Director – Stephen Norrington
Cast – Wesley Snipes, Kris Kristofferson, Stephen Dorff, N’Bushe Wright, Donal Logue, Udo Kier, Arly Jover, Traci Lords, Kevin Patrick Walls
Release Year – 1998
Reviewed by John of the Dead
I was first introduced to the Blade series when I randomly watched Blade: Trinity when it debuted in theaters. It was date night and the only flick we cared to see at the time, and while I remembered it being a decent watch I have had a craving to watch the series from its inception, and now I have. Based on the popular Marvel comic series, Blade gives us an awesome vampire tale filled with every known element used in action-packed ass-kicking films, and with its heavy horrific vampire element it proves to be one of the sweetest and goriest comic book adaptations to date.
Wesley Snipes stars as Blade, a half-mortal half-vampire who has taken on the duty of ridding the world of the secret sect of vampires who walk the streets and feed on the human race. Accompanied by Abraham Whistler(Kris Kristofferson) and rescued doctor Karen(N’Bushe Wright), they try desperately to stop a the renegade vampire Deacon Frost(Stephen Dorff; Botched, Alone in the Dark, FeardotCom) from enacting a vampire uprising that would annihilate the human race.
As you should know by now if you have been a follower of my reviews, I am not a huge fan of the vampire sub-genre. It is not because I find them stupid, I have just never been interested in something that harbors great strength and a thirst for blood but can’t survive something as simple as UV radiation. However, when you get creative and begin to mix in half-breeds and lots of guns and gore, you have my devout attention regardless of what is going on, and Blade did that for me.
The storyline is an awesome one, and while we have been given numerous vampire films involving eradicating the human race this is the first one that I am aware of to employ the story, and it gets much respect from me. I loved the origin of Blade himself, and how he was drawn to fight the very kind that made him the way he is, a way of life that he has accepted but would love to do away with if he could. We get mostly positive characters thrown into the mix, starting with Blade who was used in the cheeziest of ways but still provided respectable cheeze that had me gushing with joy. While Abraham Whistler and Karen added positively on the side of the protagonists, Deacon Frost provided a good antagonist in his brash and calculating ways of dealing with the human race, and his never-ending quest to use Blade to conjure up a demon that would spell immediate trouble for all mortals. Writer David S. Goyer(The Uninvited) did a good job piecing the story together(despite numerous re-writes and re-shoots), and for a two hour film he threw in enough action and developments to keep me engaged throughout.
Veteran make-up/special FX guru Stephen Norrington did a fine job directing this piece, giving us stunning visuals and superb action that sold the film as it was mean to be…a solid non-stop action piece. Wesley Snipes was perfect for Blade, so much that I am fully convinced that he was conceived and brought into this world solely for the role of Blade. The action was incredible and consisting of much ass-kicking at the hands of both Blade and the vampires, and much like any sweet action hero he came toting homemade weapons that consisted of improvised handguns and shotguns, as well as the very weapon he is named after. Kris Kristofferson was awesome as Abraham Whistler, and being a fan of his musical work I was even more pleased that he was cast in the film. Some people seem to be love/hate with Stephen Dorff’s portrayal of Deacon Frost, and my take on him is that he was positive in the role and sold the cocky diabolical character to me. This being a vampire film you should expect gore, but I was very pleased at the heavy amount of gore in this film. Some of the CGI effects were a bit cheezy and not very convincing, but aside from that we were given numerous scenes that were basically bloodbaths, and I love my bloodbaths.
Overall, Blade is an awesome and intense watch that delivers heavily on good vampire action, gore, and badassery from Wesley Snipes. The storyline is a cool one and the direction gets things done, making Blade one of the most enjoyable vampire films for me, and should be for you too.