How Blade Saved the Comic Book Movie

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Called box office bombs or campy kid fare, the leather-clad vampire slayer Blade has revitalized the comic book movie genre.

It’s been over 20 years since the release of Blade, and while the dark and bloody story of Marvel’s first vampire slayer is by no means a perfect film, its impact on audiences is undeniable. The 1998 comic book movies had yet to find solid ground. And it will be several years before many of the genre’s standard conventions become mainstays. Noir-esque Tim Burton Batman to the children of Richard Donner Superman, moviegoers suffered from tonal whiplash. Worse still, given the critical and commercial failure of both batman and robin and Steel the previous year, the genre was quickly becoming a laughingstock. It’s up to Blade came with.


Although it may remind audiences today The Batman, Blade’s introduction to the film remains one of the best – and most familiar – opening scenes of a superhero movie to date. Unlike the titular hero, audiences are first introduced to a boring stereotype of a party animal and his scantily clad date as he walks through town. The man has no idea where they are heading until they reach a deserted meatpacking plant and the underground club below. Blade quickly turns into a horror movie; as the camera pans over the crowded space and its harsh strobe lights, blood begins to rain from the ceiling.


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Trapped in a scene that would rival Carrie and understandably terrified, the film’s potential victim literally stumbles upon their hero. As soon as Blade arrives, the film transforms from horror flick to mind-blowing action worthy of its R rating. In his clean leather clothes and black sunglasses, Blade (Wesley Snipes) mows down a vampire after the other until all that’s left is the human man and the clumsy vampire, Quinn (Donal Louge). In one of the silliest moments in the film, Blade briefly celebrates his victory by raising his fist. Quickly burned, Quinn unknowingly survives and is taken to the hospital.


It is here where Blade briefly revisits its horror movie feel. While arguing with her co-worker and former boyfriend and attempting to revive Quinn, hematologist Doctor Karen Jenson (N’Bushe Wright) is attacked. A badly burned Quinn leaps up, nearly ripping out his colleague’s throat and leaving him gasping on the floor before setting his sights on Karen. After being bitten, she is saved by Blade, who remembers her presumed dead mother.

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The audience then meets Abraham Whistler (Kris Kristofferson), who heals Karen and later explains Blade’s origins. Blade’s mother was bitten while pregnant with him, cursing her son with vampiric abilities and bloodlust. Whistler, finding the boy on the street and taking pity on him, invented a serum to suppress his bloodlust. With all of a vampire’s strengths and all but one of his weaknesses, Blade is known to vampires as a “daywalker”. And he intends to destroy Deacon Frost – the vampire who killed his mother – and all vampires.


In addition to intense action sequences and gory fun, Blade offers audiences subtle social commentary in its portrayal of Frost and the rest of the vampire council. Reminding audiences of a board of directors of Fortune 500 executives, young Frost is meant to represent those new faces enriched by the tech boom of the late 90s. racial – as well as socio-economic inequality. These important themes — interspersed with blood-splattered action, classic ’90s freshness, and heartbreaking deaths — make the film worth watching today.

Moreover, the fans’ love for Blade has not decreased. The character is rumored to return in the upcoming Marvel Cinematic Universe Halloween special. night werewolf. And while the exact scope of Blade’s role in the special remains unclear, fans are thrilled.


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