August 18, 2009

Bonus Flick: Blade

**Warning. This post contains spoilers about Wesley Snipes. Did you know, for example, that he is not just a black version of Stephen Segal? Could have fooled me.**

Last Saturday’s midnight movie was Blade, an innocent action movie staring Wesley Snipes as the eponymous half-undead vampire hunter who mows down creatures of the night like a Wayne Brady riff on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. This movie was a smash hit in 1998; it had all the automatic gunfire of Die Hard, half the plot, twice the stunts, and even a scene or two where Wesley Snipes smiles. Truly, it was a masterpiece of American cinema.

The movie starts out with an unsuspecting man being lured to a vampire rave party, where apparently all the partygoers are the vampire equivalent of hot chicks with douchebags. Blood starts coming out of the fire sprinklers because it’s not like it’s in short supply or anything, and then Blade shows up strapped with weapons, which he uses to fight an army of vampiro-mooks who are apparently huge fans of Daft Punk. Oh, and did I mention that half the guys at the party are on loan from the Roxbury?

Oh, and another note about this movie. There are more filmmaking errors than there are good lines of dialogue, and if you count every time Wesley Snipes mutters “muthafucka” under his breath as a good line of dialogue, that’s at least… three major mistakes. For example, Blade explains that vampires can only be killed by a wooden or silver stake through the heart. Nevertheless, whenever Blade hits any vampire with any weapon anywhere on their body, they instantly disintegrate as if they suddenly wanted to conquer Castle Greyskull.

Of course, like all weapons that shoot bullets made of weapons-grade yellowcake Plottanium, Blade’s +5 Keen Vorpal Gun of Mook Slaying only works when the plot allows it, even to the point where Blade’s friend Whistler, who is already critically injured, shoots himself in the head with Blade's supergun but somehow survives to BE IN THE SEQUEL.

Did I mention that the bad guy is essentially an unfunny psychotically evil version of Dane Cook?


Dane Cook and Deacon Frost—separated when they were turned into mindless self-serving vampires by the dark forces of Hollywood many years ago?

Blade soon rescues a damsel in distress, who, conveniently, is not only a hematologist but also an expert in experimental pharmacology and therefore has a degree in OMNISCIENCE. This rescue scene is a little suspect, though. Blade bursts into a hospital and opens fire. Guards show up and start shooting him. Then, when Blade jumps out a window after throwing the damsel into a dumpster, about twenty more hospital guards show up from nowhere with fully-automatic machine guns and fire at him as he flees. What the hell sort of hospital has guards with assault rifles, St. Schwarzenegger of the Micro-Uzi Memorial? I knew the HMOs were tough, but yeesh!

All the while evil Dane Cook has a plan to overthrow the ruling vampires by translating an untranslatable dead language using only his Walkman and a PowerBook G3, and then use that knowledge to make himself the king of all the vampires. When the PowerBook is finally done loading (with it's blindingly fast 32 MB of ram), the text turns into a graphic design program which depicts a special magical cavern which is conveniently in the same city. Somehow. Just go with it.

Meanwhile, Blade is fighting his way through wave after wave of vampire mooks trying to find somebody who knows anything about the plot. He fights a vampire peon named Quinn a few times, who even gets treated to the sandman face, a movie fighting maneuver in which the protagonist slams the antagonist's face into the side of an oncoming train with complete moral impunity, but even that won't get the plot moving. Just when it looks like the movie has totally crashed, the bad guys take the initiative, kidnap Blade, drag him to the magical showdown cavern, and kill him. Sorta.

I'd say the ending is awesome, if it weren't for the fact that when the Dane-Cook-cum-vampire-god character gets hit by Blade's special vampire poison, the words RULE 34 ran through my head like a thought train about to not only derail, but crash into a dynamite factory. The credits roll as Blade, who is somehow no longer critically wounded or addicted to "serum," walks onto the roof of a building and spots another vampire he should kill.

This movie is a GREAT midnight film. There are dozens of opportunities for theater snark, killer opportunities for drinking game mania, wild special effects, and Wesley Snipes. Though I won’t give this film a “Highly Recommended,” if you find yourself facing down a box of old VHS tapes, a fifth of bourbon, and fifteen-to-twenty of you closest friends, don’t pass this one up.

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