People seem to get confused when one mentions Vampire Hunter D because if theyve heard of it, chances are theyve heard of the second one, Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust. This, however, is Bloodlusts predecessor the movie that gave D the Dunpeal vampire hunter life.
Its dark. Quiet The only light from the moon and stars. Doris, a young girl who is out hunting down a few demons, strays too far and finds herself in the domain of a very old vampire named Count Magnus Lee. Bad mistake.
Not too long afterwards, she meets D, a half human, half vampire who is traveling along minding his own business. However, D is also a vampire hunter very lucky for poor Doris, whos been bitten by Magnus and is now to become his bride (as the usual story goes for us young women). She hires D to kill Magnus. It sounds simple enough here, except that Magnuss castle is filled with freaky demons, Magnuss daughter Lamika would like nothing more than to kill Doris, and Magnus himself has a couple of tricks up his sleeve when it comes to taking out D for good.
So who will live? Who will die? A few might take you for a loop when it comes to these questions, no one is spared. But if D is only half vampire, how the heck is supposed to kill a full vampire whos been around for thousands of years?
Ok, now this movie is a straight out 3 star movie. The animation was not that good, but I am able to overlook that fairly easily given when this was made (way back when, folks), so it looks a lot like it should for that time period even though I thought that Lamika and Doris were both ugly, Doris looked slightly better with her hair down. Plot? The plot was okay. I mean, to me right now theres really nothing new about a vampire wanting a bride, and what with the old Dracula tale, I dont think it was all that new when this was made. What made it more unique were the characters. D especially with the whole look he had going on, and both he and Lamika are vampire offspring, which usually doesnt happen (seeing as vampires are dead and all).
So what sucked? Oh good gravy the music! I dont know if they kept the music from the Japanese version on the English dub, and even if thats the case, its still horrible. Its so anti-climactic all the time even in places where it needed to be dramatic. The music drove me nuts and needed serious replacement. Also, the pacing of this movie was pretty bad. It was really hard to pinpoint just what the deal was because its over an hour long, and was long enough to have things happen just the way they needed to, but there were just some odd bits in there It was choppy. It jumped in the ways of time. It just seemed really uneven so that for its length, it seemed like it was moving way too fast. And yet as a whole, I suppose because of the lack of action for the most part, it seemed amazingly slow. Its got to be the weirdest time warp Ive ever felt while watching a movie.
Voice actors? Sadly, I had the dub, and while most of them were fairly good, Ds voice drove me nuts. I kept thinking of Lion-O from Thundercats. Having seen Bloodlust I wondered what D would be like here. I wasnt happy. In Bloodlust he was more emotionless, monotone, but it really worked (I mean, look at the guy). Here he sounded, well, normal. And D is obviously far from normal. Though his actions in the movie itself denoted a more emotional side of D, his voice still didnt work well with it.
There is some nudity and swearing, and buckets of blood and decapitation (entrails, brains exploding, things getting sliced completely in half, you name it), so dont let kids watch this movie. Its really not up their alley. At all. You, older and more mature as you are, can. Its at least worth it to see D in his early years.
Oh, and no we still dont get to find out just where that weird face in Ds left hand came from, though it poses some interesting scenes in the movie. And its still a smart mouth (no pun intended).
Check out the newer (and better) Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust
Video Occasion: Good for a Rainy Day
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The DVD features both English and Japanese language soundtracks with optional English subtitles. It also has a documentary featurette, deleted footage, and an artwork gallery by Amano among its supplements. --Sean Axmaker
Based on the novel D-YOUSATSUKOU by Hideyuki Kikuchi, VAMPIRE HUNTER D follows the exploits of the mysterious vampire hunter known only as D. Half vampire himself (Count...