Directed by: Stephen Norrington
Produced by: Peter Frankfurt
Written by: David S. Goyer
Based on: Blade by Marv Wolfman
In 1967, a pregnant woman is attacked by a vampire, causing her to go into premature labor. Doctors are able to save her baby, but the woman dies of an unknown infection.
Thirty years later, the child has become the vampire hunter, Blade, who is a human-vampire hybrid that possesses the supernatural abilities of the vampires without any of their weaknesses; except for the requirement to consume human blood. Blade raids a Los Angeles rave club owned by the vampire Deacon Frost. Police take one of the vampires to the hospital, where he kills Dr. Curtis Webb and feeds on hematologist Karen Jenson and escapes. Blade takes Karen to a safe house where she is treated by his old friend Abraham Whistler. Whistler explains that he and Blade have been waging a secret war against vampires using weapons based on their elemental weaknesses, such as sunlight, silver, and garlic. As Karen is now “marked” by the bite of a vampire, both he and Blade tell her to leave the city.
Meanwhile, at a meeting of the council of pure-blood vampire elders, Frost, the leader of a faction of younger vampires, is rebuked for trying to incite war between vampires and humans. As Frost and his kind are not natural-born vampires, they are considered socially inferior. In response, Frost has one of the elders executed and strips the others of their authority.
Returning to her apartment, Karen is attacked by police officer Krieger, who is a “familiar”, a human loyal to vampires. Blade subdues Krieger and uses information from him to locate an archive that contains pages from the “vampire bible”. He comes upon Pearl, a morbidly obese vampire and tortures him with a UV light into revealing that Deacon wants to command a ritual where he would use 12 pure blood vampires to awaken the “blood god” La Magra; and Blade’s blood is the key. Later, at the hideout, Blade injects himself with a special serum that suppresses his urge to drink blood. However, the serum is beginning to lose its effectiveness due to overuse. Krieger informs Frost of what happened, and Frost kills Krieger.
While experimenting with the anticoagulant EDTA as a possible replacement, Karen discovers that it explodes when combined with vampire blood. She manages to synthesize a vaccine that can cure the infected but learns that it will not work on Blade. Karen is confident that she can cure Blade’s bloodthirst but it would take her years of treating it. Frost and his men attack the hideout, infect Whistler, and abduct Karen. When Blade returns, he helps Whistler commit suicide.
When Blade attempts to rescue Karen from Frost’s penthouse, he is shocked to find his still-alive mother, who reveals that she came back the night she was attacked and was brought in by Frost, who appears and reveals himself as the vampire who bit her. Blade is then subdued and taken to the Temple of Eternal Night, where Frost plans to perform the summoning ritual for La Magra. Karen is thrown into a pit to be devoured by Webb, who has transformed into a decomposing zombie-like creature. Karen injures Webb and escapes. Blade is drained of his blood, but Karen allows him to drink from her, enabling him to recover. Frost completes the ritual and obtains the powers of La Magra. Blade confronts Frost after killing all of his minions, including his mother. During their fight, Blade injects Frost with all of the syringes, the overdose of EDTA causes his body to inflate and explode, killing him.
Karen offers to help Blade cure himself, instead he asks her to create an improved version of the serum, so he can continue his crusade against vampires. In a brief epilogue, Blade confronts a vampire in Moscow.
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