Vampire Hunter D
I had heard good thing about this movie and rented it with moderate to high expectations. It has a fair number of fans and looked like a potentially good gothic horror flick.
Its positive reputation, however, did little to alleviate the tedium of actually watching it. Vampire Hunter D shouldn't really be referred to as a horror title. Aside from a gothic introduction, the rest is mainly action with a few vampire cliches and creepy monsters thrown in for good measure.
The story takes place in the distant future where technology has taken a large step backwards. The world is shrouded in a veil of medieval times and twisted forms of life have risen preying on humankind. One such human, a young girl named Doris, has been victimized by a deadly vampire Count Magnus. Only a mysterious vampire hunter known as D intervenes to help her.
Character-wise this movie really disappoints. Conceptually, D is a pretty cool character. But it terms of personality, he's just plain uninteresting. I've said it before and I'll say it again. Emotionless, brooding heroes are usually boring and this case is no exception. Give me someone I want to cheer for. The supporting cast is equally weak. Doris plays the roll of the damsel-in-distress, Dan is the impressionable youth, and Magnus is the stereotypical arch villain. The only character I actually liked was Lamika (Magnus's daughter), because she was someone I felt sympathetic towards. It's a shame I didn't care about anyone else.
The movie is an older title and the visuals reflect that fact. The animation is nothing to write home about, but the artwork itself isn't too bad in some scenes. The landscapes at the end of the movie were very nice. The dubbing was fairly solid, given the age of this movie. Of course, the fact that Streamline originally only released a dub didn't give fans much of a choice.
As a horror movie, Vampire Hunter D is a failure. As a pseudo-horror action flick it barely makes it. If you're looking for a good vampire tale, watch Vampire Princess Miyu instead. On the other hand, if you don't mind a cheesy vampire movie with lots of action, then you might like Vampire Hunter D.
The Verdict: * * 1/2 (below average)
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