Vampire Hunter D (1985)

 

Format: 80-minute feature

Rating: R (N, AC, GV)

Type: Supernatural Horror/Sci-Fi

American Production: Urban Vision

English Dub Production: Streamline Pictures

Japanese Production: CBS Sony Group/MOVIC

 

Grading

 

Premise:

C+

Story:

C+

Writing:

C

Character Design:

C

Animation:

C

Artistic Merits:

B-

English Dub:

C

Musical Score:

C+

 

 

Humor Content:

n/a

Action Content:

B-

Drama Content:

C+

 

 

DVD Presentation:

not reviewed

DVD Extras:

not reviewed

 

 

OVERALL:

C+

 

Synopsis

††††† In a distant future where blood-thirsty werewolves, mutants, and vampire roam the countryside killing anyone foolish enough to leave the protection of city walls, the only hope for humans are the Vampire Hunters. When a young woman is bitten by a powerful vampire lord she hires a Vampire Hunter named D, who is particularly well-suited to dealing with vampires since he is a half-vampire himself. Ultimately he must battle the servants of the ancient and powerful vampire Count Magnus Lee, and later the Count himself, who seeks to claim the young Doris Lang as his bride, much to the consternation of his daughter and a servant seeking advancement.

 

The Long View

††††† Vampire Hunter D is a Gothic vampire-hunting tale with a sci-fi flair that has been fully realized as an anime. Its artistry and technical merits bear the mark of the time in which it was made, so it does not stand up well by comparison to recent technical masterpieces. There are many anime movies that look better and have more fluid animation, and the hefty use of the kind of animation shortcuts more commonly seen in series anime also stands against it. What saves Vampire Hunter D and makes it a classic in the anime community is its effective use of style. The plethora of monsters, the brooding, quiet hero, the dated clothing styles Ė all are hallmarks of what would come to be called the Goth style. (Except perhaps for the sexy outfit worn by the heroine, who is notably drawn with the slightly more stocky build one might expect of a European peasant rather than a refined noblewoman.)

††††† The music to Vampire Hunter D is, for the most part, ordinary. Among the English vocal performances, the only stand-out is Kirk Thornton as the symbiote in Dís left hand, who has a good running dialogue with D. Otherwise the writing, or English script, or perhaps both, could use some work, and the other vocal performances are flat. Character design beyond D himself is also thoroughly unimpressive.

††††† The rating for Vampire Hunter D is mostly for generous amounts of bloody violence and gore, although there is a little bit of nudity. It is not a movie suitable for younger viewers.

 

DVD Extras

††††† This review is based on the Encore Action Channel broadcast. The DVD has not been reviewed.

 

 

Principle English Voice Actors

Role

Voice Actor

D

Michael McConnohie

Dís left hand

Kirk Thornton

Doris Lang

Barbara Goodson

Dr. Fehring

Steve Kramer

Greko

Steve Bulen

Ray Ginsay

Kerrigan Mahan

Dan

Lara Cody

Lamica

Edie Mirman

Count Magnus Lee

Jeff Winkless

Snake Women

Joyce Kurtz

Governor, shopkeeper

Tom Wyner*

 

 * - also the writer for the English dialogue

 

 

 

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