fight in the climax of the film. That was cool since it was like something out of a comic book movie with both characters throwing each other around. This one’s a bit older so you can see how the effects have aged in some instances. Characters sort of float through the air when they’re thrown or hit but it still works well in illustrating that these guys are much more powerful than the average fighter. The whole Speed vs Power match also did a good job of showing how the power could win in the end by tiring out the speedster. Personally I would usually take speed over power but it’s not an absolute.

Overall, The Werewolves seem completely doomed at the moment. They have no senior members that can hope to match up to a Vampire elder and their numbers were already small. I have to assume they have some kind of trump card in order to keep the series going. Otherwise the war will be over as early as the next film. That said, even if the story is interesting, the odds of the series actually working to get better is slim to none. Underworld is content to go for shock value and extra violence over taking the time to construct an excellent story. If you want to check out an interesting story of a war between two sides then you’re better off checking out Captain America: Civil War.

Overall 2/10

Blade: Trinity Review


It’s time to look at the final Blade film. Does it end on a high note or end up disappointing? Well, it’s better than the first film but I wouldn’t say it’s as good as the second so it’s squarely in the middle. I liked that we got some more fighters this time around. It’s about time Blade had some backup. On the other hand, the plot feels pretty aimless the whole time and there isn’t much of a focus next to the first two. It feels like events just happen so Blade can go around beating people up. That’s not a bad story idea of course, but to me it felt like there wasn’t much of a plot beyond that.

So the movie starts with Blade murdering a bunch of vampires as normal. Unfortunately one of the guys he murders was just a human pretending to be a vampire. Unfortunately people see this so now the government is after him. The vampires have finally framed Blade. This lead to his capture but fortunately he is busted out by a pair of allies known as Abigail and Hannibal. They get him back to base and explain that Dracula has been resurrected. The 3 of them will need to take him out before the villains figure out the trick on how to be a day walker. This won’t exactly be the first time that Blade had to take down a powerful foe though so he’s ready for this. Blade isn’t the kind of guy who goes around losing fights after all.

I do have a bit of an issue with the opening. Blade is questioning why the guy didn’t die and is shocked to find out he wasn’t a vampire. We do have tons of familiars who are humans that Blade has been murdering throughout the films. Why is this guy any different? Seems to be like Blade is a little more surprised than he should be. Framing him would also be very easy for this same reason since he’s never cared who he murdered before. If they’re working with the villains then he ends them. End of story. That’s just how Blade works, he’s never been the kind of guy to even think about offering up some mercy. I’d be surprised if he were to stop now.

Unfortunately as part of the framing plot this does mean that Blade and Whistler spend a lot of time fighting off actual cops and government agents. You understand that they have to use some self defense, but this goes beyond that as they openly start shooting and bashing away at them. Whistler even uses a giant explosion that without a doubt murders a bunch of them. This is an ongoing trend that happens in numerous scenes. It feels like the heroes murder as many innocent people as villains in this film. It was a rather odd way to end off the trilogy. It does portray Blade as even more of a Punisher type of vigilante but I’m not sure if we needed that here. I think some of these scenes could have been cut or at least altered to show that they weren’t actually murdering anyone.

Beyond that Blade is still a solid lead though. He talks tough and is always ready to take the villains down. I like the new extended cable weapon he has since it’s very useful for taking down scores of enemies from a distance. If you ask me it’s easily one of his most useful weapons by a long shot. The Whistler gets his share of hits in as well. Without powers there isn’t a whole lot that he can do, but he’s always ready with background support. The two new characters are really the ones who are here to fight on the front lines.

First you have Hannibal who is mainly here to crack a lot of jokes. Apparently he used to be a vampire and got cured which is neat but it wouldn’t have made any difference if he wasn’t. This tidbit of knowledge doesn’t matter in the slightest. He manages to get a big win near the end although I can’t say it feels deserved since he should have lost that round. I found him to be a reasonably entertaining character although it would have been nice if he were a little stronger. Then you have Abigail who has an excellent opening scene and continues to look good throughout the film. She’s a solid hand to hand fighter and uses a crossbow that can even light up and burn opponents to death.

Blade finally has an ally who can really fight alongside him. She isn’t a vampire so she has no super abilities but her close quarter combat skills are enough for her to take multiple opponents down so that’s quite impressive in itself. She’s a big reason as to why the setup of Blade having allies worked. If both of them were comic relief it would have been a little pointless. As it stands, she can only continue to get better and better as she fights along with Blade and a fourth film with them would have been interesting.

As with the earlier films the fight scenes are really solid here. We get quite a few good battles and this time each character gets their own fight. This leads to a pretty wide variety of battles. Blade tends to have the best ones, but as mentioned Abigail’s was solid as well. Dracula’s battle with Blade is a highlight and we got a lot of back and forth there. Dracula’s character itself wasn’t amazing though. He spends his first fight scene running which is pretty odd for a guy who prides himself on being the King. You’d think that he would welcome a challenge right off the bat. I suppose vampires just can’t help but fear Blade.

As always the graphics are really solid here. The effects are on point and the soundtrack is also great. We get the classic rock themes that you always want to see. For the negatives, it’s really the same as always. The film’s pretty violent with everyone getting bumped off. There’s a lot of blood draining going on for sure. We also add a new wrinkle as we see dog vampires that end up getting bumped off. It was so completely unnecessary. The instant I saw the dog appear I knew the film was setting itself up for a fall. I’ll give the movie props for not having them die on screen but it’s of little comfort. The film would have lost at least a star if that had happened and if it lost 2 there wouldn’t have been any lower for it to go. The writing isn’t the best here, but it could be worse. At least the script tried being a little different from the previous ones.

Overall, Blade 3 had some good ideas but also faltered in others. On one hand it was nice to see Blade having some young allies who could actually fight alongside him and weren’t evil. The soundtrack continued to be really good too and amplify the fights. On the other hand, the film is as excessively violent as always and this time there were even animals. Additionally the plot itself felt the weakest. After Dracula resurrects and the heroes have their opening fights it feels like the film stagnates for a while until we get to the climax. It didn’t feel like the pacing was quite as tight as the last two films. I’ll give the 3 films this, they were all pretty consistent and roughly on the same level as each other. That may not have been a good thing for their score, but you can’t win em all.

Overall 2/10

Blade II Review

This review is of the edited TV-14 version of the film. All thoughts below should be addressed as such.

It’s time to look at the sequel to the original Blade film. This time we’ve got him in an actual group so you can expect some of the other characters to get big fight scenes as well. I’d definitely say that this one improves upon the original for me. It’s not by a whole lot as there’s only so much you can do with a gritty vampire film. Still, I’ll take any improvement I can get and we got more special effects with the fight scenes so get ready for some sped up superhero action!

The movie starts off by slightly retconning the ending to the first one. Despite being in a near death state and then shooting himself, The Whistler managed to survive somehow and the vampires have kept him alive for kicks. Blade finds out and frees him. Shortly afterwards Blade is attacked by a pair of vampire ninjas who reveal that they have come to ask for his help. There are a few super vampires running around that are immune to silver and garlic. Defeating them will be nearly impossible without Blade. To this end, they will make him leader of the Bloodhounds which is an elite fighting force that was originally meant to destroy Blade. This is a fragile alliance at best, but Blade figures he should take down the super vampires so they team up. Are the vampires hiding something from him?

There’s definitely a lot of action in this film and the choreography is on point. Blade has definitely nailed the whole “slow walk towards the villains” routine as this point since he does it so often. I do have to give the films a lot of credit for how smooth his outfit looks. It’s very accurate to the comics and honestly it looks pretty crisp. Whenever Blade shows up you know he’s about to take down a lot of monsters. Those fights are always a lot of fun and accompanied by solid rock songs. The Blade series has had a pretty dynamite list of songs and this one is no different. I miss the early 2000s rock that we used to get for the various fight scenes. It still happens sometimes but it is certainly a lot more rare.

The special effects have also improved since the first film. I already spoke about the fight scenes but even the vampires getting blasted away. It’s all pretty neat. My favorite fight in the film was Blade against the two Ninjas. It’s an example of solid choreography with some back and forth action compared to Blade just absolutely dominating the random minions who can’t fight back. Those fights tend to be pretty fun as well but you really can’t compare the two. An even match like this ends up being quite satisfying even if surprisingly Blade may have lost. It depends on how fast he regenerates since his hit would presumably be fatal since it was silver and the ninja attack wouldn’t be, but it would have been a clean shot that could be fatal anyway.

The plot of having to team up with the villains is also pretty interesting. It’s always a very tricky dynamic trying to work with someone who could back stab you at any point. I also like that Blade keeps the upper hand for most of these interactions. He humiliates one of the vampires when they start getting smart and throughout calls all of the shots. Whenever they point a gun at Blade he does the same to them. The early banter are some of the best parts of the film. I consider the plot to be a little more interesting than the first film’s as well. It does have the benefit of being a sequel so we already know the characters.

Now to the negatives which are effectively the same as the first film. For starters the film is incredibly violent. We see a lot of characters get drained and murdered by the vampires. Characters are stabbed and tortured as well. The violence never really ends in these films which can be a drag. It takes away from the moments of the film that actually are good. I have to say that the opening of the film makes everyone look bad no matter how you look at it. It feels like the guy is a bit of a sucker when he’s being led down a series of halls into a locked room with suspect characters. I don’t remember the place looking so shady when donating blood. I get that this is a special place but even so it was obvious that it was a trap. Then it makes the trappers look bad since this is way too obvious. Anyone who is “caught” in the trap is suspect themselves so it was never going to end well for someone.

The writing is okay. There’s quite a bit of language that this version fortunately skips which does help to a degree. It still seems to be a bit of a crutch for the writers. I also have to dock some logic points for how they don’t even bother trying to explain why Whistler survived. There’s just no way he would have lived through what happened and as hard as the film tries to do so, there’s no way they can explain it. I suspect that’s why they don’t even bother. I don’t even see why the plot needed to be brought back since Whistler doesn’t even do a whole lot during the film. Him leaving his post at one point was also an odd red herring. Why not bring your communicator for when your partners are being bumped off?

Overall, Blade II brings in a more interesting plot as well as better fight scenes than the first film. This does result in a better experience for me. That being said, it still can’t shed the vampire roots of the film. I don’t see how the films can get much higher without toning that aspect down a bit. The violence can be quite excessive. Even though none of the vampire members were particularly likable it was still pretty neat to have a whole group structure. It’s probably the closest we’ll see of Blade on a team for quite a while. Ultimately I could see him getting a new movie or show at some point though. If you really like vampire films then you should check this one out I guess since it delivers on what you’d expect with everyone getting bumped off in gruesome ways left and right. On the other hand you can definitely do better.

Overall 2/10

Blade Review

This review is of the edited TV-14 version of the film. All thoughts below should be addressed as such as a review of the unedited version would be more negative.

It’s time to look at one of the original comic book films from back in the day. Blade is largely forgotten nowadays although it seems to have had a bit of a resurgence in recent years. It’s a vampire film which naturally does limit how good it can be to a large extent. Unfortunately the comic book aspect of the movie was unable to do enough to take it back to the next level. It makes all the usual mistakes of a vampire film and ends up being rather similar to Resident Evil. Resident Evil would ultimately have the edge though with its top tier soundtrack and a more interesting plot. Come to think of it, zombies may also beat vampires for me although it’s close since both don’t make for particularly good movies.

The movie starts off with one human being lured away to a vampire party. They are about to finish him off when Blade appears and destroys the lot of them. Unfortunately he decides to toy around with one of them a little too much so he manages to get to a hospital and murder a bunch of people as well bite Karen. Blade takes Karen over to his base where the Whistler tells Karen that it’s all over. She’s already dead and they’re not going to help her. Karen’s not thrilled about this so she decides to stick with the gang. At the very least she should be safer with the pros right? Blade doesn’t have much time to guard anyone though because he’s on a quest to avenge his mother and himself by murdering Frost. Frost is the one who turned Blade into a vampire after all and this is the closest that the hunter has gotten to being on his trail.

Right from the start Blade introduces itself as a film that is going to go all in with the violence and vampire action. The first scene probably has more blood almost all of the other comic book films. The violence never lets up either as we see people eaten and blown up. The TV edit does cut away from a lot of the direct moments which is quite telling considering how violent the film still was. Automatically there’s no way the film was going to get a very high score because of how excessive it all is. Definitely be sure you’re cool with the violence if you plan on checking this one out.

I’ve also never been a fan of the drinking blood angle which is pretty hard to avoid in a vampire film. It’s part of why those films are always destined to lose if you ask me. While it can be possible to do a good vampire story (Records of a Fallen Vampire) it is very difficult and not particularly likely. The villains aren’t particularly fun either. You’ve got Quinn who is the main comic relief of the villain group. He is always in a party mood and doesn’t take things too seriously. This never bodes well for him in a fight and you know from the start that he has absolutely no chance against Blade. He’s just completely out of his league.

Then you have Frost who can be a decent main villain in some Blade stories but he doesn’t work here. They really play up the fact that he’s a much younger vampire than the others so he’s always fooling around. The guy is pretty smart and does take the vampires to new heights that the old ones wouldn’t have reached. He definitely gets some points there and is a reasonably strong villain. Ultimately he’s not nearly as charismatic as he thinks he is. The rest of the villains don’t really get much of a role. For the most part they’re just here to get blown up.

For the heroes we’ve really got 3. First is Whistler who is the mentor figure of the movie. You can probably tell how his story will end up the instant he is introduced. He’s human so there’s not a whole lot that he can do against vampires with their special abilities. Still, he doesn’t back down from a fight which is really important in this kind of thing. He’s a bit of a downer though as he doesn’t even try to give Karen any hope. Karen is a solid heroine though. She does actually get involved in some of the fights and adapts pretty quickly to using a gun and other such tactics. I was glad that she spent more time being pro active as opposed to running or something like that. She was even able to work on a cure right away. Karen contributes quite a lot to the cause and that’s why she’s a pretty solid character. I’d be up for seeing her in sequels someday.

Then we have the main character Blade. He feels sort of like a more brutal Batman at times with how he will suddenly appear and start taking out the enemies. The main difference of course is that Blade murders his opponents. At first he tends to spare the humans although in some fight scenes it’s really hard to tell if he spares anyone. By the end though he is all out of mercy and just takes everyone out. He’s a pretty great lead. Blade’s serious and down to business throughout the movie. The film did a really good job with this portrayal and I’d say that Blade is pretty much perfect. I also like all of his tools and weapons. It makes for a pretty good arsenal in these battles.

The fight scenes are pretty good in the movie as well. When it’s not going out of its way to be particularly gritty we have some solid hand to hand action and swordplay. The scene of Blade arriving in the climax was handled particularly well as he got down to business. His opening fight against the vampire army was also solid. The movie helps to enhance these scenes with a solid soundtrack as well. We get some pretty fun rock themes for the battles. They have a nice retro feel that you don’t really see quite as much anymore in the modern films. For some reason rock music doesn’t seem to be as popular for the average fight scene which I don’t understand because the fast tempo should always be in season.

Overall, Blade is definitely what you would expect from a vampire action film. The action can be good but ultimately the film is held wayyyyy back by the vampire angle. It goes way too far in being overly dark and gritty. I can’t recall the last film I saw which was quite this violent. The body count is pretty high and you usually won’t be able to go more than a few minutes without something super violent happening. The film can be having a fun little scene and then you’re thrown into the next villain scene or something crazy happening. Pretty much any villain scene will end with something violent happening. These instances certainly add up so I wouldn’t recommend this film. It’s all just too excessive. If you want to watch a good supernatural action film then it’s time to watch the Avengers 2012 instead. It delivers on all of that without going overboard. We’ll see if the next Blade films are able to improve from this one or if they will ultimately make the same mistakes.

Overall 1/10

The House That Dripped Blood Review


It’s time to look at a horror anthology. I’m not big on horror films and I’m not big on anthologies so I can’t say that I went into this one with high hopes. That said, it was actually quite a bit better than what I was expecting to the point where I could call this a good film. Maybe not an amazing film but better than over 90% of the other titles I’ve seen in the genre. This is how you should handle atmosphere and scares. It feels a bit like the Twilight Zone episodes of old.

The base plot connecting all of these segments is about an inspector trying to find an actor who has gone missing. He talks to a real estate agent who calmly explains to the inspector that the house is pretty sinister so bad things happen there. The inspector isn’t impressed but decides to stick around as he listens to a few stories. Did the house really cause all of these murders or was it in the wrong place at the wrong time? One thing’s for sure, a lot of bad things do tend to happen here.

The first story is about a writer who decides to move into the house. The house is in really bad condition but he feels like this will actually help him in coming up with ideas which is a decent rationale I suppose although I’m not sure it’s worth buying a house for a few months though. He begins his next murder book about a strangler and gets so engaged in the material that he starts to see the guy around. Is he going crazy or is the strangler actually here? This may end up being the last book he writes.

This was a pretty good way to start the saga. We got some twists and turns and there was a good amount of tension here. You can interpret the ending a few different ways. Personally, I took it as the guy who was hired was legitimate but what he didn’t count on was the spirit still residing in the house from the picture which ultimately took him over and gave us the twist ending. The writer definitely seemed a little crazy from the start which is the only way this plan could have worked from the start. If he had a bit more control he would have realized that something was up.

The next story is about the main guy heading over to a wax museum. One of the statues looks a lot like a lady he used to like. He stares for a while but then the owner drops some cryptic threats about it so the guy decides to never return. Unfortunately an old friend of his stops by and insists that they return. The guy has no self-control either so he keeps on going back to the place and the owner doesn’t like that very much. This is sort of like an abridged version of the Wax Museum films but handled a lot more tastefully. It’s a little hard to believe how badly the guy does against an old man with an axe though. You can probably see the ending coming and it’s harder to feel as sympathetic to the characters with the bad moves they make. The main guy warned his friend and at that point he shouldn’t have gone back in. It’s a little harsh but if someone keeps trying to jump into a fire you can’t follow them.

Next up was the weakest story if you ask me. A guy moves in with his daughter and she seems to be afraid of fire for some reason. The guy hires a tutor who starts to get close to the daughter but for some reason the father always prevents the tutor from getting the daughter any gifts. Eventually the daughter gets a wax doll and the father’s journey begins to reach its end. We learn some twists about the daughter but I can’t say that they justify the father’s actions in the slightest. If anything he created a self fulfilling prophecy here by being so mean to the kid. It reminds me of a villain in Fairy Tail. If you know that this character can destroy planets, why teach that person to resent everyone right away? It makes no sense and just speeds up everyone’s demise.

Then we have the classic vampire story which involves the actor. He is working on a new vampire film so he stops by a store and buys a cloak. Unfortunately whenever he wears the cloak he is overtaken by an urge to bite people. He decides not to wear it anymore but what if someone else wears it? I’m not a big vampire fan, but the story was reasonable. Mainly what made it so good was the big plot twist at the end. It was a “big brain” moment from the villains as we realize that they were always in control. It’s a very different take on how this kind of story would end and I definitely appreciated it. It also means that the villain may have even had better acting skills than the main guy.

Finally that takes us to the climax where the hardened inspector thinks this is all hogwash. I suppose that’s a reasonable reaction to this, but in a less reasonable take he rushes off to the house in the dead of night and goes straight to the basement. He actually does better in the fight against the villains than I expected, but at the end of the day you already knew how that was going to end. It was a pretty fun way to end.

One thing against the film though is that ultimately it’s really hard to pin any of this on the house. It was just an innocent bystander the whole time that was probably hoping these people would stop moving it in. It didn’t actually do anything in pretty much any of the stories. The Wax was just a crazy guy running around, (maybe the Wax location was haunted) The one with the girl was because she had powers, and the vampires already had their plan. I’m willing to defend the house in this case because I do think it was just in the wrong place at the wrong time and didn’t mean for any of this to happen.

The writing is pretty solid here. As mentioned, it does a good job of building up the atmosphere without suddenly trying to make everything gritty and violent. That’s exactly how you’re supposed to do this. It’s a very tasteful array of horror stories and the length helps to prevent any of them from dragging on although I do think some of these could have worked as a whole film. I just doubt they would have been quite as effective. These still had time for the various plot twists and such which is really the important part if you ask me.

Overall, The House That Dripped Blood is a bit of a misleading film but it’s solid nonetheless. None of the stories are particularly bad and the best ones are quite solid. That makes for a pretty all around story since each story is pretty different. If this sounds like it’s up your alley then you should check it out or if you want more of a grounded horror movie. I think the part that will stick with you the most is that if you have an evil cloak that grants super powers and evil urges you should probably burn it or at the very least insist that nobody wears it after you. Even if you may have been able to take it off, it doesn’t ensure that the next person will be able to.

Overall 6/10