Blade II Featured Guillermo del Toro's Most Terrifying Creation


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Aug 18, 2023

Blade II Featured Guillermo del Toro's Most Terrifying Creation

Blade II is one of the most iconic monster and comic book movies of the 2000s. However, it also featured Guillermo del Toro's scariest monsters. Horror movies have explored various arenas of the

Blade II is one of the most iconic monster and comic book movies of the 2000s. However, it also featured Guillermo del Toro's scariest monsters.

Horror movies have explored various arenas of the genre. However, monster movies have proven to be one of the most versatile of all, as movies like Frankenstein and The Wolf Man represented the struggles of humanity, fear of death and a desire for acceptance. In modern cinema, director Guillermo del Toro has become one of the best examples of a director who tapped into this style of monster movie to introduce the audiences to exciting stories that are as scary as they are tragic.

While Hellboy and The Shape of Water showed del Toro's range in genres like action and romance, these "monster" movies also featured some truly impressive and scary creations. But even still, his most terrifying creation came before these movies and helped turn the Marvel superhero, Blade, into an even greater icon. As a result, had it not been for del Toro's Reaper vampires, Blade II may not have become one of the most iconic and scary horror/superhero movies ever. More so, audiences would've never seen what happens when a visionary director like del Toro gets his hands on a classic creature.

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The Shape of Water was a prime example of how del Toro has had a lifelong affinity for classic monsters and the tragedies that followed them. The creature in that movie was similar to the Gill-Man from The Creature From the Black Lagoon, who also longed for unattainable love. At its core, del Toro's movie was a love letter to classic Universal Monsters as those were the movies that helped him become the type of filmmaker audiences know him as.

Another great example of del Toro's most creative and terrifying creatures could be seen in Pan's Labyrinth, where the audience was introduced to a faun, who, while an ally to the main character, was still intimidating as his attitude was unpredictable. On the other hand, the Pale Man, who had sagging skin and eyeballs in his hands, was a pure terror as he looked frail and slow but, in reality, was incredibly quick and brutal. With a fear of being devoured by the Pale Man, it was the perfect juxtaposition from the faun and showed how del Toro mastered the art of bringing monsters of myth and fairy tales to life. In the case of Blade II, it served as a chance for del Toro to create an aggressive and terrifying type of vampire that only he could have formulated.

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Blade II saw Wesley Snipes return as the iconic vampire hunter, this time tasked by a high-level vampire family to hunt and kill genetically altered vampire variants known as Reapers. These vampire variants were designed to be an answer to Blade and a way to let them be daywalkers just like him, but they became something much worse. While the movie's main villain, Nomek, was effectively patient zero of this virus, he was also the most capable as he didn't become a feral creature. Even still, whether feral or normal, the Reapers had a unique set of skills and strengths that made them more terrifying than a traditional vampire.

Reapers fed on humans and vampires, and any bite from them would turn them in a short amount of time. Visually, victims grew pale, lost their hair and gained pointed ears. However, their jaws also split down the middle, and their tongues became tendrils used to suck the blood from their victims. The unhinged jaw worked more like a spider or snake as its teeth let out a neurotoxin that paralyzed its victims. They also gained internal defenses that protected them from stakes, making this virus turn anyone into an elite killer.

As far as weaknesses go, Reapers weren't susceptible to the same things as traditional vampires. Like Blade, they had no traditional weaknesses such as silver or garlic. But unlike Blade, they were still susceptible to sunlight, meaning their existence turned traditional vampires into prey. With their strength and ability to swarm, they acted more like vampire zombies and were unstoppable in large numbers. Even Blade, who spent his life hunting vampires, needed an edge and allies to take on these vampires. Without them, the creatures meant to supplant him would've likely succeeded.

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Since Blade II, del Toro has created many more monsters and creatures that have introduced wonder and terror to viewers. Yet, even with characters like Kroenen from Hellboy looking like a living corpse, they still paled in comparison to the terror of the Reaper vampires. Those creatures represented the feral frenzy that all vampires were capable of but with the bonus of being nearly invulnerable. No matter how many vampire movies would release, there was always stress surrounding the Reapers as their presence was pure nightmare fuel and went against everything that characters like Dracula had introduced. Reapers weren't well-mannered or tortured souls -- they were monsters and proved that vampires, even in their finest suits, were still monsters through and through.

Guillermo del Toro knew what he was doing when the Reapers were introduced, and it proved that even the most suave monsters could be monstrous. Even better, by building on an image made famous by Nosferatu, the Reapers were like the past history of vampires come to haunt the modern day. Now, with more and more iterations of vampires in movies, from retellings of Dracula to more unique tales like the monsters in Midnight Mass, nothing has compared to what del Toro introduced in Blade II. From its design to the execution, everything special about vampires was captured in the Reapers as well as what was the most terrifying about them. As a result, it is unlikely anything will ever compare to what came in Blade II, and even del Toro may not top how scary his creation was.

Nicholas Brooks has been writing professionally for over a decade, covering many aspects of pop culture from film and video games to comics and anime. Writing has remained his passion in that time and loves to theorize and pick apart unique connections in franchises like Marvel, Jurassic Park and much more. In his spare time, he could be found working on his bookstagram, collecting figures, reading comics or watching movies with his girlfriend.