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Demon Hunter (February 6/06)

Demon Hunter is kind of like Blade, except instead of a half-breed hunting vampires, there's a half-breed hunting demons.

Sean Patrick Flanery stars as Jake Greyman, a man/demon who makes his living by tracking down (and destroying) demons that have taken human form. Jake receives his assignments from the Catholic Church, and his latest gig brings him face-to-face with a particularly nasty creature named Asmodeus (Billy Drago). Along with a nun named Sara (Colleen Porch), Jake must stop Asmodeus before he is able to impregnate a prostitute with his evil demon seed.

Demon Hunter establishes its off-kilter sensibility early on, with a sequence in which Jake - after waiting patiently for a Priest to attempt an exorcism - takes matters into his own hands and essentially murders the possessed girl (thus solving the problem, admittedly). But it doesn't take long for the movie to sink into irrelevance, thanks to Mitch Gould's astoundingly talky screenplay. Gould packs the proceedings with nonsensical dialogue that comes off as nothing more than religious claptrap, and there's absolutely no denying that the relentless speechifying eventually becomes mind-numbing and oppressive.

Having said that, Flanery is surprisingly effective as the titular character - infusing Jake with a world-weary, thoroughly grizzled sort of vibe. Likewise, Drago delivers an expectedly sinister performance - though he'll probably never top his turn as Al Capone's sneering henchman in The Untouchables. The end result is a film that's not quite as bad as one might've expected, though given the quality of some of Demon Hunter's contemporaries, that's not exactly high praise.

out of

About the DVD: Demon Hunter arrives on DVD courtesy of Anchor Bay Entertainment, armed with an anamorphic transfer and a few bonus features (including a behind-the-scenes featurette on the making of the film, a commentary track, and more).