Distributed by: Uwe Boll Production
Reviewed by Ismael Manzano
It has become a well know fact amongst my droves of loyal followers that I love all things vampires. Movie, book, graphic novel, or poem, I love the whole vampire genre when it’s done right. Sadly, most attempts to revamp—pardon the pun—this old tale of immorality and bloodlust, either come up short or just bite—pun definitely intended. When BloodRayne, the uncut version, became available for DVD, I had to rent it and see for myself whether this movie was a hit or yet another miss.
BloodRayne is a movie adaptation of a popular video game of the same title. In the tradition of Blade and Vampire Hunter D, Uwe Boll Production brings us another story of a half-vampire, hunting its own kind for redemption. The movie follows Rayne (Kristanna Loken of T3), a Dhampire, who was sired by one of the most powerful vampires alive, Kagan (Sir Ben Kingsley). Her pedigree, however, is more a curse than a blessing, as Dhampires are despised among true vampires and even her father Kagan has sought her head since she was a small child.
Somehow, Rayne ends up as part of a traveling carnival show and is forced to entertain the crowd with her amazing ability to heal after drinking blood. One night, she is attacked by one of the carnies and, fueled by the blood of her attacker, escapes and slaughters those that had kept her against her will. Now free, Rayne feeds on the blood of other vampires for sustenance and strength, while she searches for Kagan to avenge the death of her mother.
It’s not long before a secret society of vampire hunters known as the Brimstone Society catches wind of the carnage Rayne had left in her wake and track her down. Led by Vladimir (Michael Madsen), Katarin (Michelle Rodriguez of Lost) and Sebastian (Mathew Davis), find Rayne, realize what she truly is and form a shaky alliance with her to bring down Kagan. She eventually joins the Brimstone Society and they train her to do moves she instinctively knew how to do—because life as a carnival attraction is great combat training.
In order to destroy Kagan, she first locates an eye, purported to have belonged to an ancient vampire who had grown so powerful, crosses, sunlight and water—yep, not holy water, just water—could not hurt him. It was said that the parts of his body carried these gifts with him.
But can Rayne and the Brimstone Society survive and keep Kagan from obtaining the immortal-making body parts, with a traitor in their mist, an army of thralls—human servants—on their heels, and a legion of vampires in their way?
There are so many things wrong with this movie, I don’t know if I can list them all, but I’ll try. First off, the fast dying vampires were particularly annoying. How exactly are vampires a threat to anyone if they can be killed almost as easily as a human, can’t go out in the daylight, and can’t touch water in any way—even over their clothing? The gore is so over-the-top, it is almost—and sometimes actually—laughable; I mean, really over the top, and the slow-motion montage at the end only serves to point out how absurd and poorly done, the special effects truly are.
Michael Madsen and Michelle Rodriguez’s performances are lackluster at best, reminiscent of animated mannequins. And Rodriguez’s, sometimes-accent, is equally laughable. Billy Zane—who plays Rodriguez’s now-vampire-father—has a wig that is so obvious it should have been a character of its own. (How exactly is Billy Zane Rodriguez’s father anyway?).
Somewhere in the middle of the movie, there is a special appearance by Meatloaf, at Meatloaf’s Palace of Blood and Orgies. You’ll have to watch it for yourself, because I’m not going to explain this one. Now, I understand that this is an adaptation from a video game and hence not subject to historical accuracy, but Rayne’s outfit would turn heads in today’s society, let alone hundreds of years ago when the story set.
Overall…the vampire makeup looked like something out of Fright Night—it’s been twenty years, they could do better—and the acting proved what can happen when the director does not direct their actors. But, whether its Loken’s outfit, period, the monotone acting, or the vampires—however badly done they were—the movie is strangely entertaining. Maybe that just goes to show that even a bad vampire film still has something special, or maybe it’s just my insane love of the genre that keeps me from giving it a completely horrible review. Whichever way you look at it, there was something fun about the film, and it delivers on its promise of nonstop action.
The purchased DVD comes with a free DVD-ROM BloodRayne game for your computer which might be worth more than the movie itself, but at least you get something extra for your money so it’s not a complete waste if you’re an avid video game fan and end up hating the movie. Enjoy.