Blade


Blade Information

Blade is a 1998 American vampire-superhero action film starring superathlete Wesley Snipes, Kris Kristofferson and Stephen Dorff, and is loosely based on the Marvel Comics character Blade. Snipes plays Blade, a human-vampire hybrid who protects humans from vampires.

The film was directed by Stephen Norrington and written by David S. Goyer. Blade grossed $70 million at the U.S. box office, and $131.2 million worldwide. It was followed by two sequels, Blade II and Blade: Trinity.

Plot

A pregnant woman is treated in the hospital after being bitten by vampire Deacon Frost, but the doctors mistake the wound for an animal bite. They try to revive her, but she dies after they deliver her baby boy. The boy inherits the superhuman strength, speed, agility, endurance, durability, regenerative healing factor, blood lust, and enhanced senses of vampires, but does not suffer their weaknesses, such as garlic or sunlight. He grows up to be Blade, the vampire hunter.

Several years later, Blade locates a vampire rave club and kills most of the attendees...including the vampire Quinn, who he pins to a wall and burns. When police and fire crews arrive, Blade escapes and the police take Quinn's body to the morgue. As Dr. Karen Jenson carries out an autopsy with a co-worker, Quinn returns to life and attacks. Blade rescues Jenson from Quinn, who escapes due to police intervention. Blade takes pity on Jenson, who was bitten by Quinn, and takes her to his base. There, Blade and his mentor/weapons technician Abraham Whistler attempt to prevent Jenson from turning into a vampire.

At a meeting of the vampire Shadow Council, vampire elder Dragonetti discusses Blade's recent intensified attacks. Dragonetti also berates Frost - the only councilor not a pureblood - for his recklessness, particularly with regard to Frost's chain of raves. The established vampire leadership believes that vampires should co-exist with humans, rather than risk a full scale war. However, the renegade faction led by Frost believes that vampires should rule the humans outright...and harvest them like cattle.

When Jenson decides to go home, Blade warns her that, due to Quinn's bite, she may still become a vampire. At her apartment, she is attacked by a "familiar" - a human who serves vampires in the hopes of someday becoming one - and is rescued by Blade. After the attack they follow the familiar to a vampire library. Blade and Jenson come across an obese vampire named Pearl, who reveals Frost's research into vampire mythology and his plan to turn himself into an invincible vampire blood-god named La Magra. As Blade and Jenson explore, they are ambushed by Quinn and Company. They escape thanks to the timely intervention of Whistler. Jenson offers her medical knowledge to help cure Blade's need for blood.

Frost overthrows the vampire hierarchy, killing Dragonetti and taking the other members of the Shadow Council prisoner. When Blade leaves his hideout to obtain materials for Jenson's improved serum, Frost attacks. He abducts Jenson and has Whistler beaten and bitten, leaving him to turn into a vampire. When Blade returns, he gives Whistler a gun so he can kill himself. Instead, Whistler escapes to become a vampire himself; he will confront Blade after the film's closing credits. ("Well, this is gonna be interesting, huh?")

Blade fights his way into Frost's lair but is captured. He is taken to the Temple of Eternal Night; there Frost intends to use Blade's blood, and the sacrifice of the twelve pure-blood vampire leaders, to resurrect La Magra and become the god's incarnation. Frost then intends to use the powers of La Magra to conquer the human race.

Frost throws Jenson into a pit. As the ritual begins, the trapped Blade is drained of blood; nearby, the spirits of the Shadow Council are torn from their bodies to fuse with Frost, transforming him into La Magra. Finally, Jenson escapes from the pit and frees Blade. She allows him to feed on her blood so he can renew his strength. Blade and Frost battle in the temple; Frost holds the upper hand and is about to finish off Blade, when Jenson shows up and defeats Frost with the vaccine meant for Blade. Jenson offers to continue working on a cure for Blade. He refuses, telling her that it would rob him of his Daywalker powers and render him unable to hunt vampires, so instead he asks her to make a better serum.

Cast

  • Wesley Snipes as Blade/Eric Brooks: A half-vampire "daywalker" who hunts vampires.
  • Kris Kristofferson as Abraham Whistler: Blade's mentor and weaponsmith.
  • N'Bushe Wright as Dr. Karen Jenson: A hematologist who is bitten by a vampire. She stays with Blade to remain safe while she finds a cure for herself.
  • Stephen Dorff as Deacon Frost: An upstart vampire who emerges as Blade's primary enemy who wants to conquer the human race.
  • Donal Logue as Quinn: A cocky minion of Frost's.
  • Udo Kier as Gitano Dragonetti: A vampire elder.
  • Sanaa Lathan as Vanessa Brooks: Blade's mother, who has become a vampire.
  • Arly Jover as Mercury: Frost's lover.
  • Kevin Patrick Walls as Officer Krieger: A "familiar", or human servant, of Frost's.
  • Tim Guinee as Dr. Curtis Webb: Karen's ex-boyfriend who later becomes a decomposing vampire.
  • Traci Lords as Racquel: A seductive vampire who leads a man to the blood rave.

Production

Filming was in large part done in Los Angeles, with some scenes being shot in Death Valley. The effects for the film were done by Flat Earth Productions.

Connections to the comic

The character Blade was created in 1973 for Marvel Comics by writer Marv Wolfman and artist Gene Colan as a supporting character in the 1970s comic The Tomb of Dracula. The comic Blade used teakwood knives and was much more the everyman in his behavior and attitude. Though courageous and brave, he displayed flaws as well, such as an inability to get along with certain other supporting cast members and a hatred of vampires that bordered on fanaticism.

The character was not originally a "daywalker" but a human being immune to being turned into a vampire. Lacking the superhuman speed and strength of his undead quarry, he relied solely on his wits and skill until he was bitten by the character Morbius. The film version of Blade was updated for a 1990s audience and the comics character was subsequently modified to match. The film's version of Deacon Frost also differs greatly from his comic counterpart. Although the movie retains Frost's upstart ambitions, he was a great deal younger and more updated for the 1990s.

A Blade Anime series was also done by Madhouse Company in 2011. The series consists of 12 episodes.

Release

Blade was not the first Marvel character to get a film treatment. Blade followed Howard the Duck as the second Marvel property to get a theatrical release in the United States. The Punisher and Captain America both had films made previously, but neither saw a theatrical releases in the United States. Blade was Marvel's first film success, and set the stage for further comic film adaptations.

Reception

Reaction to Blade among critics was mixed, with the film earning a 55% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Roger Ebert gave the film 3 stars out of 4, writing: "Blade ... is a movie that relishes high visual style. It uses the extreme camera angles, the bizarre costumes and sets, the exaggerated shadows, the confident cutting between long shots and extreme closeups. It slams ahead in pure visceral imagery." Conversely, James Berardinelli gave the film 2 stars out of 4, writing: "Blade has the capacity to dazzle, but it also will leave many viewers dissatisfied."

Commercial

Blade went to number one in both Spain and Australia for their opening weekends. With 200 theatres showing the film, Spain's cinema goers earned the film $1.5 million (US) in three days, whilst Australia earned $1 million from 132 cinemas showing the film. In the Flemish Region of Belgium, the film earned $323,000 from 20 cinemas, and the Netherlands earned the film $246,000 from 44 cinemas. France made $1.9 million in five days from 241 cinemas, but the film was less successful in Hong Kong (with $182,000 from 22 cinemas) and South Africa ($159,000 from 64 cinemas). The United Kingdom was more successful, taking in $5.7 million over 10 days, as was Brazil, making $855,000 in four days from 133 cinemas. The film was banned from showing in Malaysia, widely considered to have the most controlling censors in Southeast Asia.

Lawsuit

Marv Wolfman, the original creator of the Blade character, unsuccessfully sued Marvel and New Line for $50 million after the release of the film. He, along with artist Gene Colan, receives a "based on characters created by" credit in this film, but does not receive credit in Blade II or the TV series.

Soundtrack

See Blade (soundtrack) for more information A soundtrack containing hip hop music was released on August 25, 1998 by TVT Records. It peaked at #36 on the Billboard 200 and #28 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums.




This webpage uses material from the Wikipedia article "Blade_%28film%29" and is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. Reality TV World is not responsible for any errors or omissions the Wikipedia article may contain.
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