Dungeon Classics #16: Blade II

FilmDungeon’s Chief Editor JK sorts through the Dungeon’s DVD-collection to look for old cult favorites….

Blade II (2002, Germany | USA)

Director: Guillermo del Toro
Cast: Wesley Snipes, Kris Kristofferson, Ron Perlman
Running Time: 117 mins.

The first Blade was extremely cool, Guillermo del Toro’s sequel is even better! It’s dark, gory, hyper tense and spectacular. The story revolves around a new breed of vampires – the reapers – who are way more dangerous and bloodthirsty than regular vampires (they even prey on them!). Also, they cannot be killed by silver, only by sunlight. Blade is gonna have a tough time facing these creatures, but he doesn’t stand alone. Whistler (Kristofferson), who somehow survived the first movie, is on his side. So is a group of elite warrior vampires known as the Bloodpack. But can Blade really trust his sworn enemies? Obviously not. The combined group of badasses travel to Eastern Europe to hunt down and exterminate the reapers. Expect hyper cool action and dark horror. Of the three Blade films, Wesley Snipes likes this one best. And right he is.

Dungeon Classics #15: Blade

FilmDungeon’s Chief Editor JK sorts through the Dungeon’s DVD-collection to look for old cult favorites….

Blade (1998, USA)

Director: Stephen Norrington
Cast: Wesley Snipes, Stephen Dorff, Kris Kristofferson
Running Time: 120 mins.

Things are happening in the vampire order. Some of the bloodthirsty creatures, led by the fiery Deacon Frost, want to become the world’s dominant species rather than living in secret. Who’s gonna stand against them? Well, that would be half-vampire and professional ass-kicker Blade! His mother was bitten by a vampire before he was born, therefore he has all of the vampires’ strengths but none of their weaknesses. Blade, portrayed by the formidable Wesley Snipes, is the daywalker. A vampire killer who goes out every night to hunt for wicked bloodsuckers with a whole arsenal of weapons. On his mission to prevent a vampire apocalypse, he is aided by the vengeful weapon-maker Whistler and blood-expert Karen who survived a vampire attack. Blade is certainly one of the coolest action-horrors of the nineties. The bloody special effects are kind of outdated, but due to Snipes’ perfect central performance, the stylish action and the comic book violence, this is still superb entertainment.

Not Quite Hollywood

Director: Mark Hartley
Written by: Mark Hartley
Features: Dan Burstall, Bob Ellis, Dennis Hopper, Russell Mulcahy

Year / Country: 2008, Australia / USA
Running Time: 99 mins.

The title Not Quite Hollywood is not a misnomer. The exploitation pictures that have been coming out of Australia since the early seventies are characterized by sleazy sex and cheap violence. This delicious story of OZploitation explores the realms of Australian B-cinema through interviews with key players from the industry as well as fans and critics like Quentin Tarantino.

Not Quite Hollywood is basically told in three segments; sex, horror and car movies. The first genre took off in the seventies when new freedoms were won and the strong censorship was cut down. Besides sex, sex, sex, this segment also treats some of the more commercial Australian export successes such as Stork and the Barry McKenzie movies, prime examples of bad taste. The films that came out in this time are placed in a cultural context. As one of the interviewees describes it: The movies were not about who Australians really were, but how they wanted the outside world to think they were.

The second part focuses mostly on horror films. Apart from absolute rubbish, some very competent horror films were made in Ozzy. The slasher Patrick was such a huge success that the Italians even made an unauthorized sequel called Patrick Vive Ancora. The final chapter is all about car movies such as the famous Mad Max, a genre the Australians do very well.

This film is the perfect pick for a beer night with your mates. The upbeat and often hilarious documentary not only entertains, but also provides many ideas for fun exploitation flicks to (re-)watch later on. If the whole Ozzy slang is unknown to you, subtitles are recommended.

Rating:

Biography: Mark Hartley has made Australian B-cinema his specialty. After directing several documentaries / making-offs on classic Australian cult movies, he made the ultimate documentary about OZploitation called Not Quite Hollywood. He is also Australia’s busiest music video maker, directing over 150 promos for local and international artists including Powderfinger, The Living End, Sophie Monk, The Cruel Sea and Joe Cocker.

Filmography (a selection): A Date with Destiny (1990, short) / Which Way Did They Go, Skip (2003, short doc) / Turkey Shoot: Blood and Thunder Memories (2003, short doc) / Meet the Team: The Making of ‘The Club’ (2003, short doc) / ‘Fantasm’ Penetrated (2004, short doc) / Puttin’ on the Show: The Making of ‘Starstruck’ (2004, short doc) / A Dream Within a Dream: The Making of ‘Picnic at Hanging Rock’ (2004, doc) / Crashing the Party: The Making of ‘Don’s Party’ (2005, doc) / Thrills and Nuclear Spills: The Making of ‘The Chain Reaction’ (2005, short doc) / Jaws on Trotters: The Making of ‘Razorback’ (2005, doc) / The Adventures of Bazza in Chunderland: The Making of ‘The Adventures of Barry McKenzie’ (2007, doc) / Not Quite Hollywood (2008, doc).