By Kevin Hoskinson
Blood Hunters: Rise Of The Hybrids feels like a comic book film through and through. It has action, thrills, and some interesting characters and creatures. It’s a low budget film that hits the mark and does it in the most ambitious way possible.
The story is about a group of aswang hunters who are members of The Slayers. In the comic book style opening of the film, we learn that the aswang are a type of vampire who are from the Philippines. We also learn about Bolo (Vincent Soberano), whose family was killed by the aswang. Taking his quest for revenge further than most, he injects himself with the blood of the aswang, and becomes the first hybrid.
Gabriela (Sarah Chang) is a hunter out for revenge as well. After a near-fatal confrontation, she is rescued by Max (Ian Ignacio) and Kali (Roxanne Barcelo), who are part of The Slayers. They soon team up with Bolo and hatch a plan to attack the aswang in their layer, not knowing what awaits them inside.
While the story is interesting, it’s the action sequences and the mythology that are the most engaging thing about this movie. It combines elements of Marvel’s Blade with The Raid films, which is a pretty high bar for a film like this. Shot on a modest budget, the fight scenes are well-choreographed, and they pack a punch. It’s pretty impressive how much of it they were able to accomplish.
Written and directed by star Vincent Soberano, the film has some fun performances by a cast who know precisely what kind of movie they are making. It’s never taken too seriously, and everyone seems to be having a good time. The acting isn’t top-notch, but let’s be honest, even early Tarantino and his casts weren’t that great. This is a great showcase for some excellent new talent, and I hope we get to see more of them in the future.
Blood Hunters: Rise Of The Hybrids is a cool movie that is worth a watch. It uses comic book panels in between scenes and bookmarks the film using them as well, making it feel like a really good graphic novel. The story is great, the action is solid, and the creature effects are well done. If you’re looking for something new to watch, it’s an easy recommendation.
Rating: 7.5 out of 10
Kevin Hoskinson is a writer with a deep-seeded love for movies, comic books, television and the paranormal. From humble beginnings working the box office at his local movie theater, he’s worked his way to becoming a humble family man and professional bug exterminator. Growing up, he wanted to become an astronaut, a Ghostbuster, a dinosaur, and a Disney animator before he found his passion for writing as a teen. He studied film at Los Angeles Valley College with an emphasis on screenwriting and film criticism. He currently lives in Portland, Oregon, with his wife and two kids. You can follow him on Facebook, Twitter @Kevin_Hoskinson, and Instagram @kevinhoskinson.