Starring: Kristanna Loken, Ben Kingsley, Michael Madsen, Michelle Rodriguez, Matt Davis, Billy Zane, Meat Loaf
Director: Uwe Boll
Uwe Boll, the German hack director notorious for ruining popular video game franchises by adapting them for the big screen, has claimed yet another victim. The title in question is the fantasy action game, “BloodRayne,” about a half-human/half-vampire killing machine who’s used as a weapon against the Nazi party during WWII. Unfortunately, not even all of these particulars have made it into the film version. Instead, the story takes place in some horribly clichéd Dark Ages setting that even fans of the ten-sided-dice-rolling fantasy world won’t enjoy. And so continues the Uwe Boll curse, a magic so powerful it can deter even the most loyal of fanboys.
Kristanna Loken (who’s proven on more than one occasion just how bad of an actress she really is) plays the title character Rayne, a dhampir – the child of a vampire and human – being kept captive by a bunch of circus freaks clever enough to cash in on her ability to miraculously heal fatal wounds by drinking blood. When her vampire father, Kagan (Ben Kingsley, minus the Sir), discovers that his half-breed daughter is still alive, Rayne finds protection from the unlikeliest of allies, the Brimstone Society, a group of vampire hunters played by Michael Madsen, Matt Davis and Michelle Rodriquez) dedicated to the destruction of the monstrous race.
Of course, we’ve seen this all before. It was called “Blade,” and though that film wasn’t a particularly compelling piece of filmmaking, it was at least fun to watch. This film, however, is not, and though Boll has done a remarkable job in recruiting an impressive cast that includes the likes of Kingsley, Madsen, Rodriguez and Billy Zane, he’s rubbish behind the camera. This is evident in the actors’ wooden performances, with the exception of Zane and Meat Loaf, who both ham it up in their eccentric roles as the aristocratic leader of the Brimstone and a flame-broiled vampire lord, respectively.
Furthermore, the only reason worth forcing yourself to watch this nonsense are the entertaining action sequences, which are filled to the brim with so much gore it’s hard to believe “BloodRayne” wasn’t marketed as a horror movie. The battles are so graphic, in fact, that an unrated version is being released for those interested in experiencing all of the blood-spraying, throat-gurgling slit necks you can handle. There are also a few chopped-up bodies along the way, as well as a particularly graphic sex scene involving a topless Loken.
This won’t be enough to win anyone over, however, especially since the action scenes involving Madsen’s character are little embarrassing to watch. Did anybody even bother teaching the poor guy how to properly wield a sword? One would think that would be a necessity, considering the character appears in nearly every swordfight throughout the film. Then again, Uwe probably couldn't care less. He’s just happy to be making movies in America. And we’re more than happy to let him know when he’s doing a bad job. Now stop it, would you? No, seriously. You suck.
At least the studio knows their movie sucks, or they wouldn’t have packaged the DVD with a copy of the “BloodRayne 2” PC game. There are even a few special features that accompany the feature, including a short montage displaying how specific CGI shots were composed, a sit down with the director (“Dinner with Uwe”), and a feature length audio commentary that sadly doesn’t explain why Uwe is such a bad filmmaker.