x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Blood: The Last Vampire

If the notion of cominging Buffy the Vampire Slayer with Kill Bill appeals, this makes for a perfectly enjoyable 90 minutes.

Giann Jun and Yasuaki Kurata.
Giann Jun and Yasuaki Kurata.

A blood-drinking, demon-slaying schoolgirl battles to save mankind from a secret army of scaly-skinned monsters in this roaring rampage of revenge. A live-action, English-language remake of a well-regarded manga animation, Blood boasts plenty of pedigree, including the same producers as Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. The Korean star Jeon Ji-hyun, anglicising her name to Gianna Jun, makes her English-speaking debut as the heroine Saya. It is 1970 and Saya is working for a demon-hunting organisation called the Council, which sends her undercover to a high school on a US Air Force base near Tokyo. Before long, Saya is slashing, slicing and shredding her way through slavering monsters in pursuit of Onegin, the queen of all demons. On a mindless, purely sensory level, there is much to enjoy about Blood. The period production design is sumptuous, and the jump-cut plot and stylised violence invoke the delirious, dreamlike ambience of a classic spaghetti western. And the dialogue is unwittingly hilarious. Blood just about cuts it as an adrenalin-pumping B-movie with a generous special effects budget. It also has some major flaws, including a thin and incoherent plot and flimsy characters. Such shortcomings are par for the course in pulp genre pictures, but harder to swallow is the wild quality variation in special effects. Nahon's film is too short to deliver much beyond punchy bubblegum excitement. But if the notion of combining Buffy the Vampire Slayer with Kill Bill appeals, it is a perfectly enjoyable way to spend 90 minutes of your life.