Blade II
dir. Del Toro
Opens Fri March 22
Various Theaters

The original Blade was surprising in its decency. Based on the popular Marvel Comic about Blade, a half-man/half-vampire who avows to slay all vampires to avenge the killing of his mother, Blade part one was mostly good because it had very little dialogue, a fairly simple plot, good special effects, and Wesley Snipes, who played the vampire slayer with a highly arousing, muscular panache. It wasn't brilliant, but it was solid.

Unfortunately, Blade II sucks so much ass, even Wesley's hottie six-pack won't distract you. Picking up where Blade left off, Blade the Daywalker must save his old sidekick, Whistler (Kris Kristofferson), from the big pod of blood in which the vampires have kept him captive for years. He does that in the first ten minutes of the movie so, the real plot is that there is a maniacal, vampire-eating monster on the loose, whose mandible comes apart to expose a tongue that resembles a large piece of fried calamari. The tongue carries a virus that turns vampires into vampire eating monsters, which look like a cross between Nosferatu and Batboy from the Weekly World News.

Naturally, now that the vampires have an enemy, they wish to befriend Blade and enlist his help in eradicating the parasitic monsters that threaten their race. Blade is skeptical--vampires are tricky, after all--but he agrees, embarking on a quest along with Kris K., his newer, younger sidekick who looks sort of like Stephen Dorff but isn't, Ron Perlman, and a vampire love interest who has four inexplicable dots over her eyebrows.

After that, the plot changes about 40,000 times. There's a lot of killing with Blade's sophisticated tools (including a UV light grenade/sunlight simulator bomb, and guns that shoot silver bullets, but look suspiciously like staple guns), but the special effects look like they were made on the aging Macs at a junior college. I'm sorry to report that Blade II gets a rating of "CRAP-TASTIC."