Tuesday, September 25, 2012


The Bloodrayne games are some of my personal favorites. The first in particular. I clearly remember anxiously awaiting for the end of each and every work day so I could go home and play through another kick ass level as the half vampire/half human Nazi killer Rayne. It was fun and filled with tons of 'Holy shit!' moments (like when Rayne said “Thanks for the ride, fucko!” after stowing away in a Nazi jeep).

I was also anxious to see this film version of the game despite the fact that crap cinema auteur Uwe Boll was directing it. The last two game based movies he made, House of the Dead and Alone in the Dark, left a lot to be desired and this didn't look that great either, but I was going to see it anyway.

I should have known that this flick was going to be complete shit from start to finish.

The plot is that a half vampire/half human named Rayne, who has been living as a circus attraction for most of her life, discovers that she's destined to kill her pure blood vamp father, Kagan, who raped and murdered her mother. While she makes her way to him to exact her revenge she learns that Kagan is after certain relics from the original vampire, Beliar, that will make him resistant to all the trappings of his kind. She must stop him before he becomes invincible.

Sounds lame. Yup. Like every action movie to ever come down the pike. In the hands of a director with an ounce of creativity or vision this might have been decent. I've learned to expect shit from Uwe Boll. That's what we got. Not an original idea in the whole flick, every vampire movie cliche is present, and scenes are stolen from other movies, from the Indiana Jones trap room to the Conan/Chronicles of Riddick ending.
The plot of the first game, where Rayne is hunting the occultist members of the Nazi party during WWII who wish to revive the vampire god, Belair, to win the war is completely dropped for a prequel storyline about Rayne's origins even though the movie script treads over the same ground as the game. Why not just leave the WWII setting in? It would have been more interesting that the boring Romanian countryside we see in all old school vamp movies.

The film is filled top to bottom with WTF moments, like Rayne saying that she only feeds off animals or other vampires, but early on she brutally attacks and kills most of the humans that work at the circus including her best friend. Rayne knows how to fight martial arts style with two blades she's never used before in her life during a massive battle scene early in the movie, but once she joins the Brimstone Society (vampire hunters) they train her to fight again in all the techniques she used earlier and was very good at. Characters are introduced and forgotten (Billy Zane). Characters are killed in brutal fashion and every single wound, no matter how small, produces a geyser of blood that would be at home in an Evil Dead movie. Stupid events/plot points occur, aren't explained, then dropped completely (Rayne kills some vamps in front of some scared villagers, gets covered in blood which is seeping from her mouth, tells villagers she’s not going to hurt them then they offer her a ride... would you give a ride to someone who just ate people in front of you?). The most powerful vampires are the easiest to kill. One character, played by Will Sanderson, is able to magically transport anywhere in Romania as long as the plot requires it. It's baffling to me that this was allowed to pass by the continuity supervisors. Even the vampire rules are bent for no apparent reason (Rayne is vulnerable to all vampire trappings, but for some reason she wears a crucifix).

Alone in the Dark had some great production values and competent people working behind the camera, but this film feels like a step backwards in that regard. All the sets look cheap, the costumes are generic (most likely bought at a costume shop) and the cinematography was freaking horrible.

Most of the actors seemed to not want to even be on set, and the ones who looked like they were enjoying themselves aren't even decent actors to begin with (Will Sanderson, I'm pointing at your no talent having ass).
Kristanna Loken is the only person who appears to be having fun in the title role, and is a good actress to boot. Too bad she gets very little dialogue and a shite script to work from. She definitely looks the part and has the athletic ability to pull off her fight scenes, even going so far as to show off her luscious ta-tas for a totally unnecessary sex scene. She's the only reason to watch this flick.

Ben Kingsley. Where to begin. He looks bored, uninterested in the material and (we all know) is just cashing a check. All of his scenes seemed to have been shot in one day (he's always in the same room talking to the same people about the same topics), and he gets some of the worst lines in the entire movie ("Ungrateful bitch!" had me rolling in the aisles). His character wasn't scary, wasn't menacing and wasn't much of anything to be completely honest. His scenes just felt thrown into the film. I zoned out more than a few times during his scenes; wondering what I was going to eat for dinner that night, trying to hold in that fart that just didn't seem to want to go away, thinking about what the inside of my navel looked like, etc.

Michael Madsen was the other horribly miscast person. He looked drunk the entire movie, like he was more interested in chewing his tobacco (check out the constant bulge on his lower lip) than acting. I was also told that he never put his sword away the entire flick, even going as far as to put it behind his back to pretend that he did. WTF?! And when his character is offed it's like he never existed. No one notices or seems to care. And he talks like Mr. Blonde the whole movie too (without the 'fucks').

All the supporting characters are throwaways, from Michelle Rodriquez's character, to Meat Loaf's foppish vampire pimp, to Billy Zane's two worthless scenes and Michael Pare as a weapons master. I still can't fathom how Uwe Boll is able to convince such good actors and actresses to take part in this crud.
The fights for the most part suck. They are shot with very little lighting, ultra high shutter speeds that blur everything and bad choreography. Only a trap room scene held my total attention and made me remember why the games were so damn cool. That part is right out of the source material and was actually made competently, borrowing elements from the game and made them make sense without having to explain what was going on (although later on we are beaten over the head with exposition on this subject). The final battle between ultra vampire king and uber hot vampire killer was anti-climactic to say the least. A few lame sword clashes them blammo! Vamp king is taken out in the lamest way possible.

Ok, so I've said the acting is shit, the script was garbage, the direction is beyond inane, the action unexciting and the sets and costumes are weak. Is there any doubt that this is one of the worst movies ever made? It's not even one of those movies that's so bad it's good. Bloodrayne is just plain bad.

And the funny thing is I can't wait to see his next game movie travesty, In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale. Call me crazy.

0.5 out of 5

*written 1/7/06

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