Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Vampire Hunter D

Director - Toyoo Ashida (Fist of the North Star)
Starring - Kaneto Shiozawa (Dragon Ball), Michie Tomizawa (Black Lagoon), and Seizo Kato (Bartender)
Release Date - 1985
Genre - Horror
Format - BluRay (Personal Collection) (Screener)

Rating (out of 5):
     I know a lot of people who get to love anime.  I love cartoons from my youth along with several cartoons aimed towards adults that can mostly be found on Adult Swim but anime is just not my thing.  I've tried to like it.  Hell, I bought a few animes on DVD before hoping I would like them but I could not find it in me to enjoy them.  There is still several more out there I want to try before I write off anime for good but for the most part I am not a fan.  With that being said, I fucking love the 1985 anime movie Vampire Hunter D.  The film is based on the stories with the same name and they are brilliantly written.  I read several of the books before giving the film a chance.  I found the movie pretty cheap several years ago when I was in high school on DVD at Wal-Mart and picked it up.  I watched it several times over the next few days and absolutely loved it.  However, while I was away at college my sister stole it, along with several other films, and sold them for I assume is drug money.  Since then that film on DVD goes up for around $70 which is something I can not bring myself to pay just for one DVD.  Lucky for me, the film was recently released on blu.  I reached out and they were kind enough to send me a review copy of this magnificent film.  Thank you!
     The year is 12,090 AD and the world is in total darkness.  The world forever changed after a nuclear war.  Now vampires, known as the Nobility, rule the world.  After the fall of man, the Nobility scientifically engineered creatures from myth and they roam the land.  Now, the small pockets of man have to fight off werewolves, mutants, dragons, and the Nobility.  A young girl is hunting a dragon far from home when one of the Nobility, Count Magnus Lee, feeds on her and begins the ritual of making her his bride.  He has to feed on her again in order to seal the deal so she searches for a vampire hunter to kill Lee before she becomes his forever.  She finds a young man riding a cyborg horse on the road one day.  She attempts to persuade him into helping her but her pleas fall on deaf ears.  She then attacks him with her whip.  She gets him right where she wants him but it doesn't last.  He is able to break free easily.  She then pleas one last time and he discovers she suffers from the vampire's kiss.  He agrees to help her and they return to her house where he meets her little brother.  That night Count Lee sends some mutants and his daughter to get his future wife.  He fights them off and they retreat.  The following day D, the vampire hunter, visits Count Lee's castle but things don't work out for D and he is left for dead. Meanwhile, the young girl is taken from her home and brought to Lee's castle for the wedding.  D heals quickly and returns to the castle to save the girl and kill Lee and reveals that he is the son of Dracula.
     Normal anime is just a little too far out there for me to really enjoy.  Too much imagination is needed for most of these animes to work and I just don't have the imagination for it to work on me.  With that being said, Vampire Hunter D works for me because the story is very direct.  The voice acting in this one is obviously not the original voice cast due to the film being Japanese in origin.  The dubbing of this film matches the movement of the animation to a decent bit but their tones are way off.  When the scene is intense and calls for the character to be agitated, angry, or excited, the voice actor does not add that to their dialogue which ruins the impact of the scene itself.  The story for this one is fantastic.  This was one of the few cases that I actually read the book before seeing the film and I have to say that the film followed the book closely.  The story literally has everything.  We have vampires, dragons, werewolves, dhampires, giants, and so many more.  The story takes these horror elements and tosses it into one hell of a fantasy adventure that is fun for adults and children alike.  Finally, the animation is very dated but the transfer looks great and that makes the animation look a little better.  You can still tell that the film was made in the 80s.  There is also some high-octane kills that follow the story.  Some are fun and very graphic while others are simple and pertaining to the story.  Overall, Vampire Hunter D is a film I wish I would have saw earlier in my life.  The film is a wet dream for horror fans and features a very rich story full of things that go bump in the night.  If you have never seen this film then I highly suggest you seek it out regardless if you like anime.

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