After making his debut in 1973, via the pages of The Tomb of Dracula #10, the half-human, half-vampire known as Blade has developed a fan-following, which has seen him transported from the printed page to television, video games, and toys. The character has also been the star of a successful run of films, which were not only entertaining, but also proved he has some box office clout.
But how many Blade movies are there and in what order should you watch them?
In today’s post, I will answer that question by taking a look at the Blade film series. In addition, I will be throwing the spotlight on some additional Blade content to clear up some confusion regarding a ‘film’ you may or may not be aware of.
Right, it’s time to sink our teeth into Blade.
The Wesley Snipes order
OK, to begin let’s take a look at the Blade films you are probably familiar with. This collection of movies – which saw Wesley Snipes take on the title role of the day-walking vampire – began in 1998 with the Stephen Norrington directed, Blade.
Distributed by New Line Cinema, the movie introduced the character of Blade – a ‘Dhampir’, who has all of the strengths of a vampire, but none of the weaknesses. The film was a big hit with audiences and not only ushered in an era of movies based on Marvel Comics characters (X-Men, Spider-Man, Hulk, etc), but also spawned a sequel, Blade II.
This first follow-up was directed by Guillermo del Toro, and was darker than the original. In this outing, Blade teamed up with a gang of mercenaries known as the Bloodpack, to fight a vicious breed of hybrid vampires called the Reapers.
Once again, the film was a hit and this led to a third and final entry in the series – Blade: Trinity. This film introduced the Nightstalkers and brought Dracula to the series.
If you wish to watch the Blade films in order, then view them as follows:
- Blade (1998)
- Blade II (2002)
- Blade: Trinity (2004)*
While Blade: Trinity was the final entry in New Line Cinema’s run of Blade movies, it wasn’t the end of the studio’s interest in the character. If you only know of these three movies, then you don’t know about The House of Chthon.
*Oh and you might like to know that in 2004, an ‘unrated’ edition of Blade: Trinity was released on DVD. This version of the film was around ten minutes longer than the theatrical cut of the movie.
The House of Chthon
While the original film series might have ended in 2004 with the conclusion of the Blade trilogy, New Line Cinema was far from done with the character. Keen to keep Blade alive, the studio teamed up with TV network, Spike to transport the human-vampire to television.
Blade (aka Blade: The Series) was set after the events of Blade Trinity, and introduced a new story about an order of vampires called the House of Chthon. Snipes didn’t return for the series, so rapper-turned-actor, Sticky Fingaz picked up the sword and stake for these new adventures.
Despite decent ratings, Blade ran for just one season comprising 13 episodes, however, it didn’t just fade away. The pilot episode(s) of the show received a standalone DVD release, offering audiences a feature-length story.
Some people have come to refer to this ‘film’ as Blade 4, but its actual title is:
- Blade: House of Chthon (2006)
To be clear, House of Chthon is not actually a fourth Blade movie, but due to the way it has previously been released – both as an ‘uncut’ solo DVD and bundled up with the Blade trilogy – it is easy for people to get confused. I’ve included House of Chthon in this post to make it clear what this ‘movie’ is, for those who have stumbled across it on DVD.
If you’re interested in viewing the Blade TV show, Blade: The Complete Series is available on DVD and on digital video. This set includes all 13 episodes (including House of Chthon).
OK, so that rounds up the movies, but should you want to go even further, you might like to know that Blade has also been adapted into an anime series. The show ran for 12 episodes in late 2010 and was one of four anime shows based on Marvel Comics characters, with the other three being: X-Men, Wolverine and Iron Man.
So, what is your favourite Blade film? Are you a fan of the original, or does Guillermo del Toro’s Blade II do it for you.
Whatever your thoughts about the Blade, let me know in the comments section. I love the films, so I am more than happy to talk vampires and day-walkers!
Until next time.
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