Uwe Boll is becoming a man of legend, and has quickly become a household name among horror fans. Like I’ve said many times before, his vision is one that only one man in history can compete with- Ed Wood. He has a heart of gold and is quite the producer, but when it comes to directing a million dollar picture, one must wonder, can anyone truly be that bad? Sometimes I wonder what I could do with $25 million bucks- let alone $60 (Dungeon Siege), and I’m not saying I could do any better- what I’m saying is, when is enough, enough?
In eighteenth century Romania, Rayne (Kristanna Loken), a dhampir (half-human, half-vampire), prone to fits of blind blood rage but saddled with a compunction for humans, strives to avenge her mother’s rape by her father, Kagan (Ben Kingsley), King of Vampires. Two vampire hunters, Sebastian (Matthew Davis) and Vladimir (Michael Madsen), from the Brimstone Society persuade her to join their cause.
Starting on a positive note, BloodRayne is by far a superior film to both Alone in the Dark and House of the Dead. Although still terrible in just about every way, there are some salvageable highlights. First off there are some sequences with Kristanna Loken where she has what they call ‘Blood Rage’. Basically when you’re an inexperienced vampire you lash out in an uncontrolled fashion seeking blood. There are a few scenes in which Loken has these fits and they are shot beautifully- they’re racy, violent and turbo-charged. These scenes are the equivalent to the awesome ‘firing squad in the dark’ scene in AITD. Another highlight to the film is the amount of blood that gets drained. Every single time there’s a vampire bite we see chunks of flesh fly off and blood spilling everywhere. There are tons of throats slit and stomachs slashed open, which seem to all be inspired by Tarantino’s Kill Bill. The only downfall to this is that at times Uwe shows too much, and/or the CGI blood looks too campy and fake.
The final thing that Uwe did well was capture the essence of the world the movie takes place in. There are some extraordinary shots from the sky of the hills and landscape, which were obviously inspired by Lord of the Rings (Uwe likes to use other directors visions in his movies). But alas, all good must eventually come to an end- let’s begin with the horrid wardrobe and set design. One sequence Loken battles an ogre/vampire of some sort in a small dungeon. The bricks look ridiculously fake, especially when they are broken apart by the club of the ogre/vampire. Oh my god, and the ridiculous outfits and wigs worn by the stars! Ben Kingsly and Meat Loaf must have felt like complete jack-asses whenever the camera was on them. Then there was mullet boy and tattoo man (that’s the guy with the stupid ass ‘I’m too cool for words’ haircut). And the weapondry- every time we catch a close up of the swords I couldn’t believe how fake they looked, and this is a $25 million pic! I’m not going to even get into the outfits (even though Loken looked HOT in her little leather piece).
Speaking of sexy leather outfits, Uwe always manages to squeeze a sex scene into his opus of events. This sex scene was just as random as Tara Reid climbing into bed with a sleeping Christian Slater and waking him up with a little ‘shwing’ action in AITD. In BloodRayne Rayne is sleeping and having nightmares about lashing out at victims (the blood rage sequences) and then she wakes up. The second she wakes up she runs over to mullet boy and tears his clothes off- I think her breasts were exposed quicker than any porn I’ve ever seen. I felt bad laughing but it was so incredibly random. The main problem when you disect it all? There’s a lack of build up and no sexual tension early on; Uwe doesn’t know how to build a character for sh-t. He just lumps big stars into a movie and tells them to read their lines (or so it appears) without any motivation whatsoever.
I wonder if Christopher Walken was approached for a role in this movie- Michael Madsen’s role to be exact. I also wonder if after Walken turned down the part if Uwe told Michael to make sure he acts like Christopher Walken would? The entire movie Madsen speaks just like you’d expect Walken to, I often questioned if it was just Michael trying to remember his lines. Udo Kier was wonderful as always and so was Ben Kingsley. I’ve always been a big fan of Michelle Rodriguez and think she also did a tremendous job for being in an Uwe Boll flick. But I still want to know, what was the point of Billy Zane’s character? I guess it was in his best interests to not be in much of the film anyways. What annoyed the hell out of me the most was how often the accents came and went, especially the gypsy woman (she was incredibly out of place). Why would you attempt to make a period piece if you can’t even get your actors to keep their accents? Sheesh.
The action sequences ranged from terrible to excellent. Some of the swordfights came off quite well, especially in the midst of a larger battle- but when Uwe stuck two stars face to face they often ran long and boring- not to mention all the tiresome dialogue mixed in (think something like- “I’m the best, no I’m the best!”).
In the end the movie felt way too long (even at 96 minutes) and had me bored to tears (just watch the trailer and times it by 10). In addition, the screenplay was loaded with useless dialogue and characters (Bill Zane). BloodRayne was your typical Boll style filled with tired action sequences and lack of motivation (or preparation?). If you want to shell out $10 to see a $25 million dollar student film, this is the time to do it. As much as I think Uwe’s films are terrible, I can’t wait to see what he does with $60 million dollars!!