Monday, August 8, 2016

Bloodsucker Sequels: Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust

Welcome back readers of the blog. I really need come up with better intros. I felt this week we would look at some sequels to existing vampire movies that may or may not have had an impact on its viewers. For better or worse sort of viewing. Now some of these films were relegated to straight-to-DVD while others got big screen time but in a finite viewing capacity. Nevertheless I shall endeavor to give them an objective screening as much as humanly possible. This time around we gander at the sequel to 1985 anime Vampire Hunter D, which between gorgeous artwork, decent storyline and a substantial English and Japanese voice cast breathed life into the undead. Can the 2000 sequel do the same? This is Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust.

The house has seen better days.

Alas Toyoo Ashida (director of Heidi: A Girl of the Alps, Space Cruiser Yamato III, Fist of the North Star, Fist of the North Star 2 and Vampire Hunter D) did not take the helm as the sequel's director but instead Yoshiaki Kawajiri (director/animator of Lensman, Wicked City, Ninja Scroll and Bio Hunter) giving an almost ethereal look to his main characters. An otherworldly beauty even to the monsters. As with its predecessor, the story is set thousands of years into the future after the nuclear war of 1999, this ballparks our storyline somewhere about 12,090 A.D. where thanks to bands of hunters, vampires become less and less active and their numbers have been diminished. Obscene bounties have been put upon vampire heads causing bounty hunters of different ilk to rise up and smite them for that huge chunk of change. Our vampire Meier Link (John Rafter Lee of Aeon Flux, Black Jack: The Movie, Todd McFarlane's Spawn, Spawn 2, Spawn 3, Trigun, Reign: The Conqueror, Vampire: The Masquerade- Redemption and Ghost in the Shell Stand Alone Complex) exhibits telekinesis, the undead aura that wilts flowers and puts animals at ill ease as he scoops up his intended victim Charlotte (Wendee Lee of Bleach, Ninja Gaiden 3, Monster High: Ghouls Rule!, Resident Evil: Damnation, Conan the Barbarian: Queen of the Black Coast and Diablo III: Reaper of Souls).

This arrow has meaning.  I can just tell.

Among these hunters, one stands out as he tackles the vampires on his own. Aloft his cybernetic horse, black garbs and long sword, he rides to the regions that need his help whether they like it or not. The money almost seems secondary to him. The dhampyr vampire hunter solely known as D (Andrew Philpot of Castle in the Sky, Almost Dead, Bio Hunter, Tenchi Muyo! In Love, Magical Project S, Reign: The Conqueror and The Chronicles of Riddick: Dark Fury). His only companion is a symbiote that resides in his left hand. A creature able to think, talk, create vortexes of wind, psychometry (able to read events associated with objects, people and even the timelines the objects were used) , induces sleep and acts like a medical scanner for victims of the supernatural. Handy, ain't he? I'll slap myself for that bad of a pun later. Left Hand is voiced by comedian/improv/voice actor Michael McShane (Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, UK Who's Line Is It Anyway, Spawn, Final Fantasy X-2, Evil Alien Conquerors, Death and Texas and Wayward Pines)

The Markus brothers, a collective of vampire hunters have a day's headstart of D as they use a steam based tank outfitted with bolt throwers, crucifixes and their own unique fighting styles and weapons dealing with Link's cadre of undead minions. Looks like he remade an entire village to greet trespassers.

Can the Markus brothers and D work together? Will D have to journey alone?

For some reason the Japanese to English translation is calling the Dhampyr (child of a human and vampire) a dunpeal.  Bit of a goof I am guessing.  This film is a straight up adaptation from creator Hideyuki Kikuchi (Genmu senki Leda, Vampire Hunter D, Wicked City, Demon City Shinjuku, Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust, The Vanished and Vampire Hunter D: Resurrection) keeping it pretty faithful to the original source material and Kikuchi believes in incorporating all aspects of mythos using wooden stakes, beheading with swords and silver blades, bolts and bullets. A mixture of cyberpunk, steampunk and Romanian mythos this story pushes the envelope of augmented people, shapeshifters and werewolves to make you wonder is there any normal humans out there? It's moody, eerie and fascinating all together wrapped up in one anime. On par with its original but I do not feel it surpasses it. Still a good flick.

Yeesh the Circus of Crime got weirder.