Before Marvel conquered Hollywood with its cinematic universe, there was room in their line up for more unique rated-R experiences. Blade and Blade II remain deliciously bloody affairs that deliver on high octane action movie thrills and the unapologetic absurdity of comic books. These movies know exactly what they are meant to be, pulp fanfares, and they are all the more entertaining for it, even all these years later.
The franchise follows the titular hero Blade, a half human/half vampire hybrid who hunts the undead in an effort to protect humanity and satiate his own unresolved hate.
High art these are not, however, that doesn’t mean they have nothing to say. Blade II, in particular, confronts the leather-clad hero with the contradictory nature of his business and his existence. These movies are governed by The Rule Of Cool, an edict that simply states “if it looks cool, it’s going in.” The first Blade has all the hallmarks of a 90’s action movie before The Matrix made the style infamous and seem hackneyed.
Alas, the franchise would be murdered by Blade Trinity, a third and final installment in The Blade saga. The television channel, Spike TV (now the Paramount Network), would go on to try their own adaptation in the form of a television series, but was met with a lackluster response. Spike had neither the ability nor the know-how in how to do the material justice and in many people’s minds, Wesley Snipes is Blade. His portrayal is as enigmatic as Robert Englund’s of Freddy Krueger.
With a comic book based brands dominating the sphere of tv and movies, the genre is in danger of treading too much of the same ground. Once upon a time, I watched every superhero show and movie because this was an age my younger-self had always dreamed of. However, things are becoming rote and the formulas are getting stale. A horror based comic book superhero would definitely be something different in our current market. I hunger for more Blade and I hope Hollywood delivers.