A Japanese action movie about demons and vampires slicing open each other's guts in the mean, rainy streets of post-WWII Japan? What more do you need to know?

This, I suppose: The fight choreography is satisfying (if not revolutionary), the few dashes of CGI have a rubbery aftertaste (don't they always?), and Edo-era fetishists (quaint villages with everything made of rope and bamboo!) get their fix in an extensive series of flashback battles. The best fight of the whole film, in fact, pits a graybeard with a perpetually surprised expression against a host of black-clad demons who keep popping out of the leafy ground like whack-a-moles. Whack-a-moles with deadly swords and nasty attitudes.

(And just who are those armies of anonymous guys in every martial-arts movie, anyway? What about their hopes and dreams and dumb inside jokes? We've had enough movies about lost princes and warrior queens and multi-century feuds between inscrutable, clichéd mystics. Let's make just one movie about the highly trained ninja schlubs and what they do on their off nights, when they're not dying quick, spectacular deaths. It'd be revolutionary—a chop-socky Catch-22. Anyway.)

Support The Stranger

The other fetishists who will enjoy Blood are people who love Japanese schoolgirls who can kill everything in sight. Our hero Saya (the poker-faced Gianna Jun) is half-vampire, half–Sailor Moon (she may be 400, but she only looks 14!) and works for a quasi-American agency fighting an invisible war with demon hordes. It turns out the epicenter for the mother of all demon fights will happen not far from an American military base in occupied Japan. Enter a bossy American general; enter his hapless daughter who gets caught up in the action; enter a shady American secret society; enter hordes of evil zombie creatures; enter Saya, the Sailor Moon samurai; enter the dragon lady—aka Japanese actress Koyuki, playing the evil demon queen by not saying much and smiling wanly while turning people into messy splatters of meat. (Useless IMDB trivia: Koyuki played volleyball while she was a student.)

So there you have it, folks. Another supernatural Asian action movie with swords and gore and vendettas and a chick dressed up like a schoolgirl waving around her big sword. Happy summer, America. recommended

Sponsored
There’s a New Way to Help Stop the Spread of Covid-19. Your phone.
WA Notify can alert you if you have been near someone who later tests positive for COVID.