Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust

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Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust
Vampire-hunter-d-poster.jpg
Film poster
Japanese吸血鬼ハンターD ブラッドラスト
HepburnBanpaia Hantā Dī: Buraddorasuto
Directed byYoshiaki Kawajiri
Produced byMataichirō Yamamoto
Masao Maruyama
Takayuki Nagasawa
Written byYoshiaki Kawajiri
Uncredited:
Brian Irving[1]
English Version:
Ellen Moore
Jack Fletcher
Based onVampire Hunter D: Demon Deathchase
by Hideyuki Kikuchi
StarringPamela Segall
John DiMaggio
Dwight Schultz
Andy Philpot
Music byMarco D'Ambrosio
CinematographyHitoshi Yamaguchi
Edited byHarutoshi Ogata
Satoshi Terauchi
Kashiko Kimura
Yukiko Itō
Production
company
Distributed byNippon Herald Films[2]
Release date
  • July 2000 (2000-07) (Fantasia Fest)
  • April 21, 2001 (2001-04-21) (Japan)[2]
Running time
102 minutes[1]
CountryJapan
United States[1]
LanguageEnglish
Box office$151,086

Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust (吸血鬼ハンターD ブラッドラスト Banpaia Hantā Dī: Buraddorasuto) is a 2000 anime dark fantasy[3] film produced by Madhouse, Film Link International, BMG Japan, Movic, Good Hill Vision, and Soft Capital. It was written, directed and storyboarded by Yoshiaki Kawajiri, with Yutaka Minowa designing the characters, Yūji Ikehata serving as art director and designing the setting, and Marco D'Ambrosio composing the music. The film is based on the third novel of Hideyuki Kikuchi's Vampire Hunter D series, Demon Deathchase.

The film began production in 1997 and was completed with the intention of being shown in American theaters. It was shown in twelve theaters across the United States and received generally positive reception from American critics.

Plot[edit]

Charlotte, a young woman, is abducted by Baron Meier Link, a vampire nobleman who is known not to harm humans needlessly. Charlotte's father, Elbourne, hires D, a dhampir, to find her and rescue her, and alternatively, kill her humanely if she's been turned into a vampire. He offers D $500,000 as a down payment, and offers him $10,000,000 if he carries out the job. D has Elbourne double the payment, and agrees to search for Charlotte.

At the same time, Charlotte's older brother hires another group of vampire hunters, the notorious Marcus brothers, composed of the leader Borgoff, a hulking man named Nolt, a blade master named Kyle, a physically disabled psychic named Grove and a woman named Leila who hunts vampires because of a personal grudge rather than for monetary gain. The two parties (D and the Marcus brothers) race inexorably after Meier Link in which they learn that Charlotte chose to run away with Link, who is her lover.

Meier Link hires the mutant Barbarois; a group of lethal mercenary body guards. They consist of Caroline, a shape shifter; Benge, a shadow manipulator; and Machira, a werewolf. Nolt is killed by Benge, enraging the Marcus Brothers who confront the Barbarois in their home territory. Grove causes a large ruckus using his psychic powers and D is trapped in a void that Benge creates. The Marcus Brothers then avenged Nolt by killing Benge but their truck is wrecked. They, and D, arrive at a small town to replenish supplies and Leila attempts to turn the town against D for nursing her against her will.

During daytime, the carriage stops to rest and Charlotte wanders where she meets D and Leila. The two fight against Caroline while Machira escapes with the carriage, but D is later incapacitated due to absorbing too much sunlight. Leila survives only by chance when lightning struck Caroline and she takes shelter with D. Leila reveals that vampires killed her mother and holds a grudge against them while D admits that this is the only lifestyle he can pursue. The two make a pact to visit each other's graves upon who dies first. She remarks that D will likely be the only person who will visit hers.

The Marcus Brothers trap Link's carriage on a bridge intending to use a pincer attack with explosives. Machira uses his death as a ruse to re-route the explosives and kills Kyle, forcing Borgoff to jump off the bridge and into the explosives. However, he survives the fall. Link and Charlotte reaches the Castle of Chaythe where Carmilla awaits them while Machira stays behind to fight D but is killed.

It is now revealed that Link and Charlotte has reached out to Carmilla in the hopes that they can fly to the City of the Night, in space. However, Carmilla, revealed to be a powerful ghost that haunts the castle, turns against the couple by killing Link and using Charlotte's blood to revive herself. Once revived, she uses hallucinations to haunt D, Borgoff, and Leila. D is unaffected and saves Leila from her hallucinations but Borgoff is tricked and turned; Grove sacrifices his life to kill Borgoff, saving Leila's life. D confronts Carmilla and kills her ghost and her corpse. Her corpse is revived a second time, only to be permanently killed by a revived Link. D initially fights Link to rescue Charlotte but quickly learns that she is dead. At this news, both D and Leila allow Link to take her corpse to the City of the Night while Leila allows D to take the reward. All three part in peace.

Decades later, a funeral is held for Leila with a crowd attending. Among the crowd is Leila's granddaughter who recognizes D from a distance and invites him to the funeral, but D, mostly glad that Leila was wrong about nobody being at her funeral, smiles and leaves.

Cast[edit]

Character English Voice Actor Japanese Voice Actor
D Andy Philpot Hideyuki Tanaka
Meier Link John Rafter Lee Kōichi Yamadera
Leila Pamela Segall Megumi Hayashibara
Akiko Yajima (Young)
Charlotte Elbourne Wendee Lee Emi Shinohara
D's Left Hand Mike McShane Ichirō Nagai
Carmilla Julia Fletcher Beverly Maeda
Borgoff Matt McKenzie Yūsaku Yara
Nolt John DiMaggio Ryūzaburō Ōtomo
Kyle Alex Fernandez Houchu Ohtsuka
Grove Jack Fletcher Seki Toshihiko
Polk John Hostetter Takeshi Aono
Sheriff John DiMaggio Rikiya Koyama
Benge Dwight Schultz Keiji Fujiwara
Caroline Mary Elizabeth McGlynn Yōko Sōmi
Machira John DiMaggio Rintarou Nishi
John Elbourne Motomu Kiyokawa
Alan Elbourne John DeMita Koji Tsujitani
Leila's Granddaughter Debi Derryberry Mika Kanai
Priest John DiMaggio Unshō Ishizuka
Old Man of Barbarois Dwight Schultz Chikao Ōtsuka
D's Mother N/A Chiharu Suzuka

Production[edit]

Yoshitaka Amano created the design for the main character in Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust.

The idea for a new Vampire Hunter D film came after there was a fan demand to make a follow-up to Vampire Hunter D (1985).[4] Hideyuki Kikuchi was also in favor of this as he had often complained about the "cheapness" in the look of the original film.[4] Plans for a new film started in 1997 by director Yoshiaki Kawajiri and production company Madhouse.[4] Producer Mataichirō Yamamoto wanted to pick up the rights to Madhouse's Wicked City.[5] During the discussion about Wicked City, Yamamoto heard about the new Vampire Hunter D film and wanted to not only get involved with video distribution, but in production and possible theatrical release in America.[5]

The story of Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust is based on the third novel in Kikuchi's series D - Demon Deathchase.[5] The main character's design is by artist Yoshitaka Amano.[6] Amano's art style was matched for the rest of the characters in the film by animation director Yutaka Minowa.[6] The animation for the film was created in the Madhouse Studios in Tokyo while the post-production work was done in California. The English soundtrack for the film was recorded in 1999 before the Japanese dialogue was finished.[6] The film's title of Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust was a last-minute decision to distinguish it from the first film.[7]

Release[edit]

Theatrical[edit]

To promote the film, a two-and-a-half-minute-long trailer was finished in 1998 and was shown at American anime fan conventions.[6] A work-in-progress print was shown in 2000 at the Fantasia Film Festival in July in Montreal and at the New York Anime Film Festival in October 2000.[6]

The completed version of the film was only released theatrically in an English-language version. On its Japanese theatrical release, it was subtitled in Japanese.[7] It premiered in on September 23, 2001, in America where it played in six theaters. It grossed $25,521 in this run and $151,086 in total, making it the highest-grossing Japanese film ever in a language other than Japanese.[7]

Home video[edit]

Urban Vision released the movie on DVD and VHS on February 12, 2002,[8][better source needed] and then on February 3, 2015, Discotek Media announced their license to release the movie for Blu-ray on September 8, 2015 and DVD on September 22, 2015, however, due to licensing restrictions, all releases have the original English audio only.[9]

In Japan, the film was released on DVD on December 19, 2001, by Avex Entertainment with both English and Japanese audio.[10][better source needed]

Reception[edit]

The film received generally favorable reviews from American critics, it received a rating of 62 on the website Metacritic.[11] The Chicago Reader gave a favorable review of the film, referring to it as a "gorgeously animated surrealist adventure".[12] The New York Daily News referred to the film as "Beautiful, witty and provocative" and that it should "appeal to fans and non-fans alike".[11] The San Francisco Chronicle praised the director Yoshiaki Kawajiri stating that he "has a gift for striking visuals" but also noted that "his story manages to be simultaneously thin and chaotic."[13]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Browning, 2010. p.26
  2. ^ a b バンパイアハンターD (in Japanese). Japanese Cinema Database. Retrieved July 6, 2012.
  3. ^ Alspector, Lisa. "Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust". Chicago Reader. Retrieved February 5, 2019.
  4. ^ a b c Patten, 2004. p.342
  5. ^ a b c Patten, 2004. p.343
  6. ^ a b c d e Patten, 2004. p.344
  7. ^ a b c Patten, 2004. p.341
  8. ^ "Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust - Amazon.com". Amazon.com. Retrieved 2015-02-03.
  9. ^ "Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust". Facebook. 2015-02-03.
  10. ^ "バンパイアハンターD(劇場公開バージョン) [DVD]". Amazon (in Japanese). ASIN B00005R6AB. Retrieved 2015-02-03.
  11. ^ a b "Critic Reviews for Vampire Hunter D at Metacritic". Metacritic. Retrieved August 5, 2011.
  12. ^ Alspector, Lisa. "Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust". Chicago Reader. Retrieved August 5, 2011.
  13. ^ Guthmann, Edward (October 5, 2001). "FILM CLIPS". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved August 5, 2011.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]