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Darren says

A great movie, and an amazing start to the Marvel empire. They took a solid C character and brought it to life with a beautiful visual style and some stellar fight choreography.

Tym says

This solid film launched the entire modern hero revival with stealth and craft.

Ciaran says

Made me a believer in a character I didn't care about.

Blade is the actual movie that kicked off the modern superhero film renaissance.

This is just as unlikely as it is overlooked. And it had happened before.

Shaft saved Hollywood in 1970. By letting the counterculture take the reins, the bankrupt studios ushered a rebirth and a renaissance. Shaft, the first hardboiled detective yarn with a black lead, set a new standard for style and profits that the New Hollywood--from Easy Rider onward--built on. Similarly, Marvel Comics was bankrupt in the mid-'90s, but some of their characters were leased for films. Blade (1998) was an unexpected hit, and its strong craft and unapologetic reverence to the material and the audience reset the standard for superhero films recently destroyed by the Batman derailments. Its success helped save Marvel Comics, ushered the path for Bryan Singer's excellent X-Men films, and ultimately to Marvel Studios.

One reason this is overlooked is that Blade the Vampire Slayer was unknown to the general public. They took the film to be just a fresh vampire flick. But Marvel, who was first in integrating comics with '60s heroes like Black Panther and The Falcon, had introduced the fierce slayer as a supporting character in 1973 in the classic "Tomb of Dracula" comics by Marv Wolfman, Gene Colan, and Tom Palmer. Wesley Snipes was also at his peak at this time, so to many it may have seemed like simply a strong action vehicle for him. But perhaps the main reason Blade gets overlooked as the renaissance is that he's not recognized as a superhero. It's easier to see him in the genre of Underworld and 28 Days Later than of The X-Men and Spider-Man, which soon followed on his heels at the box office.

So, besides enjoying this fine film, we should give Blade proper credit for swelling the tsunami we surf today.