HUNTER D: BLOODLUST- reviewed by
Mark Vallen ©
Hunter D - Bloodlust
at it's Premier on August 24th 2001 at the world famous
Hollywood Egyptian Theatre. Based on the novel by
production from the prestigious Madhouse
Studio of Japan is a retelling of the original Vampire
Hunter D anime classic. Director Yoshiaki
Kawajiri (Wicked City, Lensman)
has crafted a Gothic Vampire story the likes of which
film buffs have never seen before, and the medium
of animation grandly brings to life on the silver
screen a vision impossible to replicate as live action.
the film, the wealthy Elbourne
family contracts the services of bounty hunters
to rescue their kidnapped Daughter Charlotte
from the clutches of an Aristocratic Vampire named
Meier Link. The
Elbourne's hire a motley crew of Professional Vampire
Killers (the Markus Brothers)
to track down Meier. To assure success, the Elbournes
also employ D,
a mysterious and much feared Dunpeal
(a Human - Vampire half-breed).
bounty hunters race against each other to see who
can first overtake Meier and recapture the lovely
Charlotte. No one realizes that Charlotte has willingly
run away with Meier and that the two are lovers.
the chase, the hunters become the hunted.
of Demons loyal to Meier), do everything within their
power to stop the aggresive bounty hunters, and their
malevolent interference provides some of the films
best moments. From the seductive Caroline
(who shape shifts into a deadly tree), to the pale
and Marilyn Manson-like Benge
(who can turn himself into a shadow), the Barbarois
are outrageous villains worthy of being cast in a
Kawajiri's "Bloodlust" mixes the
Romantic Gothic Vampire stories of Anne
Rice, the futuristic apocalyptic visions
of George Miller
(Road Warrior), and the Italian Spaghetti Westerns
of Sergio Leone
(The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly).
makes for one "over the top" anime action
film... yet, "Bloodlust" is also infused
with the sensibilities of the shoujo
genre (girl's manga or anime). Most of the male characters
are oddly attractive, and D
just might be the ultimate bishounen (beautiful
boy). Lonely, forelorn, and devastatingly handsome,
the undead anti-hero possesses human compassion and
The Producer of Vampire Hunter is Yamamoto
Mataichiro, who gave us the shoujo animated
classic, The Rose of Versailles.
The fast paced, action oriented storyline of Vampire
Hunter is combined with stunningly imaginative character
designs, background paintings, and superlative animation.
While certainly not on the level of Bram
Stokerís Dracula, Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust
does add a new twist to the genre of Vampire
movies... and for that alone it is worthy of praise.