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Sometimes it takes one to kill one. 

Year: 1998 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1 (Scope) 
Certificate: BBFC 18 Cert – Not suitable for under 18s 
Subtitles: The level of subtitling in this film is unknown to WSC 
Directed by Stephen Norrington 
Starring: Wesley Snipes, Stephen Dorff, Kris Kristofferson  
An image from Blade

Blade tells the story of the eponymous hero (Snipes), who is a half-vampire half-human hybrid. He has all of the vampires' strengths but none of their weaknesses, and with the help of his mentor Whistler (Kristofferson) he’s become the scourge of the undead. However, times are changing. A power struggle in the vampire world has led to the rise of the ruthless Deacon Frost (Dorff). With visions of a vampiric empire, Frost has gone in search of an ancient supernatural power which will bring about the end of the world as we know it. There is only one man who can stop him…

Blade was a big hit when it came out, spawning a TV series and two sequels; the excellent Blade 2 directed by Guillermo del Toro and Blade Trinity (the less said about that the better). The reason for this success is that the film maintains a great sense of fun throughout. Every location is both surreal and memorable and there’s always another stunning action sequence around the next corner. You’ll never get bored of seeing Blade tear through legions of vampires with a Samurai sword like Buffy on steroids.

Wesley Snipes is great as Blade, exuding cool at every opportunity. Stephen Dorff also puts in a standout performance as his adversary, Frost. Reckless and charismatic, he plays off the stoic Blade perfectly. Their final showdown is one of the most memorable moments in the series.

With vampires, Samurai swords and the coolest sunglasses on film, Blade has all you could want from a comic book action film. If you think vampires got off too lightly in Twilight then come and see Blade even the score.

George Marshall


Blade (Snipes) is a natural born vampire who fights his destiny with the aid of a serum concocted by veteran vampire hunter Whistler (Kristofferson) and spends his waking hours wiping out the undead race responsible for his fate (his mother was bitten while pregnant). When haematologist (N'Bushe Wright) falls into his path, she becomes our guide to the so called 'real' world where vampiric megalomaniac Deacon Frost (Dorff) is hatching a plot that involves destroying the existing vampire hierarchy, resurrecting a blood god, world domination, etc, etc. There's actually a surprisingly workable plot here which is played out with a mixture of the familiar and the relatively new, but it's not important in the face of the pyrotechnics and make-up effects.

As with The Crow, the film trades heavily on the appearance of its central character, in this case the immaculately clad and buffed Snipes, supporting leather coat, body armour and a range of deadly weapons, and is fun, but only if you're able to make allowances for the level of violent action and general bloodshed. It's all done in the most unreal style possible, so few should run the risk of mistaking this for reality, but there are probably those prone to offence who will find this offensive. But how can you hate a movie where the hero decapitates a villain in order to retrieve his super-cool sunglasses as they tumble through the air?

Blade, adapted from the Marvel comic strip, is the best fun with vampires since From Dusk Till Dawn and fits nicely into both the action and horror genres, with decent performances from Dorff and Snipes as two slightly unhinged characters with hidden agendas.


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Screenings of this film:

1998/1999 Spring Term (35mm)
1998/1999 Spring Term (35mm)
2002/2003 Autumn Term (35mm)