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Summary Edit

The main character of this film is Blade also known as the daywalker. He is a vampire but acts more like a human in that he protects humans from vampires.

Blade

The film starts out with a mother that is about to give birth had been bitten by a vampire in which she gives birth to who is later known as Blade. The mother dies after giving birth. Due to Blade's experiences with humans, he decides to protect humans in which he gets help from his friend named Whistler. Together, they are secretly in a war with the vampires and kill they by using sunlight and silver stake-like objects to kill the vampires. There is one particular vampire named Frost, who was converted into a vampire rather than being born one, gets in Blade's way. This leads to a serious war between humans and vampires.

Blade was born via C-Section as his mother died on the table after coming in emergency for a vampire bite. This causes Blade to be born half vampire, half human, and the very reason he becomes the vampire hunter protecting the city, He was found at the age of thirteen by the Whistler who at first believed Blade to be all vampire but after learning more of him and his past helps Blade with the vampire[1] war going on. He has helped Blade by injecting him with serums to prevent his vampire nature to come out. Dr. Jensen is a hematologist, and after coming across a burnt body which turned out to be a live vampire she was bit and rescued by Blade.She was injected with Garlic to prevent her from turning and as the days go on she begins to believe Blade and the Whistler and starts working on ways to kill/ cure them. Frost is a vampire whose ultimate goal is to be leader of the vampires and be the best vampire being able to face Blade head on. Frost is different from the others as he is the only vampire known to turn and not be born vampire. He posses the ability to be able to withstand the daylight and gives Blade a challenge. The whistler is then killed by Frost and kidnapped Dr, Jensen who was having a break through in her research, as a threat to Blade and giving him the only option of joining his vampire group. Frost needs Blade in order to get his blood to be able to create the ultimate army since Blade possesses qualities that no other vampire has and wants to give it to the vampire god. Blade leaves the Whistler who was dying to go after Frost, and prevent the vampire god from being released who is his mother.

Characters Edit

Blade is the hero of this story though not the flashy hero that Marvel is known for creating. Blade is a loner outcast who finds purpose in fighting the war against the vampire community. Much to the viewers' surprise, it is learned that he was born a vampire and has learned to use a serum to control his vampiric desires. Frost is after him for this reason as he is the "key" to relinquishing the Blood God's powers.

Deacon Frost, the villain, is out to get Blade on his side. His soul purpose is to triumph over the vampire council which he is set out to do by obtaining the powers of the Blood God. To make this possible he must convince Blade to join his team and sacrifice his blood for the ritual.

Whistler is Blade's long-term sidekick who's time is short because of his cancer. His main role in the duo is the part of the scientist creating new weapons and helping find a cure, even if temporary, to keep Blade from being consumed by his vampire side.

Karen comes into the story after she is bitten by Quinn, the reanimated cadaver who is actually a vampire, and is rescued by Blade. At first, Whistler is weary on taking in "a stray" but after learning she is doctor specialized in blood work he changes his mind and insists on her being on the Blade team.

Quinn is Frost's henchmen. Quinn is the first to be introduced from Frost's gang of vampires and carries the continual joke of his arms being cut off by Blade himself.

Vanessa is Blade's long lost mother who shows up with Frost as a bribe for Blade to join Frost's vampire gang. Though Blade has thought she was dead all this time, their reunion does not turn out to be one of blessing.

Character -Whistler 

When blades mother died giving birth to him, Whistler was the person to adapt him. Whistler is an old grumpy man, but a wise man. Throughout the movie, Whistler is always in his lab trying to find a weapon that would destroyed all the vampires. Every time Blade was hurt, he would go to Whistler lap and he would cure him. Whistler is so wise with his work, that when Blade brought someone that was bitten by a vampire, he already had a cure that would help that survive the bite. Whistler explains, that the shot was a liquid garlic, it would work like a steroid to another person’s body, but in this case it would give that person massive strength. A better way to describe Whistler in this movie, is to the movie batman, he plays the role of Alfred. The only different that he goes out to fight the vampires with Blade. At the end, Frost comes looking for Blade at the lab, but only Whistler was there. Whistler gets beat up by Frost[2] and his grew, he ends up killing himself with Blades gun. Whistler was a brave man, who was not afraid of dying. Whistler was Blades mentor throughout the movie, before Whistler kill himself, he tells Blade to run away and to not fight Frost. Because, if blades losses, frost will have his blood and would make an army of vampires. Blade only wants revenge because he killed his best friends/ father figure. Since Whistler was always trying to find a weapon, Whistler ended up creating silver bullets that would help Blade fight the vampires with a better advantage because silver bullets burn vampire skin off. Another reason Whistler[3] killed himself was because he was dying of cancer, so he did not want to keep suffering from the illness.

Frost Vs. Blade Edit

Frost

Frost is a vampire who had been infected in order to turn into one whereas Blade who was born a vampire. In the film, Frost is seen as inferior to the other vampires in the vampire elder's perspective. The elders believed more in hiding and not causing a commotion whereas Frost who enjoyed it and even starts them. For example, in the first couple scenes Frost was involved with making a club for vampires where humans were brought in as food. Blade comes in and rescues the man from being attacked and was able to kill some of the vampires. Frost is called by the vampire elders to stop the commotion and to hide in the shadows but that is not in Frost's nature. He eventually is able to influence one of the elders to strip away the others title and starts a war.

Blade 2

Blade was born a vampire but cares for human life so he decides to protect humans from vampires. He first has to face Frost and an army of vampires who believe that Blade's way of thinking is wrong. Blade is depicted as a strong and protective vampire which is a similar characteristic that is seen in many other vampire movies such as Twilight. Similarly to the film Twilight, one can say that Blade is not good for maidens as mentioned in an article Twilight is is not good for maidens written by Anna Silver. Also some of the characters of vampires such as being feared by humans and strength are described within the Monster Culture: Seven Theses written by Jeffrey Cohen.

Blade as an "Other" and an Antihero Edit

The character of Blade can be described as an antihero as well as an “other”. An antihero is the hero of the story but they do not fit within the traditional attributes that describe a hero (1). While an “other” is a person that has been categorized by a different group or person as not being one of them and this is meant to be a negative comparison. Both terms are applicable to Blade's character within the Blade 1998 movie directed by Stephen Norrington.

Blade, otherwise known as Eric Brooks, was born to a woman who was dying from a vampire bite. She ends up dying and leaves Eric as an orphan. This bite also infected him and when Eric hit puberty the effects of the vampire venom starts to appear. Eric gains an irresistible hunger for blood while also having superhuman strength and agility. However, he remains “living” and can still walk about in the sunlight (which the vampires in this universe can not) and he is immune to silver and garlic (which the vampires in this world are susceptible to). He is half human and half vampire. This status of being half is what others him. He is not a human and therefore, the humans categorize him as something else. This is evident throughout the movie by the scare relationships he has with pure humans. The only relationships being Whistler and Karen. The humans would not accept him because to them he would only be his vampire side. To the vampires he is considered as the “daywalker”, someone that is not like them. He also hunts other vampires, therefore, he could never have a place among them either. Leaving Blade without a defined place among either group and with both groups othering him as not one of them because he can not live either of their lives.

As an antihero, Blade would be considered among the same lines as the modern Batman. Both have parental issues, are dark and mysterious, rather work alone, and use excessive force to gain the knowledge that will allow them to achieve their goals. Blade, at the time, was an updated version of the anti hero who was more modern than the Blade that was introduced in the Marvel comics (2). This was important because of the timing that the movie was released was after the disastrous release of Batman & Robin (1997). Beyond these comparisons, Blade is an antihero in his own rights. Blade has a personal vendetta against the vampire race due to his mother’s death. Later, in the movie when Blade learns of his mother’s vampirism and has to fight her. He stands by his morals, an attribute that antiheroes share is a strong belief in their own rules and morals, and still slays his mother. This scene shows him as a guy that the audience can sympathize with, but he is still not a traditional hero because just before he gave into Karen's demand that he feed off of her despite how hard he tries to lock up that side of himself (3). Blade is a character that is flawed, has weaknesses that viewers can sympathize with, lacks the traditional ideals of a hero, and is a bad ass. Being an antihero defines his character and sets up among the ranks of other Marvel antiheros like Deadpool and Batman.

Vampires Depicted as Monsters Edit

Screen Shot 2017-05-03 at 2.33.18 PM

Blade's mother as a human, reaching out to him as he is born.

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Blade's mother in her vampire form, relentless and cold.

It is noteworthy that Blade was made in 2004 because the theme of portraying vampirism as an infection, or as something evil and monstrous is rare in recent films. Throughout the years, vampires in cinema and literature have been given increasingly more human qualities, with ideas about their morality being explored. In recent decades there has been an overwhelming trend in humanizing as well as romanticizing vampires. Today the main character vampires in films and literature are nearly always depicted as beautiful or seductive creatures capable of having human-like emotions and morals. Most of the time these vampires even co-exist harmoniously with humans, sometimes even have intimate relationships with them. In fact, they are normally illustrated as protagonists and there is often some type of difference between "good vampires" and "bad vampires". In Blade, however, the movie paints all vampires into one category of heartless, cruel monsters with no remorse for their actions or compassion for the human race. One of the most stunning examples of this is when we learn that Blade's own mother is in fact alive, however she is completely desensitized once she becomes a vampire. Her character is taunting, deceptive, cold, and willing to watch her own son die in order to please her fellow vampires whom she states are her people now. Comparing this to the scene which we see her in at the beginning of the movie, desperately reaching out for her baby boy Blade, this is a shock. The only immortal creature seen to have any humanistic characteristics of sympathy, love, loyalty, or sacrifice is Blade. He is depicted as the exception to the vampires, not only physically but also mentally and emotionally. It is stated in the film that he possesses the strengths and immortality of a vampire without the weaknesses. Although in context this seems to mean in a physical sense, I think that you could argue that this statement extends to encompass his emotional strengths as well. He is brave, loyal, and compassionate without the self-absorbed and sadistic weaknesses of the vampires around him.

Character Analysis - Blade Edit

Blade takes a different approach when it comes to slaying vampires. As oppose to impaling them with a stakes in the heart, like how normally vampires are killed, he uses powerful guns as his primary source of weaponry to kill. This goes against what we have learned about in our previous readings and movies where the vampires are usually killed by these typical methods. He states in the film that vampires are allergic to silver bullets, and this proves to be an essential tool when killing them. Right from the start of the movie, these vampires are killed at a “vampire rave” where blood sprays from the ceiling and all the vampires seem to be having a good time until Blade, also known as the actor Wesley Snipes, arrives to kill them all during their deranged party. This scene takes modern themes of party or dance culture into a relatively new vampire movie, making a hybrid of new horror films with old vampire culture, taking the slasher film theme of the 90’s and putting it into a vampire movie, staying true to its roots.      

Even though these vampires killing tactics are used, it’s still a modern day approach and different in a sense from older vampire killing tactics used hundreds of years ago. From the other films and stories we’ve read about such as Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Blade takes a completely different approach when it comes abolishing vampires. The only similar approach used by Blade during the film is his use of garlic, which is a commonly used weapon kill vampires, but blade uses it as his cure for people who have been infected as vampires along with a tool to kill vampires, as Blade states that he uses hollow point bullets filled with garlic to kill the vampires that he shoots at.

Character Analysis - Abraham Whistler Edit

Abraham Whistler is an older character in the film who has an traumatic history with vampires. Turns out, his wife and kids were killed in front of him after he was brutally tortured and left crippled. As you can probably guess, he holds quite a grudge against vampires, Deacon Frost in particular. After Karen Jensen gets bitten by a vampire, Blade takes her to Whistler’s headquarters in hopes that he may help her not become a vampire. [4] During this interaction we notice that Whistler seems to take on a role in Blade’s life as his mentor. We later find out this is because he found Blade on the streets as a young man and immediately identified him as a daywalker, meaning that he wasn’t a full vampire yet demonstrated some of the main superhuman characteristics as a vampire. Whistler became a father figure to Blade, [5] teaching him about vampires and how the strengths he possesses can be used to fight off bad vampires like the one who murdered his family, Deacon Frost. Despite his old and shabby looks, Whistler gives off a rather macho-man vibe and seems to be underestimated at the beginning. This may be a reflection of the fact that he is battling cancer in the film. Regardless of such, he seems to be a very mentally stable man who is always sure of himself and his actions. He fights the good fight, even if he knows he may get hurt. Which is what happened after Blade, Whistler and his men defeated Deacon Frost. He was left weak and vulnerable so his nemesis, Frost, captured him, tortured him to death then revived him using vampire blood and did it all over again until Blade found him two years later. Even through all of this mental and physical suffering and misery, Whistler comes out a determined, resolute man who courageously goes back to fighting the good fight and defeating vampires.[6]

Resources:

Blade, Film. (USA, 1998).

Stott, Andrew M. "The Poet, the Physician and the Birth of the Modern Vampire." The Public Domain Review. N.p., n.d. Web. 02 May 2017.

Resources Edit

http://www.gods-and-monsters.com/how-to-kill-a-vampire.html

https://faithofavampire.wordpress.com/2013/04/12/a-look-into-pureblood-vampires-vampire-history/

http://www.cbn.com/entertainment/screen/movieguide_bladetrinity.aspx?mobile=false

www.jstor.org/stable/29533972

Jeffrey Cohen: "Monster Culture: Seven Theses"


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