VAMPIRE HUNTER D
This film version came out just at the time when the revolution in graphic novels was taking comic-books away from the Comic Book Code and along grimmer and darker paths. The title character would make perfect material for a modern Western graphic novel series D is the same dark, nihilistic, monosyllabic avenger of the modern graphic novel typified by Batman, Spawn, Judge Dredd, The Crow and The Punisher. He even looks the perfect modern comic-book antihero roaming the post-holocaust landscape on a white steed, his face never seen, hidden behind a giant-sized fedora and bandana and saying less than a dozen words throughout.
The middle of the film features a wonderfully hallucinatory journey across wasted landscapes into the chief vampires labyrinthine castle and through encounters with a menagerie of slugs, giants, mutants that can warp time and space (thus impaling the heros sword thrusts inside his own body) and three-headed hydra snake-women. Typically of Japanime, the film is amazingly gory with numerous severed limbs, bifurcated bugs and knives impaled in eyeballs.
On the minus side, the story is slight. After the fabulous journey that takes up the middle of the film, the rest, especially the showdown with the chief vampire, is anticlimactic in comparison. Part of the problem here is that the vampire threat amounts to little he is merely a stuffed figure in a cape uttering vague threats and never a character of menace. The animation is also limited and the dubbing occasionally flat.
Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust (2000) was a more elaborately animated and superior sequel.
Full film available online here:-