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BLOOD – THE LAST VAMPIRE

Japan, 2000 (MIFF 2000, Animatrix)

Director: Hiroyuki Kitakubo

This killer Japanese animation packs a stake-snapping whallop. Dispensing with exposition, Blood-The Last Vampire propels the viewer headlong into the story. Saya, a teenaged girl, sits alone on a subway train, late at night. She is alone, except for a shadowy man who somehow manages to move closer, each time the train carriage is plunged into darkness. This predatory scenario is violently reversed when Saya—a kind of super Buffy—springs into action with a secreted Samurai sword.

Up to the minute technology, incredible artistry, dynamic visuals and first rate storytelling combine in this adrenaline fuelled animation. Practically straight from the lab, this MIFF exclusive boasts the talents of Japan's hottest animators, from the production company that brought you Ghost in the Shell and Neon Genesis Evangelion.

After the bloody introduction the viewer is clued up on an undercover, demon slaying assignment: Saya, on behalf of a covert quasi-government agency, poses as a schoolgirl at a college near an American airbase. Innocent events become malevolent as baby faced students transmogrify into hideous beasts intent on a literal blood bath.

With lives hanging in the balance, and robbed of her essential vampire despatching sword, Saya must improvise. When a tiny schoolgirl reveals her true nature as a blood-sucking overlord, Saya is caught between protecting innocent civilians and testing her abilities in preventing the now airborne abomination from escaping. Edge of the seat terror.

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