Directed by: Yoshiaki Kawajiri Written by: Yoshiaki Kawajiri (screenplay)Hideyuki Kikuchi (novel D - yousatsukou) Starring the voice talents of: Andrew Philpot, John Rafter Lee, Pamela Segall, Wendee Lee, Michael McShane, Julia DeMita (as Julia Fletcher), Matt McKenzie, John Di Maggio, Alex Fernández, Jack Fletcher, John Hostetter, Dwight Schultz, and Mary Elizabeth McGlynn. Produced by: Masao Maruyama and Mataichiro Yamamoto. Original music by: Marco D'Ambrosio. Art Direction by: Yuji Ikehata.
Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust has got to be one of the biggest surprises of this reviewer's cinematic year. While I was expecting something . . . dare I say? . . . "kewl," what I got was something . . . awesome. Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust is a movie which is going to give some real competition to Shrek and Atlantis: the Lost Continent, (Disney's annual entry in the genre of "White man comes to strange, exotic place and finds strange, exotic female who would be White, too, except that Management said to make her look 'ethnic'" animation) for the Oscar(TM) in the new category of "Best Animated Feature."
A 2000 remake of 1985's Kyűketsuki Hunter D, Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust is about a half-vampire/half-human vampire hunter called "D," who is offered $20,000,000 to rescue the daughter of a gazillionaire from the clutches of one of the world's last vampires, after hunters have exterminated most of the world's remaining vampires or driven them into . . . outer space. Yes, folks, this neo-spaghetti-western cum neo-Gothic horror story is a science fiction film, and not just any type of science fiction film, but a romance story! Remarkably, it succeeds on all of these levels.
The artwork in Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust is breath-taking, the story is a deeply moving one of forbidden love, ecological disaster, star-crossed lovers, and so on (plenty of Aristotelean pathos here for you students in dire need of something new and original to review for your Literature classes), the premises all make sense once one's disbelief has been temporarily suspended. In a word, Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust is a GREAT movie.
In the U.S.A. the film has an "R" rating ("Restricted, no one under 17 allowed without parent or adult guardian), and I am certain that the gore in it gave the British censors convulsions when they were asked to give it a ratings certificate, so let me state here and now, that I, the world's great anti-censor, absolutely, positively warn you: Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust is emphatically NOT for children!!! Any child who could watch this film and not be completely freaked out probably has a mother named "Rosemary," or a Ouija(TM) board buddy named "Captain Howdy." (If you do not understand these references, under no circumstances whatsoever should you bring a child to any horror movie.)
With the rise in theater ticket prices and the growing international audience of our page, our old NW2: Not Worth $2 (U. S. dollars) to W8: Worth $8 rating scale has become less useful than previously, so, in line with the scale used by the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) we have adopted a scale of 1 star to 10 stars, with "1 Star" being a VERY bad movie, and "10 Stars" being a movie classic. Our On-Line Reviewer, however, has gone where IMDb has never gone before: he has added a score of Zero for those movies which are so bad that they are not even good "camp" -- movies so bad that not even "Mystery Science Theater 3000" could could make them worth watching.
On this scale, anything rated "7 Stars" or above is definitely worth the cost of a theater ticket, "8 Stars" is worth standing in line to buy a ticket, "9 Stars" is worth standing in line in a driving rain rainstorm or severe heatwave or moderate windstorm to buy a ticket, and "10 Stars" is a movie worth driving hundreds of miles to go see -- at least in Dr. Shea's own opinion. Accordingly,