A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What 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.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
BLADE finds a group of rebellious vampires, led by Deacon Frost (Stephen Dorff), who are determined to rid the world of humans. Standing in their way is vampire hunter Blade (Wesley Snipes), a man who shares all their strengths but none of their weaknesses. However, when Frost discovers the key to awakening the blood god La Magra, even Blade may have met his match.
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
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the extreme violence in Blade. What impact does it have? What consequences does it have in the movie's world? How do you think that would change in real life?
Discuss the strong language used in the movie. Does it seem necessary or excessive? What does it contribute to the movie?
What separates Blade from the vampires? How does Blade compare to other superheroes? Would you describe him as being good or more as an antihero?
Why is it important for superheroes to be diverse? Why is it important to see superheroes like Blade and Black Panther on-screen?
How does this movie compare to other vampire movies?
- In theaters: August 21, 1998
- On DVD or streaming: December 22, 1998
- Cast: Wesley Snipes, Stephen Dorff, Kris Kristofferson
- Director: Stephen Norrington
- Studio: New Line Cinema
- Genre: Action/Adventure
- Topics: Superheroes, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires
- Run time: 120 minutes
- MPAA rating: R
- MPAA explanation: strong, pervasive vampire violence and gore, language, and brief sexuality
- Last updated: March 30, 2021
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