Saturday, 12 December 2009
Disaster Year 2002: Blade II
Guillermo del Toro's Blade II ditches the sophisticated, European inflections usually tied up with Vampire lore. Sexual corruption is replaced with a physiological compromise that recalibrates the corrupted as a feral sub-strain called Reapers. The opponent vampires of Blade II are a scuttling infestation, man-high plague rats agitating for a fix of blood. This undead underclass isn't interested in creeping seduction; they have no use for genitalia. They don't want to fuck, they just want to feast.
Del Toro's adjustments make sense of a folklore mainstay that typically makes prey of man, whilst coveting our romantic messiness. A predator should be a predator. A lion doesn't, in any recognisable way, empathise with an antelope. Why should a Vampire? Del Toro delights in his new species, their grotesque life cycle laid bare. Their barbed, flowering protrusions are given hero shots, backs crack and ooze as filtration systems erupt during feeding. There's even an exposition slanted autopsy sequence that roots around the peculiarities of this insect efficient mutant. Blade II gave us all that and still found enough time to allow Wesley Snipes to deliver an incredible, stalled suplex.