Written by: Michael Den Boer on March 13th, 2011
Theatrical Release Date: Japan, 2009
Director: Ten Shimoyama
Writer: Shigenori Takechi
Cast: Aya Sugimoto, Guts Ishimatsu, Jun Kaname, Satoshi Matsuda, Hidejiro Mizumoto, Yuri Morishita, Atsushi Narasaka, Rin Sakuragi, Harumi Sone, Masahiro Sudo, Kanji Tsuda, Sayo Yamaguchi
DVD released: March 15th, 2011
Approximate running time: 86 Minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1 Japanese, Dolby Digital Stereo Japanese
DVD Release: Well Go USA
Region Coding: Region 1 NTSC
Retail Price: $24.98
Synopsis: A detective, who is investigating a cold case that is about to expire. Becomes entangled in a centuries old feud between two estranged vampire lovers.
Blood was directed by Ten Shimoyama (Blood Heat, Shinobi). The screenplay for Blood was written by Shigenori Takechi (Deadly Outlaw: Rekka). The cinematographer on Blood was Gen Kobayashi (Uzumaki).
Vampires have been one of the most durable characters in the history of cinema. And while over the years there have been some alterations to Bram Stoker’s iconic take on vampires, Dracula. These alterations / modernizations of the vampire character, still retain the majority of Dracula’s DNA. With the emphasis in more recent years being focused on sexuality.
Case in point Blood, a film that is anchored by a love triangle. At the center of this love triangle are two vampires. Miyako an affluent woman, who’s maid’s murderer was never found. Her former lover Ukyo a samurai, who finds himself the lead suspect in the death of the aforementioned maid. And a detective named Hoshino, who becomes entangled in their web of deceit.
Even though the premise is strong enough. The execution of the story at hand is far from a smooth ride. With this film peaking by the end of its first act. Then things quickly get bogged down when the film starts to rely heavily on its elaborate action sequences and ritualistic sex scenes. Another area where this film often stumbles is its inability to effortlessly mix genres. This film is literally a melting pot of genres, horror, erotica and martial arts.
There are few areas in which this film does succeed. Like it’s stylish cinematography that lends itself to this film’s gothic vibe. With the other major asset that this film has is its voluptuous leading lady Aya Sugimoto (Takashi Ishii’s Flower and Snake and Flower and Snake 2). She has a strong psychical presence that more than makes up for her limited range as an actress. The only other performance of note is Sayo Yamaguchi in the role of Miyako’s ass kicking mute servant girl. Ultimately Blood is a mild entertaining mix of sexy vampires and bloody action set pieces.
Well Go USA presents Blood in an anamorphic widescreen that preserves the film’s original aspect ratio. Colors look vibrant, flesh tones look healthy and black levels looks constantly good. There are no problems with compression and the image remains stable throughout.
This release comes with two audio options, a Dolby Digital 5.1 mix in Japanese and a Dolby Digital Stereo mix in Japanese. Also included with this release are removable English subtitles. Both audio tracks are clear and balanced throughout. Both tracks do a good job range wise with the more ambient aspects of the soundtrack. With the music and effects benefiting most from these audio mixes.
Extras for this release are limited to trailers for other titles also available from Well Go USA. Overall Blood gets a strong audio / video presentation from Well Go USA.