Blood: The Last Vampire Chris Nahon

Blood: The Last Vampire Chris Nahon
It'd be tempting to blame translation for the vague mythology and embarrassingly flat dialogue plaguing Blood: The Last Vampire, were there one to blame. This live-action adaptation of the popular Japanese manga series was always conceived as an English language series, which lays the blame squarely at the hands of screenwriter Chris Chow. Commencing with brusque exposition scrolling across the screen, the viewer is clumsily told that Saya, the last vampire, lives only to seek vengeance upon Onigen, the most powerful of all demons. She eviscerates fiends while working with a secret organization called the Counsel, which supplies her with blood and information in exchange for her slaying services. After establishing possible instability in Saya, after she slays a man on a subway, supposedly a demon who didn't transform, the Counsel arranges to enrol their katana-wielding blood sucker in a military school to sniff out some demonic students. Donning a schoolgirl outfit, the ancient loner vamp forms a bond with Alice, a military General's daughter, after saving the girl from an extracurricular fencing practice from hell. There's some poorly developed corruption within the Counsel and a hazily defined plan to lure Onigen into a final battle with Saya, but beyond a handful of flashbacks loosely tracing Saya's origins as a vampire ninja, little matters besides the hyper-stylized action sequences. The action is pretty awesome and extremely gory, albeit the graphicness is offset by its massively rendered art direction. In the "Making Of" featurette, one of two scant special features, each of the minor characters receives a brief introduction, followed by more immersive looks at the three main fight performers. The 60-year old martial arts master, Yasuaki Kurata, steals the show, still brimming with energy, charisma and impeccable technique, though it's almost impossible to conceive after witnessing all the jaw-dropping stunts and fight choreography she performs that Blood is Korean actress Gianna's first action role. "Behind the Stunts" shows all the bumps, bruises and gruelling work behind the stunning action that gives The Last Vampire its bite. If only a quarter as much effort went into crafting a comprehensible script. (Sony)