Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust

on September 28, 2008 by Tim Cogshell
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   With the 1985 release of the original "Vampire Hunter D," the gothic romanticism of author Hideyuki Kikuchi's series of classic vampire novels met the graphic action of Japanese Anime. It was a smash video hit, scoring again with its release to DVD in 2000, whetting the appetite of goth/anime fans for more. "Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust" is adapted from Volume 3 of the series, and it does not disappoint.

   In the middle of the night, the beautiful Charlotte Elbourne (voiced by Wendee Lee) is kidnapped by the notorious Vampire, Meier Link (John Rafter Lee). Her rich family immediately hires bounty hunters to bring her back. First they set the infamous Markus Brothers on the trail; then they offer the legendary Vampire Hunter D (Andrew Philpot) $20 million to bring Charlotte home--or kill her if she has been turned into one of the undead.

   The Markus Brother's crew includes Borgoff (Matt McKenzie), the oldest and leader of the clan; Nolt (John Dimaggio), the largest brother; Kyle (Alex Fernandez), an expert with knives; Grove (Jack Fletcher), whose ghost does his fighting for him; and Lelia (Pamela Segall), a girl on a mission to kill every Vampire she can find. D, as he is referred to in the film, is a special kind of Vampire Hunter, a Dunpeel--half-vampire, half-human. No one trusts him, and his only companion is a parasitic entity in the shape of a face on his left hand. Nevertheless, Dunpeels have a code by which they live: Don't kill anybody who's not trying to kill you, unless it's a vampire.

   This is an extraordinary film: A gothic romance with vampires, monsters, magic, graphic violence of every possible stripe, stunning visuals an operatic score and a Shakespearean plot-line. Not bad for a cartoon.    Voiced by Andrew Philpot, Mike McShane, John Rafter Lee, Wendee Lee, Julia Fletcher, Matt McKenzie, John Dimaggio, Alex Fernandez, Jack Fletcher, Pamela Segall, John Hostetter, Dwight Schultz and Mary Elizabeth McGlynn. Directed by Yoshiaki Kawajiri. Written by Yoshiaki Kawajiri, Mataichiro Yamamoto and Masao Maruyama. Produced by Mataichiro Yamamoto and Masao Maruyama. An Urban Vision release. Animated/Horror. Rated R for violence/gore. Running time: 105 min.

Tags: Voiced by Andrew Philpot, Mike McShane, John Rafter Lee, Wendee Lee, Julia Fletcher, Matt McKenzie, John Dimaggio, Alex Fernandez, Jack Fletcher, Pamela Segall, John Hostetter, Dwight Schultz and Mary Elizabeth McGlynn. Directed by Yoshiaki Kawajiri. Written by Yoshiaki Kawajiri, Mataichiro Yamamoto and Masao Maruyama, Produced by Mataichiro Yamamoto, Masao Maruyama, Urban Vision, Animated, Horror
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