(Photo by ©New Line Cinema/courtesy Everett Collection)
With 25 years of hindsight and history since its release, many writers and critics have pointed to Marvel comic-book adaptation Blade as the dawn of the modern superhero in film – or, at least, a wonderfully bloody bridge between the Batman & Robin doldrums and the X-Men and Spider-Man films that kicked off our current golden age. But at the time of its release, Blade – though a hit – never really connected with critics as anything more than a routine actioner-of-the-week.
It wasn’t that they bared their fangs, exactly: The movie is Rotten on the Tomatometer, but very close to Fresh at 58%, and most reviews at the time singled out star Wesley Snipes for his charismatic turn as the titular “daywalker” and heralded the movie’s fight scenes and set pieces. It’s just that they couldn’t see what many can see now with two decades of moviegoing to help us along: that Blade not only changed the game for comic-book movies, and opened up the door for R-rated superhero fare like Deadpool and more, but that its style and aesthetic would become iconic – and frequently imitated.
So it is that we’re sinking our teeth deep into Stephen Norrington’s action-horror flick and giving it its due in this past episode of our podcast, Rotten Tomatoes Is Wrong. Joining hosts Jacqueline Coley and Mark Ellis to discuss everything Blade – from the awesomeness of the blood rave and the Wesley Snipes of it all to the movie’s outsized cinematic influence and what we can expect when Mahershala Ali takes on the character in the MCU – is stand-up comic, actor, and former pro-wrestler Jay Washington.
Will he agree with Coley that the events of the movie all come down to one villain’s “twinkle”? Tune in to find out.
Check in every Thursday for a new episode of Rotten Tomatoes Is Wrong (A Podcast From Rotten Tomatoes). Each week, hosts Jacqueline and Mark and guests go deep and settle the score on some of the most beloved – and despised – movies and TV shows ever made, directly taking on the statement we hear from so many fans: “Rotten Tomatoes is wrong.”
If you have a suggestion for a movie or show you think we should do an episode on, let us know in the comments, or email us at email@example.com.
Meet the hosts
Jacqueline Coley is an editor at Rotten Tomatoes, with a focus on awards and indie coverage but with a passion for everything, from the MCU to musicals and period pieces. Coley is a regular moderator at conventions and other events, can be seen on Access Hollywood and other shows, and will not stand Constantine slander of any kind. Follow Jacqueline on Twitter: @THATjacqueline.
Mark Ellis is a comedian and contributing editor for Rotten Tomatoes. He currently hosts the Rotten Tomatoes series Versus, among others, and can be seen co-hosting the sports entertainment phenomenon Movie Trivia Schmoedown. His favorite Star Wars movie is Jedi (guess which one!), his favorite person is actually a dog (his beloved stepdaughter Mollie), and – thanks to this podcast – he’s about to watch Burlesque for the first time in his life. Follow Mark on Twitter: @markellislive.