words can strike fear into the hearts of moviegoers: Uwe Boll. His movies
been panned as some of the worst ever made. Since he specializes in taking
videogame titles and adapting them to the silver screen, his recent filmography
sounds like a shopping list from GameStop: Alone in the Dark, House
of the Dead, and, now, BloodRayne. Actually,
BloodRayne is a bit of a step up for Boll. It actually tells
a somewhat coherent story and the editing doesn't
appear to have been
done by a blender. That's about all it's got going for it though.
Starring: Kristanna Loken, Ben Kingsley,
and Michelle Rodriguez
the movie, is based on "BloodRayne," a series of videogames
that featured a beautiful, red-headed vampire named Rayne. The movie
differs from the
game series a bit. In the movie, Rayne (Kristanna Loken) is a dhampyr,
a half-human/half vampire, who seeks revenge on her biological father,
Kagan (Ben Kingsley), who is the most powerful vampire of the region.
As a child, Rayne watched as Kagan raped and murdered her human mother.
an all grown-up Rayne teams with a trio of vampire hunters (Michael
Madsen, Michelle Rodriguez,
and Matthew Davis) -- called the Brimstone Society -- to hunt down
and destroy Kagan. Rayne learns that he is
for a set of talismans that will enable him to rule the world. She
decides to search for these items herself which should put her on a collision
course with Kagan.
Loken, who is probably best known for her role as the evil T-X in Terminator
3, is not
a great actress, but she does OK with the material at hand. Which is
to say that she doesn't talk much and shows her midriff (among other
things) throughout the entire movie. That's a good thing because Michael
Madsen, who was
an adequate actor,
says most of his
them for the first time. I have no idea how Ben Kingsley got caught up
in this film but, judging by other
recent films he's been in (Thunderbirds, Suspect Zero and A
Sound of Thunder), he's probably sniffing out every available
paycheck at this point in his career.
the production tries to look epic -- featuring swooping helicopter
shots of horses riding across the mountainside terrain, ala Lord
of the Rings, for example -- there are many clues that reveal its
bargain basement origins. The
cast looks like it's been clothed by the local Renaissance Faire troupe.
The weapons, especially those of the Brimstone Society, appear to have
been crafted by a high school metal
shop class, appearing noticeably dull. The soundtrack sounds
overly dramatic considering the material it has to support.
BloodRayne ultimately fails, though, is in its action sequences.
They're just plain terrible. Madsen, who is playing a supposedly
fearsome vampire destroyer, looks lethargic at best as he wields a
sword. Many scenes featuring sword-fighting or any kind of gymnastics
are marred by stuntmen visibly replacing the main talent. On rare occasions,
you can figure out what's
happening. That's as good as it gets action-wise. I won't even comment
on the movie's laughable sex scene.
the movie has one notable element, it's the campy cameo by Billy Zane,
which earned the movie a half star.
to like BloodRayne because -- with the featured
cast and a script by Guinevere Turner (The Notorious Bettie Page, American
-- I figured it would have to be at least as good as the sum of its parts.
I was wrong.
the film doing poorly in the United States, it has performed in the top
10 in most countries during its opening weekend. Two of which that has
shown the most potential is Russia (#3) and the United Arab Emirates
(#1). (Source: The
Internet Movie Database)