Some Brief Thoughts On The Film Blade

by coldglass

* The first time I saw this film was when I watched it on Sky round my mates house when I was 17. This is pretty much the optimal introduction to Blade.

* The opening scene is brilliantly done and encapsulates everything important about the main character. There are vampires, and dance music, and blood everywhere. Then Blade arrives. His arrival on screen is shown from the perspective of a battered, blood-soaked human lying at his feet – Blade appears suddenly, towering over him in his pristine leather coat and custom armour. The following fight scene shows off each of his weapons – guns, sword, stakes, glaive, fists and feet. He doesn’t say much, other than to make the occasional one-liner. The most telling thing is the way the vampires react when he appears – they’re afraid of him.

* It’s never actually referred to during the film itself, but the throwing blade weapon Blade uses is often called a glaive. This is presumably because it’s very similar to the glaive used in the film Krull. In reality a glaive is a kind of halberd, with a six foot shaft and an eighteen inch blade, and would probably be too unwieldy to use against a mob of vampires in an underground rave. Likewise his sword is often called a katana, despite being straight-bladed and double-edged.

* Originally the climax of the film involved Deacon Frost physically transforming into the vampire god La Magra, in the form of a giant blood monster. It was changed to show him instead becoming supernaturally powerful because it just didn’t work; it looks ridiculous. That might be partly because the special effects were only partly-complete when it was scrapped, but I doubt it – Wesley Snipes versus a big red blob is just plain silly.

* Where is this film supposed to be set, exactly? It looks like Los Angeles, but I don’t think it ever actually says so outright. Except when the elder Dragonetti is killed, the sun is rising over the sea, which seems like it would be difficult to arrange on the West Coast. And The Temple of Eternal Night seems to be fairly close to the city, but is supposedly hundreds of years old and looks a bit big to have been built by the nomadic hunter-gatherers who lived in California back then.

* The vampire council is initially angry with Deacon Frost because they think his activities risk drawing too much attention from the humans, but seeing as how Blade is able to go around openly armed to the teeth without anyone giving him a second glance they probably don’t need to worry so much. At one point he spends several minutes beating up a uniformed policeman on a crowded street in broad daylight; later on he ends up in a stand-off with Frost which ends with gunfire and a child being thrown across the street, again in a crowded public place. At no point do any of the people around them appear to notice anything awry.

* Apparently, when the film was first being developed they considered LL Cool J for the part of Blade. I think this was when they were thinking of something closer to the original comics though, supposedly Wesley Snipes was partly responsible for the emphasis on Hong Kong martial arts style. Something else we have him to thank for is the immortal line “Some motherfuckers are always trying to ice-skate uphill”. The director heard him saying it on set on day and decided to put it in the film.

* Aside from that, the best part of the script is the exchange “There are worse things out tonight than vampires” “Like what?” “Like me” *sheathes sword dramatically*