There was once an age where vampires did NOT sparkle and become unconvincingly infatuated with the blandest of girls, but instead were feared menaces that prayed upon the innocents and desired the sweetest maiden blood.
Over 10,000 years into the future, technology has declined and now vampires, mutants, and demons inhabit the land alongside humans. One vampire lord, Count Magnus Lee, has set his sights on a lovely villager Doris – a commoner and tomboy of noticeable beauty. After she is attacked by Lee’s mutants, he himself appears so that he may taste her blood and mark her on the neck as his next bride.
Doris, resisting such a terrible fate, hires a bodyguard to protect her: the silent, yet skillful Vampire Hunter D!
The half-human, half-vampire dampiel D is a vampire hunter of considerable strength(the true origin of which is revealed in the film’s conclusion) and also has a wise-cracking left hand with its own personality. The film itself is loosely based on the first Vampire Hunter D novel(written by Hideyuki Kikuchi) and possesses many elements of horror and the dark supernatural.
To be honest, this film has not aged well at all. It is 25 years old but anything that was supposed to be scary or grotesque looks fake and laughable. Some of the monsters look more appropriate in a Chuck E. Cheese than they do in a horror anime. The dialogue, which at some point could have been taken seriously, now seems incredibly cheesy regardless of which language you choose to watch it in. The hardest flaw to accept is the obvious reuse of both backgrounds and animation as it happens often. Vampire Hunter D deserved better production values.
The film is still fun to watch and has some great action scenes, such as the first time D storms Lee’s castle and fights an army of mutants to rescue Doris. D’s battle with Magnus Lee – that shakes the heavens – is also another spectacle for its time. D’s left hand still does a good job to provide intentional comic relief in a movie that is of dark nature.
The original Vampire Hunter D, while it is incredibly corny and poorly drawn, is still worth a watch as a good time can still be had. Many years later Bloodlust was created and while it focuses more on action and drama than it does horror, the production values are far superior and still hold up pretty well. Both movies are out of print though you can still find some copies on the internet.