STUDIO: New Line
MSRP: $19.99
RUNNING TIME: 88 Minutes
• Audio Commentary w/Director Peter O’Fallon & writers David Goyer & Geoff Johns
“Turning Blade Documentary

The Pitch

“Blade sinks his teeth into the small silver screen and it bites.”

The Humans

Blade: Kirk “Sticky Fingaz” Jones, Euro trash Vampires: Jill Wagner, Neil Jackson, David Palffy, Randy Quaid: Drunken Exposition, Annoying Asian Sidekick: Nelson Lee

The night Hendrix went went over the top.

The Nutshell

Blade sets up shop in yet another abandoned warehouse in Detroit to take on the House of Chthon, the oddly named exclusive vampire club that specialize in doing nonsensical villainous acts like selling vampire ash like crack cocaine, picking up hookers to feed to monstrous half-breeds who dangle from ceilings like bats, bagging up freshly turned vampires in plastic wrap and hooking them up to IV’s for seemingly no reason, and finally, gentrification. Yes, that’s right. Turns out the vampires are concerned with some of the old decrepit buildings in Detroit and plan on investing in them to bring back the glory of the good ole’ days, when Henry Ford (who would probably eventually be revealed as one of the original vampires later in the series, or some such BS) was rolling out model T’s faster than it takes to suck the blood out of a boring, repetitive franchise like this one. This was the pilot episode for the Blade TV show on Spike and I guess some of these odd questions would be cleared up if I watched the show. Why they’re packing this as a new movie rather then putting all 12 episodes together is a dubious move to say the least.

"They usually give me a full bottle for crap movies like this, but I guess these few drops will have to do."

The Lowdown

Whenever I give one of my friends crap for not liking a good movie, he counters with, “You own Blade on DVD.” Yes, I do own Blade on DVD. I enjoy that first movie very much. It’s a ton of fun and an excellent example of a comic adapted into film correctly. I knew this the moment Wesley Snipes first killed a vampire, turned to the camera, made a tough guy face and thrust his black-leather clad fist up high, winking at the audience and letting us know what we were in for. I know a lot of people prefer the gruesome sequel, but despite some nice atmosphere courteously of Guillermo Del Toro, I couldn’t get into it. Maybe it was the CGI/WWE vampire wrestling fights.

Naturally, by the third movie (the one with Jessica Biel and her vampire-killing i-pod) I had enough. The series had become repetitive and boring. The subtext in the original Blade movie is one that questions social class and American excess. The bloody rave, the Euro trash vampires with their board meetings and techno music, and Blade, the black guy they all aim to be like but secretly hate. There’s some interesting stuff going on along with the bloodletting, but someone needs to find a big freakin’ tampon, because David Goyer is bleeding this series of any sense of originality and fun.

From half of the writers of the Royal Tenenbaums. This fall, Owen Willson IS: Custer IN: My Knees Are Wounded But I’m Not Dead.

But hey, maybe a TV format would give the show new life. What would it be like following Blade week to week? Would it feature different villains, or the same kind of Euro trash vampires who quest for world domination despite the fact that they seemingly already have it? Will Blade develop a sense of humor? Will anything happen that I wouldn’t expect? I was hesitant, but held out hope that the show might approach the familiar subject matter in a new light.

What’s new? Well, besides a horrible acting turn from Sticky Fingaz (still love the video for Slam though, Sticky…’let the boys be boys!’), Blade’s still fighting crime from the same kinds of hell holes as before and is still instructing some technophile to do all his work for him. Without the outsider charisma of Snipes pulling the weight of this film, Blade is just a downright unlikable character. This time, he even comes off as a bit of a dick to the villains, teasing them about letting them go before ripping their throats out. Come on Blade! I know you’re a badass, but damn!

We also have an Iraq war vet (I think, the flashback was a little fuzzy) coming home to avenge the murder of her brother by the vampires (they shoot him in the head. Are these guys’ vampires or the NYPD?). Krista Starr (no relation to Ringo, I hope) teams up with Blade to solve the mystery but quickly gets her ass munched and turns into a vampire too. But don’t worry, Blade gives her some of his liquid Drano in a syringe and then she’s a good crime-fighting vampire now. Lots of people mention the house of Chthon but I’m still wondering how many times they had to ask how to pronounce it during shooting. And even though the “movie” is subtitled “House of Chthon,” I’ll be damned if I know what the hell it is or means! Randy Quaid shows up to give the Kris Kristofferson exposition. Hookers get ripped into like a bag of Doritos at a frat party. People get kicked or punched and fly to the other side of the room with wire-fu (the fight scenes here are like vampire ballet). CGI blood gets spilled. The director shoots inside an apartment because a train goes by the window and he likes the way it looks. This is what you get from Blade: House of Chthon. It sucks.

Humpty was good in the sack, but was a little too into PDA’s for Troy’s tastes, and crotch grabbing him in the middle of the playground just went too far.

The Package

The cover screams UNRATED and HEY, WE’RE SHOWING YOU STUFF THAT WAS TOO GRAPHIC FOR SPIKE TV! AND THAT’S THE NETWORK THAT SHOWS UFC AND STAR TREK RERUNS, SO YOU KNOW YOU’RE IN FOR SOME SERIOUS SHIT! But in reality, all we get is a tit shot and some more CG blood. Yawn. The extras are awfully self-congratulatory (“look at how well we converted this to television!”) and the director and writers (including the borderline intolerable Goyer) come off as rather bland and simple (listen to O’Fallon brim with excitement whenever he talks about how an actor adlibbed a sub par line!)

2.3 out of 10