Another horror comic adaptation in our countdown, the vampire hunter Blade first appeared in Tomb of Dracula # 10 (1973) by Marvel Comics. Blade: Trinity (2004) is the third film in the franchise and the last to star Wesley Snipes as the Daywalker. Snipes was so unhappy with writer/director David S. Goyer and New Line Cinema that he filed suit in 2005, claiming he was unfairly denied $3.6 million of his salary despite being one of the film’s producers. Snipes also had a lot to say about why Blade: Trinity didn’t perform as well as previous installments, throwing blame at Goyer, New Line, Ryan Reynolds, and Jessica Biel. Pac-Man was not named in the suit nor grievances, but we’ll get to him in a moment.
Blade’s opposition this time around is Dracula himself, going by the less recognizable alias of “Drake” and played by Dominic Purcell (Equilibrium). Despite his misgivings, Blade is assisted in his hunt by the Nightstalkers, a team of junior vampire hunters led by Abigail Whistler (Jessica Biel). Even though Abigail is the daughter of his mentor, Blade cannot take her or her partner Hannibal King (Ryan Reynolds) seriously, perhaps because Hannibal doesn’t shut his mouth for more than seven seconds at a time. In predictable fashion, they’ll have to earn his trust and approval by kicking vampire ass.
Before that can happen, however, Hannibal gets himself caught by Danica Talos (Parker Posey deliciously playing against type), the vampire who had previously turned him. By the time Trinity opens, Hannibal has already been cured of his vampirism by the retrovirus introduced in the first Blade film. Danica is joined in henchperson duties by her brother Asher (Callum Keith Rennie), and Jarko Grimwood (professional wrestler “Triple H” in his feature film debut).
Oh, and Pac-Man. Wait, what? Who is this Pac-Man?! Pac-Man is a vampire Pomeranian, created by “porting the vampire gene into other species”, as explained by Asher. See him in action below. I think the clip contains all of his screen time. If not, by all means let me know, and I’ll see if I can round up every last frame of this little guy’s cinematic career.
14-year-old who just discovered profanity. But hey, Parker Posey.
Okay, so in my humble opinion, a vampiric Pomeranian is somehow NOT the strangest creative choice made for this film. That honor goes to writer/director David S. Goyer’s decision to make the fictional city setting bilingual, patterning it after Montreal (English and French) or Miami (English and Spanish). His choice for second language? The constructed language of Esperanto, created in 1887.
Signs around the city are depicted as being in both English and Esperanto. Hannibal King is even seen watching the old black-and-white film Incubus (1966), starring William Shatner in one of only two movies filmed entirely in Esperanto. A similar gimmick was used in the 1997 science fiction film Gattaca where public service announcements were made in the presumed state language of Esperanto, to evoke a kind of generic Orwellian multicultural New World Order. I don’t think it was particularly effective in either case, since I discovered both uses as trivia and didn’t key into it while watching either.
C’est la vie/Such is life/Tia estas vivo.
Please join us for the rest of these infamous “Dog Days of Summer” as we count down
“A Dozen Diabolical Dogs”.