Picking up where the final theatrical feature (Blade: Trinity
) left off, Blade: The Series
made a valiant attempt to translate the Marvel Comics vampire hunter's adventures to the small screen; though the series was short-lived, the DVD features uncut versions of the episodes, as well as a smattering of extras. Rapper-turned-actor Kirk "Sticky Fingaz" Jones takes up the katana from Wesley Snipes as Blade, and he certainly fills the physical requirements for the role, which requires him to hunt down the well-bred bloodsuckers in the House of Chthon, whose leader, Marcus Van Sciver (Neil Jackson), is developing a serum that will cure vampires of their weaknesses (sunlight, garlic, sunlight). Aiding Blade in his campaign is former Army vet and vampire-in-training Krista (Jill Wagner), who lost a brother to the House of Chthon and her humanity to Van Sciver; in between bouts of swordplay and martial arts with the House's followers, we also delve into Blade's back story, which covers his early days as a vampire. All 13 episodes of Blade: The Series
(including the two-part pilot, which was previously released on DVD as Blade: House of Chthon
) are energetic and action-heavy (and hew closely to its comic origins--Blade
villains like Damek and Marvel characters like Moon Knight are referenced), though the leaden dialogue is a frequent stumbling point; ultimately, the series' approach (which was more crime story than vampire action) didn't have the same appeal as the big-budget, effects-heavy features. Loyal fans, however, won't be disappointed by the decision to present the uncut versions of all but one ("Monsters") of the episodes in this set, which feature a great deal of gruesome violence and sexuality that was trimmed for the original network run. However, the extras, which include a seven-part behind-the-scenes featurette and commentary tracks for the pilot episode (one by director Peter O'Fallon and one by writer and executive producer David Goyer and Geoff Jones) were both included on the House of Chthon
DVD release. --Paul Gaita
Sticky Fingaz, Jill Wagner, Nelson Lee. Based on the popular Blade films with Wesley Snipes in the starring role, this dark series brings back the half-man, half-immortal vampire killer to fight the undead and other demons that threaten all of humanity. Includes all 12 episodes on 4 DVDs. 2006/color/9 hrs., 43 min/NR/widescreen.