Everybody loves vampires, right? Over the last few years we have had to contend with more bloodsucking parasites than a Mosquito Rally. Everybody loves sex, right? Well not your partner, that goes without saying. But most of us like a little flesh from time to time, especially when it covers the inner workings of a beautiful Asian actress. Everybody loves martial arts movies, right? Again, perhaps not everybody, but chances are you’re the kind of person that likes to kick back with a sprinkling of kick-ass every now and then.
Vampires, sex and martial arts, sounds like a fan(g)tastic night in to me (I’m not proud of that one). Ten Shimoyama calls the shots, and being a big fan of his martial arts fantasy Shinobi I was really looking forward to this. The question remains however, will an evening with Blood leave you feeling cold, or is it a bite worth taking? Sounded a bit like Anne Robinson for a moment there…
Investigating the murder of a maid, Detective Hoshino interrogates her beautiful and seductive employer Miyako Romberk. She also happens to be a blood-sucking demon from Hell (they prefer vampire). The beautiful and seductive Miyako wastes no time in shifting the blame, pointing her undead finger at Ukyo, and yes you got there before me, he also happens to be a blood-sucking demon from… vampire. Hoshino infiltrates Ukyo's den and witnesses him hungrily feeding on an innocent young victim, an innocent ‘naked’ young victim. Thought that might get your attention.
Not only is Ukyo a vampire, turns out he’s also a highly trained Samurai, well a vampire’s got to do something to pass the time, it’s not all about blood baths and hanging around. To further complicate proceedings, Ukyo once bumped uglies with Miyako, thus beginning an afterlife of murder, mayhem and avoiding Mass on Sundays. But soon Hoshino is converted too, he’s a horny little devil as it turns out, and the two love-struck monstrosities battle it out over the beautiful and seductive temptress, Miyako. There’s also a case to solve, but mostly it’s just about the sex. So lets start there…
When it comes to erotic filmmaking, Ten Shimoyama’s Blood is about as exciting as a late night channel five movie starring Shannon Tweed. I know it’s got sex in it, but do they really need a guy with a saxophone in every scene? I’m kidding, he’s not actually in the movie, it’s not like he’s standing by the bed or anything. That would be ridiculous. The screen turns blue, quite literally, and the two characters romp on the same four-poster bed over and over. It’s the kind of filmmaking Tony Scott would be proud of, blue filters and slow-mo, but without the obligatory gunfire and explosions. Which is a real shame if you ask me.
The martial arts scenes are handled well enough, but they’re nothing special, and some of the wirework and CGI effects are laughable. The performances are one-note too, delivered with as much passion as a McDonalds Happy Meal. Being a vampire clearly sucks (again, not proud) because everybody is so damn miserable. They mope around the mansion talking like stage actors, trying not to smile, desperately avoiding the guy with the woodwind instrument. Story-wise, Blood is nothing to write home about either, amounting to little more than two guys fighting over a dead girl. The mystery aspect is little more than an afterthought.
Mixing sex, violence and vampires, Ten Shimoyama’s Blood occasionally hits the spot, but there’s nothing here that we haven’t seen before, and is it just me or did they both choose the wrong girl?
Review: Adam Wing