Vampire Hunter D

A woman hires a half-vampire, half-human to protect her from a powerful bloodsucker.

 

Japan
1985
Feature Film
Realism: 
Supernatural
Fully Animated
Translated
Character Focus: 
Vampire Film
5.04
Fighting the good fight!
8
4
6
6
2
3
1
Photography
Pace
Effects
This is based on a series of novels targeting high school and middle school students in Japan. It’s a dark futuristic science fiction set in a 12,090 post-apocalyptic world. We get into this mythology in such an advanced stage, that “crosses and garlic have no effect”, and enemies “will attack first using mutants and werewolves”. Screenwriter Yasushi Hirano expects we’re already familiar.
The animation is rudimentary, but it gets the story across. It’s 1985 and this is as good as it gets. Expect lots of still images with secondary motion, re-used backdrops, and other economic shortcuts the Japanese are still known for today. That said, it’s the editing that often takes us out of the experience. Most shots are 10 percent too long. Can’t let these expensive frames go to waste!
This is one hectic film. Who wants to animate dialogue, anyway? Working on Vampire Hunter D must’ve been a blast. It’s a mix of horror, adventure, and fantasy, and I can hardly find the words to describe how bonkers it is. That said, despite its incessant pacing, I did look at my watch a few times. Fight scenes should be earned. With very little exposition, it’s hard to care for the characters.
Alternate Titles: 
Kyûketsuki hantâ D
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