Blade (1998)

Genres - Action, Fantasy  |   Sub-Genres - Superhero Film, Martial Arts  |   Release Date - Aug 21, 1998 (USA)  |   Run Time - 121 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - R
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Review by Robert Firsching

It took a quarter-century, but the Marvel Comics vampire-slayer created by Marv Wolfman and Gene Colan finally hit the big screen, and it was worth the wait. Wesley Snipes is terrific as the half-vampire Blade, fighting the undead legions with the aid of a high-tech arsenal manufactured by his crusty partner, Whistler (Kris Kristofferson). Stephen Dorff is equally memorable as the villainous half-breed Frost, planning to usurp the more genteel purebred vampires in order to destroy and enslave the human race. But he needs Blade's blood to call an ancient vampire-god first. The action scenes are dynamite, Greg Cannom's bloody special-effects are suitably outlandish to match the comic-book tone, and there are some nice bits by cult favorites Udo Kier and Traci Lords along the way. It's not a straight horror film, as its numerous fight scenes and hyperbolic mythologizing make clear, but -- despite its comic-book roots -- it is still another of 1998's releases to push the "R" rating to its limit with blood-soaked violence. Viewers with strong stomachs and a yen for a very dark take on the Mortal Kombat-style of filmmaking should, however, be extremely pleased.