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Overall Rating
1.32

Awesome: 2.35%
Worth A Look: 4.71%
Just Average: 2.35%
Pretty Crappy: 3.53%
Sucks87.06%

8 reviews, 37 user ratings


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Bloodrayne
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by Peter Sobczynski

"Baby, the Rayne Must Boll!"
1 stars

Thanks to such jaw-droppers as the video-game adaptations “House of the Dead” and “Alone in the Dark,” German director Uwe Boll has quickly garnered a reputation among film geeks as the lousiest filmmaker working today and perhaps in the entire history of the art form–how many others can you think of who are not only regularly compared to Ed Wood but find themselves on the losing end of such comparisons. As a result, his latest effort, “Bloodrayne,” has been eagerly awaited for some time now by bad-film fanatics as a potential perfect storm of cinematic incompetence. With its combination of unpromising story material (once again, he has decided to base a film on a video game and once again, he seems to have utilized little more than the title), a weird cast consisting of every semi-name that he could lure with the promise of a few days pay and a trip to Romania (headed by none other than Sir Ben “Thunderbirds” Kingsley) and what can only be described as a singular visual style (which is perhaps the most polite way to describe his blend of cheapo CGI effects, camera tricks that dazzled the eye when “The Matrix” deployed them in a more competent manner seven years ago and battle scenes lacking even the vaguest traces of competent fight choreography), I suspect that the vast majority of those brave souls who caught it on its opening day did so fully hoping and praying that it might indeed turn out to be one of the most flamboyantly awful films ever made.

Sadly, “Bloodrayne” doesn’t come close to matching those expectations. Sure, it is awesomely bad–it is sloppily made, indifferently acted and tells a story so confounding that I am not entirely certain that Boll or screenwriter Guinevere Turner (yes, the same one who wrote “Go Fish,” “American Psycho” and the upcoming Bettie Page biopic) could begin to explain what is going on at any given moment–but it never quite transcends the ordinary levels of badness in the way that Boll’s previous efforts have done. Compared to such sights as the on-screen video-game scoring during “House of the Dead” or Tara Reid as a brilliant archaeologist who nevertheless is unable to pronounce “Newfoundland,” this film comes dangerously close to flirting with competency. Of course, the flirtation doesn’t work, competency shoots the film down and it goes home alone to spend the evening watching “Space Ghost” DVDs in its underwear while eating leftover macaroni and cheese. However, as inexplicable genre exercises directed by hack filmmakers and starring slumming Oscar winners in bizarre and ill-fitting wigs go, there is nothing here that seemed appreciably worse than the “X3" trailer that ran just before it.

Set who-the-hell-knows-when in the land of who-the-hell-knows-where (I think 1700's Romania), “Bloodrayne” stars Kristanna Loken (best known as the sexy Terminator in “T3") as Rayne, a cruelly mistreated circus freak who displays bizarre regenerative powers after drinking sheep’s blood–hey, that’s show-biz. After getting a taste of human blood, however, she becomes super-strong and breaks free of her prison. She runs across a fortune teller (Geraldine Chaplin) who informs her that she is a dhampir–the half-human/half-vampire result of her mother being raped by vampire king Kagan (Ben Kingsley). It turns out that Kagan is attempting to retrieve three body parts removed from a legendarily powerful vampire and scattered throughout the world–if he gains them and absorbs their power, he will be able to rule the world. Before long, Rayne teams up with vampire hunters Vladimir (Michael Madsen), Sebastian (Matt Davis) and Katarin (Michelle Rodriguez) and in an attempt to stop Kagan and his evil ways once and for all.

Okay, I think that is basically what happens. One of the many problems with the film is that the screenplay is so filled with gibberish–mostly blunt exposition sprinkled with half-hearted stabs at medieval slang and delivered with a variety of unconvincing accents (and if you think I am being cruel, you try listening to Rodriguez trying to approximate a British accent–despite her character being Romanian–with a straight face)–that it becomes virtually impossible to understand what is going on in the story at any given point. Eventually, even the most attentive viewers will begin to tune out of the narrative and instead focus on things that they probably weren’t supposed to notice–the laughable makeup given to a monster guarding some treasure that looks suspiciously like a Halloween mask, the tan line that Rayne briefly reveals when bending over to pick something while wearing the low-riders that comprise the majority of her costume, the escape from a prison cell that is so cheesy and idiotic that a character actually remarks “I can’t believe that worked!” Most of all, they will notice during the endless fight scenes that Boll not only has no idea how to stage such a thing, he has inexplicably cast actors who seem equally at sea. As a result, Boll is forced to edit his battles at such a rapid clip (the better to cover everyone’s utter lack of skill) that they become impossible to follow along even as violent eye candy.

And yet, these are the sort of mistakes and flaws that can be found in any number of cheapo B-movies on the dustier shelves of your local video store. In the past, Boll’s films have gone way beyond the bounds of the politely pathetic to heretofore unknown levels of mind-roasting lunacy and that is what is largely lacking in “Bloodrayne.” There are parts that flirt with such insanity–the casting of Michael Pare as a 1700's oracle who seems to have taken the D train to Romania from Brooklyn and a couple of catfights between Loken and Rodriguez, one while practicing swordfighting and the other underwater–but they come off as disappointingly staid when compared to the likes of “Alone in the Dark.” There is only one scene here that reaches those off-the-wall levels–a visit to a vampire bordello in which we are treated to such sights as people hanging from the ceiling as human water fountains for their captors, a horde of naked vampire prostitutes and a brief battle between Valdimir and the bordello’s vampiric poobah, played by none other than Meat Loaf wearing a wig that seems to have been stolen directly from an exceptionally shabby road company of “Amadeus.” Needless to say, this is also the best scene in the movie simply because it is the only one with any genuine life or spark to it, no matter how screw-loose it might be.

This lack of energy may be the inevitable result of Boll expending it all on what must have been an amazing song-and-dance to get the cast that he somehow brought together here to do some of the worst work of their collective careers. As Rayne, Loken is definitely sexy in her low-cut outfits but the sad fact is that, at least not based on the evidence supplied here, she cannot really act at all. Despite that, she tears into the role with a weird sort of straight-faced conviction that is worth applauding considering the circumstances–although she may not be capable of giving a good performance, she is at least trying which is more than you can say for most of her co-stars. For the most part, they stand around in uncomfortable outfits speaking uncomfortable dialogue while seemingly cursing whatever fates led them to such a destination. Some are able to grin and bear it (such as Udo Kier, who appears seemingly because it is impossible to make a European-based genre film without him making an appearance) while others, especially a grumpier-looking-than-usual Rodriguez, just look pissed off. Of them, Michael Madsen seems to have dealt with it in the most direct manner possible–he goes through the entire movie in what appears to be an extended drunken stupor. As for Sir Ben “A Sound of Thunder” Kingsley, he is kind of a disappointment because he never hits the scenery-chewing levels that one might have expected from a guy who started his film career as Gandhi and who is now playing Kagan, King of the Vampires and menacing a spread-eagled red-headed hottie on an altar during some unspeakable ceremony. This is a role tailor-made for over-the-top hamminess but he instead goes through the motions with an air of desperation that is virtually palpable throughout.

So “Bloodrayne” isn’t a good movie by conventional good-movie standards (duh!) and it isn’t good by bad-movie standards either. Frankly, this is depressing because entertainingly awful filmmakers are a rare breed these days and to see Uwe Boll go from the singular lunacy of his previous output to something as ordinarily dumb as this is kind of a drag. I expected more (or less, I guess) from him, not just another routinely boring programmer destined to play in empty theaters in January before quickly being hustled onto DVD and the Sci-Fi Network.

link directly to this review at http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=13315&reviewer=389
originally posted: 01/07/06 23:17:03
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OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2005 Austin Film Festival For more in the 2005 Austin Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

4/23/17 David H. Complete malarkey and doggy poop. 1 stars
5/02/11 austin dreadful 1 stars
9/02/08 Shaun Wallner Awesome storyline! 5 stars
5/10/08 Tabitha Rabisa I liked the plot and the actors they chose to play the roles 4 stars
4/12/08 MJ Kristanna Loken is the only good thing about this film! 1 stars
8/21/07 AntiGaneshKumar Toast to the idiots who gave this movie 4+ stars. You've joined the 0.01% moviegoers... 1 stars
3/03/07 gal. i laughed..at all the terrible things about this movie which just happens to be everything 1 stars
10/30/06 wesley sniper Dear Cody, You are mentally retarded. Love, everyone 1 stars
10/17/06 AJ Muller words fail me. uwe boll makes people wish for deaf dumb and blindness REPEATEDLY 1 stars
10/06/06 El Kevino Eh, was pretty bad. 1 stars
8/20/06 ganeshkumar good 4 stars
8/09/06 melivorous i wish boll were dead, the end 1 stars
8/08/06 Dragon The Artist A few minute campy qualities, but opinions are like @$$holes, everybody has one,BOLL HATERZ 4 stars
8/06/06 cody armstrong It is an excellent movie. 5 stars
8/01/06 Andras I liked the movie. I wish there was more background story. 4 stars
7/21/06 RealDeal2006 Uwe seen one movie from this useless cunt uwe seen them all! 2 stars
7/20/06 Sugarfoot So that's where Michael Pare has been hiding...In lame Uwe Boll flicks. 1 stars
7/17/06 Woodsie So bad I was expecting the audience to adopt the brace position in the seats! 2 stars
7/14/06 Anthony G what's funny is after all of these shit movies, I still want to see the next one. 1 stars
7/07/06 ALDO Enjoyed it ...much better than catwoman, elekra Much better 3 stars
7/04/06 Ducka Amazingly terrible 1 stars
7/02/06 Ryden FC Stunningly awful. Boll exceeds expectations again! 1 stars
6/24/06 pete no 1 stars
6/18/06 Ray One person only couldnt have done something so bad 1 stars
6/18/06 Jon Dolnier Lame, but I pretty much expected it to be so... 1 stars
6/04/06 Jon Fuck it 1 stars
5/30/06 Ryan_A As bad as advertised, and still worse than expected. Inept in every way. 1 stars
5/21/06 Sugarfoot Uwe Boll is the devil, I tell you! 1 stars
5/17/06 Uwe never seen anything like it! Awful 1 stars
5/13/06 Duffyboy666 UWE is BOLLocks. 1 stars
2/20/06 Sean D Oh dear fucking goodness make him STOP! 1 stars
1/24/06 AntiBoll No Scott we go see his movies they make money, and THEN he will stop making them (we hope) 1 stars
1/14/06 Uwe Boll HaHa i made it suck on purpose! >:D 1 stars
1/10/06 Ole Man Bourbon So bad, once it looked like Madsen was about to start crying while delivering a line 1 stars
1/10/06 Jason Keller Was going to say "like watching porn without the sex", but he went and threw in a sex scene 1 stars
1/08/06 Zordude It was no really good, but watchable for someone who likes the genre 3 stars
1/07/06 The Crystal Lich "... a film professor's most vibrant nightmare." Brilliant! 2 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  06-Jan-2006 (R)
  DVD: 23-May-2006

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