Horror Plus Action: Blade

Published 5 years ago by

Horror Plus Action Blade header Horror Plus Action: Blade

Happy Halloween everyone! If you’re a regular Screen Rant reader you’ll have noticed (and hopefully read) our Halloween lead-up series called “Horror Plus.” If not, just so you know it’s a feature which sets out to showcase one film that combines horror with another genre. Each instalment will basically serve as a review of the film at hand, explaining why it’s such a good example of genre merging.

So far we’ve had Horror Plus Comedy: Shaun of the Dead, Horror Plus Sci-fi: Alien, Horror Plus Thriller: 28 Days Later and Horror Plus Crime: Se7en. And finally we come to our final installment which is Horror Plus Action.

So which film have we chosen which merges both the genres of horror and action so well? After much deliberation I decided to go with Stephen Norrington’s excellent 1998 comic-book adaptation, Blade, starring Wesley Snipes as the titular vampire killer. Just an FYI, I almost went with its arguably more fun sequel, Blade II (directed by Guillermo del Toro, BTW), but opted for the original since I felt it better displayed the merging of the two genres (I think the sequel leans more heavily towards action instead of balancing the two).

(The following may contain moderate SPOILERS)

Written by David S. Goyer (Batman Begins, The Dark Knight), the film follows a vampire killer named Blade who himself was born half-vampire (since his mother was bitten while she was pregnant with him). His mission is to rid the world of all vampires that cross his path, being equipped with all of the vampire’s strengths but none of their weaknesses (except for the thirst for blood). With the help of Whistler (Kris Kristofferson) – the man who took him in when he was younger – and a new ally, Dr. Karen Johnson (N’Bushe Wright), Blade sets out to stop the vampire Deacon Frost from unleashing La Magra, the blood god, upon the world.

When Blade came along in the late ’90s, it was a time when the comic book genre of movies looked dead after the disaster that was Batman & Robin. Many people think/consider the revival of the genre to have been X-Men in 2000, but really when you look back I think Blade was the one to kick things off again. Maybe it goes unnoticed in that way because it doesn’t feel like a regular comic book adaptation, and probably the larger movie going audience wasn’t even aware it was based on a comic book character at all.

Blade still Horror Plus Action: Blade

Part of that is due to how the film feels, with it’s dank and almost gothic look offset by some really gory scenes of violence and death. Much of that is caused by Blade himself, who I think is one of the most iconic and fun action characters to grace the screen in the last 15 years. Whenever Blade is just doing his thing, chopping up vampires, fighting hand-to-hand with them and so forth, it’s just flat out entertaining.

But at the same time the film manages to be as much a horror film as it is an entertaining action movie, with buckets of blood being splattered everywhere, vampire bodies disintegrating and other, sometimes downright disturbing images. An example of the latter is when Blade visits a vampire called Pearl “the record keeper.” He’s basically a vampire version of Jabba the Hutt with a chipmunk-like voice. Blade uses a UV lamp to torture him until he gives him the information he needs, and if you’ve seen the film you’ll know the disturbing parts I’m talking about (he gets more than a tan!).

What’s important with a film like this is a great, well written, iconic and intimidating villain and Blade definitely has that with Deacon Frost, played brilliantly by Stephen Dorff (an actor we don’t see enough of these days). I think it’s one of the things that makes Blade stand out amongst its two sequels and other vampire films. I would love to see more of the character, perhaps in a film (or even a set of them) that focuses purely on him (which there has been rumblings of, FYI).

blade stephen dorff as deacon frost Horror Plus Action: Blade

As with any film which I hold as a personal favorite, it really is hard to pick out a highlight scene. There’s the fight scene in the map room kicked off with the deceptive girl with quick-kicking feet, and of course the amazing end sequence involving (inevitably) Blade and Frost. But for me the highlight of the film is actually right near the beginning, in the vampire nightclub:

A poor unknown guy is brought there by his “girlfriend” only to be drenched in blood from the sprinklers once in amongst all the blood-thirsty vampires. The film certainly doesn’t shy away from letting you know right off the bat that it’s going to be gory and pretty hardcore, definitely earning its R-rating. Of course, not long after the blood is turned on, our hero Blade arrives to kill as many vampires as possible. It’s a fantastic scene that really sets the film onto the path it travels thereafter.

On a purely entertainment level, I would probably favor Blade II, but as an overall movie, particularly one that merges horror and action, I’d favor this, the first one in the trilogy (please don’t bother with the third one, and if you already have, I think it’s wise to do your best to wipe it from your memory icon razz Horror Plus Action: Blade ). I go back and rewatch this film every so often, and for good reason, I hope you’ll agree.

Well that concludes Screen Rant Halloween related lead-up series “Horror Plus.” I hope you’ve enjoyed reading the five installments, which altogether celebrate the merging of the horror genre with others.

Any thoughts on our last instalment, Horror Plus Action: Blade? Have you seen the movie and if so have you got any favorite moments/aspects of it that you’d like to share? Leave your thoughts and opinions below.

Happy Halloween everyone!

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  1. “Blade” is a classic! Good story, great action and memorable characters.

    The second film was just one action fight scene after another…
    Never watched the third as I’ve heard its total crap,,,

  2. @790…

    Blade: Trinity wasn’t all bad. It had some interesting moments, and the soundtrack was pretty good, too.

  3. If I see it used for a few bucks maybe I’ll grab it.

  4. @ Stephie
    I agree. the first was my favorite, 2nd id say was for thrills, 3rd was ok to watch but not dreadful that some people make it sound it out to be.

  5. I actually would pick the 2nd over the 1st probably anyday.
    I just like its ‘feel’ very much.

    first one comes in second, closely followed by the third. They both have there good and bad sides.

  6. Hmmm… if you like a film- and a squel or 2 comes along, you will not see them cause some people say it is bad?

    if you like a film charecter, you always want to see more of them, if you dont see a squel, no mather what you heard aobut it, you are not a true fan!

  7. Johnny-K of Norway I detest the vampire genre overall anyway, if I’m not part of the “Blade” fraternity that’s a burden I can live with,,, 8-)

  8. my fave is the 2nd and 3rd ones, the 1st had bad animations and cheesy actions scenes (this is coming from an action fan), the second would have been more of a “scary” action movie as some of the scenes where creepy at times (especially the mouths:-) ) the third would have been more of a fashion show of clothing weapons and fighting skills but overall it was a good movie, (drake was kick ass !!!)

  9. Blade was definitely the best of the 3 .
    And my favorite scene was also the poor guy in the vampire nightclub.
    Good Film.

  10. LOL WTF Mantis.


    Blade is the better movie out of the trilogy. Blade 2 had better fight scenes but was not an overall better movie than the first. Blade Trinity was well lets just say everyone gets one failure in their life. Yes it is watchable but David S. Goyer should not have directed it that way he could have focused more on the writing of it. It will be interesting to see the Blade reboot. Personally if snipes does not return they need to get Michael jai White PERIOD.

  11. @ Mantis,

    I don’t get it. You’re trolling because you don’t like editorial/feature type stories? You just want straight up news, no opinion, nothing original?

    You read the post, and instead of joining in on the discussion about what the article is about… you make an effort to launch an insult?

    You could have just not read this post… the intro explains it as a series of features about horror films leading up to Halloween. Better yet, since you do read our site, if you didn’t like the post… why not just move on to another with no comment? What is your goal in being so immature with comments like that?

    Please explain if you’re still around. I really don’t get why you think its better to be a troll behind your monitor…

  12. So…I was also having sex with Mantis’s girlfriend(while watching Blade!) and I can’t help but agree that Trinity was not as bad as people make it out to be. That being said, I also thought Daredevil had some good moments(though horribly miscast) and Ghost Rider is one of the worst movies I’ve ever seen.

    P.S. Vic Holtreman is the man.

  13. “Blade” is the best of the trilogy.

    “Blade II” was slightly predictable. How did they not extpect you to know that they were realted? They look exactly alike.

    “Blade III” is redeemed based solely on the scenes that involve Parker Posey with Ryan Reynolds. Beyond absurd to the point of hilarity.

  14. Guys , don’t worry about Mantis, he’s done here even if he wants go return.


  15. Ross, ditto on the “blood rave” scene.

    Stephie, I found the Trinity soundtrack a bit watered down considering what was used on the first two. Blade in particular had some pretty brave choices througout: I never thought in a million years I’d hear The Aphex Twin, Source Direct and Photek on a mainstream movie like that.

  16. Mantis your what 29 and you’ve finally lost your virginity, supposedly to a girl I guess?

    Then you head over to a “Blade” Halloween post and tell us were losers?
    Lol, I think we just witnessed a rare form of post virgin traumatic nerd denial hysteria. Ie: (PVTNDH)

    I can only imagine the horror his Star Wars action figures are going through today.
    I’ve read that this phenomenon strikes 2 out of every 10 nerds. Sad,,,

  17. “Blade” was awesome, but I would prefer the second over the first.

  18. Nobody here has mentioned anything about the short lived “Blade” tv series,,, anyone?

    Is it good, bad?

  19. I watched the first episode and never watched it again.

  20. So reading between the lines Gigan300, I’m going to assume you hated it beyond belief. ;-)


  21. The TV show had potential but crashed. And Reynolds vs. Posey was my favorite part of Trinity. That and Blade absolutely hating Reynold’s mouthing off, and Reynolds continuing to do it anyway. It would’ve been cooler if he were Deadpool though, instead of Hannibal King.

  22. These articles are a fun read.

    My only “gripe” about this particular one is, I have a bit of trouble thinking of “Blade” as ‘horror’ in any way.

    It just seemed like a straightforward martial arts / action film disguised as a vampire movie. I don’t really see the ‘horror’ elements.

    Wouldn’t there need to be some part of the film that is intended to be frightening or scary for it to be considered ‘horror’?

  23. There was about as much horror in the “Blade” movie as there was in “Billy the Kid vs Dracula”.

    Trinity was crap, only good thing was Hannibal King. he was hillarious

  24. Wow, I keep wondering what this Mantis guy said. It must have been pretty bad for Vic to remove it.

    I liked both Blade and Blade 2, and I have to agree that the first one was more horror than the 2nd, and the 2nd more action. The 3rd was Ok, at best. I’m still trying to figure out how a guy that went to sleep for, what, a thousand years, can speak English. 8-)