Blood: The Last Vampire - Mania.com



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Mania Grade: A

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Info:

  • Audio Rating: A+
  • Video Rating: A+
  • Packaging Rating: B
  • Menus Rating: B
  • Extras Rating: B
  • Age Rating: 15 & Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: Manga Entertainment
  • MSRP: 24.95
  • Running time: 80
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Blood: The Last Vampire

Blood: The Last Vampire

By Gary Kamisato     February 06, 2002
Release Date: August 28, 2001



The Review!
There are two major points of contention that I feel must be brought up regarding reviews and criticisms of 'Blood: The Last Vampire.' The first regards the plot, a topic which has already seen its fair share of opinion. The other deals with the audio presentation, although be assured that I find nothing wrong with it at all. More on that later.

First I'll deal with the plot, or rather the criticisms leveled at Blood that there is not enough of one. I really feel that those critics who slam Blood's plotline and story do so because of a simple fact: they do not like short movies. They need to have every action and motive explained to them, something which is nearly impossible to do in a 48-minute film. Western audiences are used to longer films, and feel like they have been shortchanged (no pun intended) if they see something which leaves too many questions at the end of the film.

Blood requires the viewer to fill in the gaps, allowing one's imagination to piece together the characterizations and backstory. A lot of hints and innuendo are given, but nothing is fully explained. I found that a rather refreshing change, as it forced me to question what was happening on the screen with the movie moving along at a brisk pace. The execution of Blood's story is even more impressive, as at its core the plot is not complex: Saya (a vampire with a mysterious past), working for a secret government agency, must hunt down demons (who may or may not be related to her) who walk amongst us. People criticize this as being too overly simplistic, but I find these claims baseless. Simple does not have to mean sub-par... look at the core plot of Seven Samurai (no argument that it's a great movie, I hope): a village must hire samurai to protect themselves from marauding bandits. That's it, seriously. It is the execution of this story, however, which makes Seven Samurai the classic that it is. The major difference is that Seven Samurai is three hours long; Blood runs under 50 minutes. Which goes back to my point that people have an inherent bias against short films, because everything cannot possibly be explained to them. Viewing habits are hard to change, and unfortunately Blood is a victim of these habits.

The second point I must bring up is the audio presentation. I bring this up because I notice that most of the reviews I have seen did not fully bring into light the outstanding 5.1 Dolby Digital sound Blood possesses. I realize that only a small majority of people own a decent A/V setup, but take my word on this: Blood HAS to be heard in 5.1 sound. The track is aggressive, with extensive use of the surrounds and subwoofer. When the action scenes kick in, the viewing experience is taken to another level because of the sound. It's that good. If you have to, borrow somebody else's system (that's what I do), but watch this at least once in 5.1. It'll make any viewer appreciate Blood that much more.

Blood: The Last Vampire is not just a technical showcase, however. The movie does everything it sets out to do, moving the story along at a nice pace with a solid beginning (Saya is introduced as a slayer of demons), middle (her investigation at the school) and ending (when the blood really starts to fly). It is the brevity of this film, however, which will sadly prevent this gem of a movie from finding the wide audience it deserves.



Review Equipment
Panasonic RV-30 DVD player, Sony 32" KV32FS16 Wega TV, Yamaha RX-V 995 receiver, w/front 3 channels sent to a Rotel RB976 amp, nOrh ceramic speakers (6.1 mains, 4.0 center/surrounds), SVS 25-31 sub powered by Parasound 1201A at 240w

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