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Blood: The Last Vampire (DVD)
Blood: The Last Vampire (Soundtrack)

Blood: The Last Vampire Blood: The Last Vampire Review

Directed By: Hiroyuki Kitakubo.
Starring: Youki Kudoh, Saemi Nakamura, Joe Romersa, Rebecca Forstadt, Paul Carr, Dave Mallow.

Synopsis: On an American military base in Japan, a new kind of vampire emerges: Teropterids. They are monstrous shape-shifting creatures that can only be killed with special swords. A mysterious girl named Saya is the last "original," the only person capable of dealing with the menace of these monsters. Posing as a student at the base's school, Saya races to hunt down the beasts before they turn an ordinary Halloween bash into a bloody massacre.

Clocking in at only 48 minutes this is one short little movie but the first five minutes and the last fifteen are so swept up in mood, atmosphere and visuals that even though it finds time to get a little slow and the story isn't the best feature, Blood: The Last Vampire is a must-see for anime fans and animators. Again, it's just sad that the story can't quite keep pace with the piece.

Brief History: From the creators of Ghost In The Shell comes Blood: The Last Vampire, a film that took three years to complete. The complexity of the animated effects partially explains why the film is only 48 minutes long. Considered a completely digital movie, although many sequences were animated using pencil and paper, the artwork was digitally scanned. Inking and coloring were completed by computer, as were several other special effects. All in all it cost $4.5 million to make, and some of the money came, surprisingly from the Japanese government. The reason for this was to keep pushing the envelope and develop new computer techniques for animation.

The fact that the film has a nice cult following followed by a growing audience now that it is on DVD is a testament to the film's look. The first five minutes, albeit violent is some of the best animation seen in a long while...until you have a chance to sit and watch Metropolis. It opens with a stylish, building sequence on a subway that is almost Hitchcockian in its set-up. Truly some nice stuff in the opening to grab the audience. The film then loses them for the next while until an ending crops up that more than makes up for the wait with a nasty battle on an American Base, which explains why half of the film is in English already.

A nasty, violent little flick that gets thumbs up for the effort but loses points on the overall story and running time that seems cruel to audiences who may have paid full price to see it. Final tally 2 stars out of five.

Copyright© Written By: Rob Paul

DVD Information:

Special Features:
Includes Bonus Documentary On The Making Of Blood: The Last Vampire
Original Japanese Trailers
Image Gallery
Manga Previews
Web Links

Video: Widescreen 1.77:1 (Anamorphic)

ENGLISH: Dolby Digital 5.1
JAPANESE: Dolby Digital 5.1

The DVD Review:

A great sounding DVD in both Japanese and English with 5.1 surround allows you to get right into the kick-ass soundtrack that accompanies the film...if only it had an audio track for the music alone!

The documentary explores some behind the scenes techniques and some explanations as to why the film has the look it has (briefly explained in the review above). However, it would be nice if the film, at only 48 minutes had a commentary track or something along those lines. Besides, the documentary is almost as long as the movie itself...although a little rambling in their approach to discussing how the movie came into being.

Blood: The Last Vampire gets another star for the features bringing the total to 3 stars out of 5. For anime fans, a must-add to the collection but for others...perhaps just a rental will suffice.

Evil Ash

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