“When the last vampire is extinct, who will mourn our passing? Will she? Will anyone? Can anyone understand this pain, this loneliness?”
The Scoop: 2000 R, directed by Yoshiaki Kawajiri and starring Andrew Philpot, John Rafter Lee, Pamela Segall and Wendee Lee
Tagline: When the Sun Sets…The Hunt Begins
Summary Capsule: Vampires and blood, natch.
DnaError’s rating: Anime A to..um, D
DnaError’s review: You have to expect a certain amount of bizarreness with most anime. You have to be willing to accept big-eyed, pre teen heroines fighting in huge robots all to the tune of poppy synth music. However, there is a line which I put at utter weirdness when I watch movies, that line is a wisecracking hand. Sorry movie, but any kind of mood or drama you’re trying to create will be ruined by the existence of a sidekick that is attached to the character’s body.
Vampire Hunter D is one of the few anime movies to get a wide theatrical release here in the US. I’m pretty sure only Akira and Princess Mononoke are members of that club (I’m gonna get a thousand and 1 e-mails from basement-dwelling oaktus over this I’m sure.) To bad VHD (sounds like a new disorder..”doctor, my eyes are huge and I weigh 4lbs! Must be VHD!..) isn’t as good as the others. Sure, it looks nifty enough, the impressively detailed backgrounds and designs give it a very cool Victorian-Sci-fi look. The kind of thing Tim Burton has wet dreams over.
The opening flyby of the graveyard and the neo-Tudor houses, covered in crosses and lights is “muyo coolo”. Animation is fluid and makes the oh-so gory and imaginative death scenes even more impressive in their fluid goriness. The problem is with the character designs. Yoshitaka Amano, the guy behind everything from FF3/6 characters to Sandman covers, did the original designs for VHD in the books. The work looks very nice when still, but animated… there is something extremely creepy about the way these goldfished-eyed, thin-legged guys move. It’s nothing like the natural or near-naturalism of Miyazaki, it’s just off-putting and awkward.
Yikes, all this and not one plot recap. Okay, kidnapped girl, half-vampire hunter, various half-human creatures dying in spectacularly violent ways, Pretty basic anime stuff. They’re going for some High Gothic mood here but it’s ruined every time VHD’s TALKING HAND would pop in with wacky commentary. Plus I’d burst out into laughter every time Main baddie would push out a “Charrrrrrrrrrrrrlotte”. Giggling is not the reaction you want in a horror movie. As it goes on, the movie seems to ramp up the camp factor to blinding limits, dissolving into the kind of puesdo-symbolic mush that mars a lot of anime. But hey, what more can you expect from a movie that both a talking hand and a guy with a mouth in his chest?
- The movie was planned for a VHS released but evenutally got a theatrical one.
- This film is both a sequel and a remake of the 1985 anime Vampire Hunter D (in the same vein of Evil Dead II).
Leila: So I suggest we make a pact. Since we’re both in it for the long haul: whoever dies first, the other one can come and bring flowers to their grave.
D: Your time is coming to an end. Your kind must face extinction. You cannot survive, you must die. That is the rule of nature.
Carmila: Ah. Very strong words for a dunpeal, but you seem to forget. Our spirits… are eternal.
D: No, Carmilla. Nothing lasts forever.
Carmila: I see. I should have known better than to reason with your kind, Dunpeal hunter. I guess my only option is to use force!
Borgoff: Ready or not, here they come. It’s Zombie Time.
Kyle: Yeah. Come and get it, zombies!
Nolt: Amen to that.
D: I am here for the young woman.
Meier Link: I wouldn’t recommend it, Dunpeal. Taking on a vampire at night is a mission for morons and fools. Which are you?
Left Hand: Did you ever hear the expression “Too close for comfort”? That was damn uncomfortable.
Borgoff: What are you, afraid of a little insanity? Since when have we been sane?
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