Vampire Mania

'Blade II' teaches us we're all the same on the inside.

I like to learn things when I go to the movies, and one thing I've learned from watching Blade II is that vampires are a lot more explodable than you'd think. You just look at one the wrong way and ... Pow! Vampire flotsam all over the place.

Exploding vampires are not only the main special effect of Blade II, they're also pretty much the plot. There's some other stuff about how the legions of vampires are being preyed upon by a new, less-explodable species of super-vampires, but eventually Blade the Vampire Slayer figures out how to explode the super-vampires, and then it's just lots of what the French call "explosions."

In fact, there's so much violence in Blade II that it eventually becomes white noise. Watching the movie is almost like having no experience at all. This is nice, as it gives you time to think about other stuff. Like, I was thinking about Wesley Snipes, who plays the lead in Blade II.

Imagine the average day for Wesley Snipes: wake up, sell out, have coffee, practice icy stare and kung fu moves, get it on with many fabulous honeys. It's gotta be a good a life. Although I think he may actually sell out before he wakes up, but either way, not too shabby.

Plus, unlike other actors, he doesn't have to spend a lot of time reading over his script. For example, in Blade II, once he got the icy stare and the kung fu moves down, his job was pretty much done. I think he may have even ad-libbed the dialogue, if uttering one-word sentences like "move" and "die" can actually be considered dialogue.

That's one of the big benefits of doing a sequel, of course: all the heavy character development has already been done. Plus, all the computer special effects are already prepared, so Wesley was actually able to sit out some of his own fight scenes. This gives those scenes the added benefit of looking like something off a Playstation 2, and we all know how much fun it is to watch somebody else play a video game.

While computer-Wesley was doing Matrix-style kick-boxing with computer-Nyssa the Vampire Princess, I attained an almost pure alpha-wave state. As my mind drifted, I started to think about the whole sequel thing, more specifically, the question of Roman numerals vs. Arabic numerals. For example, Blade II is a roman numeral film, whereas Casper 2 was an Arabic numeral film. Is there some deep significance to this? In trying to solve this riddle, I made a list of all the most popular roman and Arabic numeral films.

On the Arabic list there's: Die Hard 2, Biosphere 2, Chinatown 2, Emmanuelle 2, Free Willy 2, American Pie 2, D2 the Mighty Ducks, Friday the 13th Part 2, Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior, Gremlins 2, Breakin 2: Electric Boogaloo and T2 (the sequel to Terminator). Surely, an auspicious group, eh?

But wait, on the roman numeral side there's: Evil Dead II, Caddyshack II, Rocky II, City Slickers II, French Connection II, Death Wish II, Beverly Hills Cop II, Back to the Future II, The Godfather Part II, Star Wars Episode II, Airplane II, Ghoulies II, and Ghostbusters II. Remember, I'm only including the most popular films here, so don't write and ask me why I didn't mention House II: The Second Story or Bush II: Pres Again!

Now, what interesting differences can we discern between these lists? That's right: none. There's no salient difference. So, at this time when we're at war, in what seems to be a war between the Western Powers (i.e. the inheritors of Rome) and an enemy that we rightly or wrongly identify as Arab, we should remember this: we are not at war with their numbering system. Think about it: Gremlins 2, Blade II: can't we all just get along?

Upon realizing this, I returned my attention to the screen. It was hard to say how much time had passed, because when I zoned out, a vampire was exploding, and when I tuned back in, a vampire was exploding. I think it was a different vampire, but, without sounding racist (or "vampirist"), I think I can safely say they all look the same when they explode.

Maybe that's the lesson of Blade II. It's not just that vampires are explodable, it's that they explode the same whether Kris Kristofferson is blowing them up or Wesley Snipes is blowing them up. They explode the same whether they're white or black, Arabic or European, recently undead or pre-historically undead. And in these difficult times, when it's so easy to judge people by their externals, it's good to know that we're all the same on the inside, a point that Blade II makes forcefully by splattering people's insides all over the screen.

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