Bloodlust is a movie about a half vampire who hunts vampires. The basic setup is that a young woman from a wealthy family has been taken from her room by a vampire. The family responds by hiring vampire hunters to go after her. That’s where D, a half vampire, enters the picture. The movie primarily focuses on D and a second group of vampire hunters going after the vampire and trying to bring the young woman back. It’s pretty well constructed and there are a lot of references to traditional vampire lore. So it’s pretty obvious that a good deal of research went into this, even if the basic premise has been done quite a few times before. That being said, it does have a lot of original ideas and it’s presented very creatively. The action scenes are very intense, although a few end very anti-climactically, and interesting to watch. My only issue with the story is that the beginning has an exposition dump that gives information that could have come out in the narrative, in fact, most of it does rendering that entire scene pointless. It’s just padding.
The characters really vary. D and Leila, one of the other hunters, are both really well developed and interesting but the rest of the characters are pretty flat. Their motivations make sense but they don’t have a lot in the way of personality. The only reason it kind of works is because the focus stays mostly on D and Leila.
The art is very nicely done, albeit a bit dated. The dark colours throughout most of the film set the tone well and the use of brighter colours for the ending is very symbolic. The only real issue I have with the art is that some of the monsters just look silly rather than intimidating, although there are only a few cases where that happens, like the werewolf inspired monster who just looks really ridiculous after he transforms.
The voice work is spectacular. Tanaka Hideyuki and Hayashashibara Megumi both give really strong performances. The only real weakness of the voice acting is Nagai Ichirou who just sounds bored when he delivers his lines. The music is very sombre and suits the tone well.
The yuri factor is a 1/10. The female characters barely interact with each other and their interactions don’t illustrate sexual tension.
My final rating for Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust is an 8/10. It has a few issues, but overall it’s a very good film. If you’re a fan of horror or you like vampires when they’re done well (I promise, these ones do not sparkle) you’ll probably enjoy it.