A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Few if any positive messages. Characters -- even "good ones" -- are motivated by revenge, and a need to feed their thirst for blood. For others, it's a desire for power. Result is extreme violence.
Positive Role Models
Blade -- along with sidekick, Whistler -- is determined to rid the world of vampires, largely to revenge death of his mother. He shows little emotion, other than a degree of kindness toward Whistler and Karen. Both Blade and Whistler trade in stolen goods to fund their weaponry. Although initially reluctant, Karen begins helping Blade, using violence when necessary. Deacon Frost and fellow vampires are immoral, motivated by power. They wish to eradicate humans. Positive representation of diversity, with characters of different races in prominent and supporting roles.
Violence & Scariness
Graphic, gory, relentless, with a high body count. Characters are tortured, decapitated, thrown from buildings. Limbs broken and severed. Necks bitten; blood is drunk from gaping wounds. Vampire characters killed -- usually with silver bullet, knife, or sword -- turn into body of dust before disappearing. Guns, knives, swords, also much hand-to-hand fighting: kicking, punching, throwing. Deaths, bloody injuries. Vampire pinned against the wall with stakes, set on fire. Burnt corpse on hospital gurney. Character's face stamped on repeatedly; they later shoot themselves dead as a result of the injuries (only a gunshot is heard). A vampire that resembles a flatulent blob is tortured with UV light, to burn their skin. A vampire graphically melts when forced to see sunlight. Characters injected with a concoction, swell up before exploding. Characters hit by a train; one has their face held against a moving carriage -- scarred face later shown. Electrocutions and explosions. A woman gives birth while bleeding from the neck. Blood pours from ceiling during scene in a club. A child is thrown in front of a bus, but is saved in time. Vampires and flying skeletons provide a horror element.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Character grabs someone's genitals in a suggestive manner. A club scene depicts revelers in their bras. Oral sex is briefly seen being performed on someone in a public place. Characters kiss, often after biting someone's neck -- licking the blood of each other's faces and tongues. When the vampires bite characters' necks and drink their blood, it often resembles a sexual encounter. Characters are seen bare-chested at various points, though in a nonsexual context.
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"Motherf----r," "f--king," "s--ty," "bitch," "son of a bitch," "balls," "ass," "a--hole," and "whore" are used constantly. "Jesus Christ," "oh my God," and "damn" are used as exclamations.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Characters are often seen smoking cigarettes and on occasion cigars. Some drinking of alcohol is depicted, but never to excess. A type of serum is regularly injected into the necks of characters, causing a violent reaction.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Blade is an extremely violent action film, based on the Marvel comic book superhero, that contains horror and fantasy elements. Blade (Wesley Snipes) is a human-vampire hybrid, who despite sharing some traits with vampires is determined to rid the world of them. The violence is nonstop and extremely bloody, with a huge number of deaths. Characters have their limbs, heads, and torsos severed. They are also shot at, stabbed -- sometimes in the face -- and beaten to a pulp, and have their heads explode. Much of the resulting injuries are seen in gory close-ups. There are a number of torture scenes, which include characters being burned to death. Various scenes involve the vampire characters biting their victim's necks and drinking their blood. This group of rebellious vampires is led by Deacon Frost (Stephen Dorff), whose motivation is gaining ultimate power and destroying all humans. In addition to the bloody violence, there is strong language throughout, including "motherf----r," "f--k," and "bitch." Oral sex is briefly seen being performed on someone in a club. Released in 1998, Blade is often cited as the film that kick-started Marvel's success in movies. It also deserves praise for its positive representation of diversity, with Blade being one of the first Black superheroes to be given their own movie franchise: Snipes starred as Blade in two additional movies. However, with its graphic action and gory injuries and deaths, this is one superhero film not intended for kids. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
It may reside in the Marvel superhero franchise, but this violent 1998 vampire hunter movie is most definitely not for kids. However, if you're looking for nonstop action, a kick-ass antihero, and a plot that doesn't require you to think too hard, then look no further. Blade -- the first of a trinity of films -- provided the perfect vehicle for martial arts enthusiast Snipes to showcase his talents. The close combat fights between Blade and all who cross him are the movie's standout scenes, while Dorff brings a certain coolness to the movie's villain, the power-hungry, rebellious Deacon Frost.
Some of the dialogue is a tad clunky, although it continues to get quoted even today -- "Some motherf----rs
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.