Made in 2000, Blood: The Last Vampire could easily be boiled down to "emo Buffy" but it's actually a little more original and interesting than that. Something of a cult hit, this is one of those rare instances when the anime feature inspired a manga, a game and an anime series as well as a live-action film, not the other way around.
The film is set in the late 60's and follows a demon slayer called Saya (voiced by Youki Kudoh) as she goes on a new mission to get rid of a handful of bat-like monsters near a US air base in Japan. The blood-thirsty demons can make themselves look like humans, which is a pain, but luckily she can kind of sense when someone's one of them in disguise. She goes undercover as a high-school student to investigate the potential ghouls and, just as a costumed Halloween party gets underway at the school, she finds and pursues those monsters all around the nearby air base. A witness to the crazy events is the school nurse who is dragged kicking and screaming into this whole thing and is mostly a liability throughout the movie. Though her constant disbelief at what she's witnessing is pretty fun at times. The film looks very cool, boasts terrific animation and its desaturated, slick look really helps create a cold, funeral-style vibe which fits the doomed aspect of the characters involved and the time during which the film is set (pre-Vietnam War).
There's not too much to say about this one seeing as it's rather short (45mins) and feels more like a pilot episode for something bigger. That said, you're never bored during the film and you get more than enough action, blood and gore to keep you entertained during those 45 minutes. I mean, it's a sword-wielding vampire Buffy who looks like Thora Birch, what's not to like? The film is pretty straight-forward and should satisfy fans of anime and fans of vampire movies even if many will be left wanting more. Directed by Hiroyuki Kitakubo, mostly known for his work in Robot Carnival, Roujin Z and goofy 6-part anime series Golden Boy (review of that one coming soon), Blood: The Last Vampire was his darkest venture and became a cult hit very quickly. It didn't re-invent the vampire movie genre or anything but it provided us with a solid, relatively unique take on a familiar theme plus a new kickass heroine with no sense of humour whatsoever.
All in all, I do recommend Blood: The Last Vampire, it's a short but worthy watch with some great visuals, some very good ideas and a compelling yet simple little plot you'll want to see come to its bittersweet conclusion.
Short and sweet.