"Just like the 'Blade' movies only without all that budget."
It might be easy to dismiss the low-rent "Night Hunter" as a painfully derivative rip-off of the original "Blade" film, except for the fact that this one came first!To be fair, the Blade character has been around for several years, so let’s not break our arms patting Don “The Dragon” on his back out of respect for originality. Regardless of which came first, both Night Hunter and Blade cover roughly the same ground: vampire-hunter kicks butt. The only notable difference is that one film was produced for $30-some million, while Night Hunter... wasn’t.
Fans of Don “The Dragon” Wilson will undoubtedly see right through the vampiric trappings and see this one for what it actually is: Wilson kicking the butts of several men who patiently stand in circles, waiting for their turn. In an effort to lend some much-needed color to yet another assembly-line kickfest, the ass-kick receptacles are drooling, bloodthirsty vampires.
A familiar-looking prologue tells us that Jack Cutter is the last in a long line of Vampire Hunters. Jack’s parents are killed while he’s just a child (as is often the case), and the lad raises himself to become a legendary slayer. Since our hero is a martial arts expert, we can forgive the artistic license that allows for vampires to be dispatched solely by a severed spine. But how stupid is that: vampires can only be killed by a broken back? Talk about a chop-socky shortcut!
Acting-wise, Wilson is as strong as he usually is, which is to say pretty awful. An interesting departure does stand out, as The Dragon now has the flowing black locks that make him a dead ringer for Lou Diamond Phillips. (It doesn’t help his performance any, but hey – unintentional laughs are still a legitimate form of entertainment.) The supporting cast is nominal and faceless, though fans of the Puppet Master flicks may enjoy seeing Nicholas Guest back on the screen."Night Hunter" is a sloppy little martial arts adventure, though the production value is notably better than most of Wilson’s cinematic escapades. Sure, calling a film “better than Bloodfist 8” is damning with faint praise, but fans of genre-melding B-grade kickboxing flicks may find a little something to enjoy.