Gone are the days where heroes dressed in costume were considered camp and not a box office draw: the superhero movie is now one of the primary sources of blockbuster cinema entertainment, and of box office bucks. In the next few years alone, we have Doctor Strange, Black Panther, Wonder Woman, Captain Marvel, Spider-Man: Homecoming, Shazam and many more of these films to look forward to.
So, how did this surge of mainstream popularity begin?
Superheroes have sporadically been the stuff of blockbusters in the past. 1978’s Superman: The Movie and 1989’s Batman are two standout examples. But none of these films led to the lasting popularity for capes and masks as moviegoers are experiencing today. Many trace this current trend back to two movies, X-Men and Spider-Man. As a modest success in 2000, X-Men proved super-powered characters in costumes could be accepted by audiences. Just two years later, Spider-Man achieved mega-blockbuster status. But there is another film that serves as the granddaddy of the modern superhero film and truly paved the way for the genre: Blade.
Based on a Marvel Comics character with roots in Hammer horror movies and 70’s Blacksploitation cinema, Blade was released on August 21, 1998 and caught everyone completely by surprise. Director Stephen Norrington and writer David S. Goyer took the elements of the comic and crafted a taut, thrilling tale centred on a half human/half vampire stalker of the undead.
Today the Nostalgia Critic revisits the film that arguably started it all. It’s the overlooked classic that made comic book movies cool again, but does it hold up as well as it did back then?
WATCH THE VIDEO BELOW:
[via Channel Awesome]