Frequent readers of this blog know that I think pantyhose should be worn for the right reasons, during the right occasions and at the right places. OK, so pretty much always.
Obviously, I want pantyhose at the office, the courthouse, the wedding, the funeral, the party, the stage, the TV studio, the movie set ….. you get the idea. When this happens, I am so proud and very happy.
Today, it’s hard enough to see pantyhose worn in movies where the occasion and venues would seem to warrant it. I like it a lot when it does happen. So imagine the thrill I get when pantyhose show up on an actress in a role and at a venue where one not only wouldn’t expect them, but in which one would actually forgive the character/actress for not wearing.
This weekend, I watched such a movie: Blood: The Last Vampire.
Now, I like a good vampire-killer movie, but throw in a Japanese setting, karate fights and samurai swords, and, hey, I’m all in, baby!
So, I was excited to watch Blood: The Last Vampire, but I certainly didn’t expect to see the young heroine, Saya Otonashi, wearing a traditional Japanese schoolgirl uniform, complete with pantyhose so sheer, even I didn’t realize she was wearing until almost halfway through the film.
I wanted to check out the martial arts action sequences more closely, and when I put the DVR in slow motion to enjoy Saya’s beautiful spinning wheel kicks, I realized she was wearing pantyhose. Wow!
I was digging the movie anyway, but the fact that the actress (or, perhaps, the costume designer) chose to put the actress in sheer nude pantyhose, even for the samurai sword and karate fight sequences, well, that made me fall in love with Blood: The Last Vampire.
Like the Resident Evil movies being based on a video game, Blood: The Last Vampire movie is based on the wildly popular and multiple award-winning Japanese anime cult classic series.
I’ve read differing accounts of the time frame in which the live action movie version takes place, but most say it’s around 1966, during a period when the U.S.military is preparing to enter the Vietnam War. The setting is an American Air Force base in Tokyo. But while the base is on edge about the war, there’s already an unseen battle going on; a 400-year-long fight waged by vampires and their monstrous bat-like creatures who feed on human blood.
Enter Saya, the lone execution arm of a covert government agency that has been hunting demons for centuries. She is installed as a would-be student at a military school on the base to discover which of her classmates are demons in disguise, and to force a confrontation against the most powerful demon of them all — Onigen, who murdered Saya’s father when she was a young girl.
While Saya has the appearance of a 17-year-old student, she really is a 400-year-old samurai of extraordinary ability. Saya is a half-human/half-vampire being, who preys on demons that feast on human blood.
Joining forces with a secret government agency known as the Council, Saya is tormented at being a half-breed creature with the soul of her human father and the powers (and need of blood to survive) of her vampire mother.
She is obsessed with a desire to finally face the most powerful of demons (the one that killed her father) and, en route to the confrontation she seeks with Onigen, Saya wages a one-girl series of battles in which she dispatches with her samurai sword hundreds of lower level demons.
The character, Saya, is played by beautiful Korean model/actress Jun Ji-hyun. (Remember, traditionally, Asian people say and write their family names first, and their given names second. Because she’s young, I am going to call her by her first name here.)
By the way, don’t be confused: For an English audience, Ji-hyun changed her named to Gianna Jun, and the film credits list her as only Gianna. To complicate things further, some Internet sources list her name as Jeon Ji Hyun and Jun Ji-hyeon.
Since her name is written as Jun Ji-hyun everywhere one can look on the Internet, I will go with that. But, for the record, a Korean movie data base site that I trust has her name listed exclusively as Jeon Ji-hyeon. My feelings about these things is that one should always believe the way the country of origin spells and pronounces a name. You’d have to think the Koreans know how one of their own spells and says her name. In any case, I like her name as Jun Ji-hyun (and it’s my blog), so I’ll go with that here, however, my apologies to first generation Koreans if her name really is Jeon Ji-hyeon.
Whoever cast her in “Blood: The Last Vampire” is brilliant. Ji-hyun is one of Korea’s most popular young actresses, beloved for her starring roles in romantic comedies. Who could have imagined her pulling off such an impressive performance in an action thriller, relying on martial arts fight sequences throughout?
During an interview, Ji-hyun said she never imagined she’d play a part in an action movie, but that she had a lot of fun doing it and is now hooked.
While I haven’t seen any of Ji-hyun’s other movies, I am extremely impressed at the transformation she makes of herself from a romantic comedy legend to a role in which her very dark character doesn’t smile once throughout the movie.
I am happy to have seen Blood: The Last Vampire because I am now a Jun Ji-hyun fan.
I am extremely impressed with her. For a 27-year-old, she is very professional and classy, almost always wearing dresses, high heels and pantyhose during public appearances and in fashion photo shoots.
It is so heartwarming to see a young professional displaying good taste and showing such grace and elegance in her young career. I am looking forward to seeing more of her.
Blood: The Last Vampire is done by one of the producers of Hero and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. An extremely good story with wonderful acting and martial arts fights, Hero stars Jet Li, Maggie Cheung and Zhang Ziyi. It is one of my favorite martial arts movies because the story is so beautifully told (and I love Maggie Cheung and Zhang Ziyi). And, of course, you know all about Crouching Tiger …
While Blood: The Last Vampire will never win any prestigious film awards, it is definitely worth checking out. It often runs on the DirecTV Encore channels. If you can’t find it, you really ought to buy the DVD.
Pantyhose in other action settings
I’ve often praised Milla Jovovich (and/or the costume designer) of the Resident Evil movies for dressing Milla’s character, Alice, in sheer nude pantyhose for many of the scenes in which she’s shooting and kicking the crud out of zombies.
These rare cases are so impressive to me. While today, so many movies that are set in business or formal scenes feature lead characters who dress up, except for the awful bare legs look, it’s so rewarding to see that some actresses (and/or costume designers) have so much class that they dress their female star characters in sheer pantyhose. They truly get what so many others don’t seem to — legs look so much better in pantyhose.
A couple of my other favorite action movies are Beyond Hypothermia, about a beautiful Chinese professional hit woman, who dispatches countless dudes, while dressed in lovely outfits, including high heels and pantyhose. There’s just something about a delicately beautiful and petite woman (Wu Chen-Lien at right) dressed all femininely, while toting a high-power rifle that’s bigger than she is, and wielding assorted automatic handguns. Maybe it’s the juxtaposition of the whole thing — pretty but deadly women, kicking butt, while wearing the most feminine thing in the whole world — pantyhose.
You’ve read here before how much I love the movie, Princess Aurora. Don’t let the title fool you. This is a Korean movie, starring the immensely popular Korean singer/actress Uhm Jung-hwa, who plays a heartbroken mother out to avenge the kidnap/murder of her young daughter (who loved the Disney character, Princess Aurora.)
Despite the fact that this movie is pretty violent, it is a heart-wrenching, beautiful story, incredibly well-written and superbly acted. I love Uhm Jung-hwa and will buy anything I can find that she’s done.
Unfortunately, Princess Aurora was not available on DVD, but it is shown on IFC (Independent Film Channel) from time to time on DirecTV.
Besides that I love this actress and this movie, one of the reasons I am recommending you see this is because Jung-hwa wears stunningly beautiful outfits, complete with high heels and sheer pantyhose throughout the movie.
While not quite as powerful or well done, another two movies I like are Black Angel and Black Angel 2, about a young Japanese woman who, years after witnessing the murder of her Yakuza boss father, becomes an accomplished hit woman, who eventually extracts great vengeance on the new Yakuza clan.
The beautiful star who plays the Black Angel character is Riona Hizuki, who wears all black (naturally) dresses and sheer pantyhose throughout the entire movie.
Seeing a trend with me here? I guess I like movies in which women assassins extol the virtues of dressing femininely while blowing (mostly men) away. Hey, I’m sure men would rather be done-in by a beautiful babe in pantyhose, than killed a little bit each day by women who go bare-legged. Guys, am I right here?
Recently, I watched the movie Salt, starring Angelina Jolie as a CIA spy (or Soviet Union double-agent?). In the beginning of the movie, her character wears a skirt suit with high heels, but sadly, no pantyhose. Too bad. I thought it would have been very attractive and sexy if she had been wearing pantyhose when she kicked off her heels to fight and flee once her cover was compromised.
How about you? Do you love it when you see pantyhose in unexpected places? What’s your favorite action (or otherwise) movie, in which the lead actress wears pantyhose throughout? Or, do you have a favorite pantyhose scene during a movie? Please share so that we all can enjoy!