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BloodRayne: The Third Reich (2010)



BloodRayne: The Third ReichStarring Natassia Malthe, Michael Pare, Clint Howard, Brendan Fletcher

Directed by Uwe Boll

It has taken three movies for Uwe Boll’s BloodRayne franchise to finally catch up to where the BloodRayne video games started out in the first place: Nazi Germany. After a needless origin film in the old country and a sojourn to the old west, finally Rayne sinks her fangs and her blades into history’s greatest villains.

I’m of two minds when it comes to BloodRayne: The Third Reich. One mind screams, “Holy crap! That movie was complete gibberish!” The other mind screams, “Holy crap! That movie was complete gibberish – but I was still kind of entertained in a Cannon Films sort of way.” BloodRayne: The Third Reich truly is just a Dudikoff shy of being the BloodRayne flick Golan-Globus would given us back in the day. I hope Uwe Boll considers setting the next BloodRayne movie in the Middle East and has her teaming up with the Delta Force to fight Arab vampire terrorists during the Reagan era.

Natassia Malthe returns for her second go as blade-swinging, daywalking, half-vampire Rayne; and this time she couldn’t even be bothered to dye her hair red for the role. Instead we have a head of dark hair with the tips dyed red, a hairstyle I am fairly certain would look highly out of place in 1940’s Germany. Her whole self looks out of place with the time period. A pale, Eurasian looking woman with red-tipped hair and black fingernail polish, wearing a rather modern looking by Nazi Germany standards trench coat adorned with unusual designs and a very low cut top that displays her heaving bosoms like they’re trying to stage their own Great Escape. Is it any wonder she’s forced to hide out in a brothel?

While Boll may not have been able to get Malthe to fully dye her hair for this threequel, he did somehow convince her to get fully naked. Malthe bares it all in two sex scenes, one of which is girl-on-girl with a prostitute thanking her for saving a fellow harlot from an abusive john as only one can in a whorehouse. I mean, seriously; it goes down (pun intended) so suddenly the dialogue leading into this scene might as well have had the hooker saying to Rayne, “Thanks for the help. How ‘bout I eat your pussy?” No beating around the bush, so to speak.

Both of the sex scenes in this installment manage to be even more out of nowhere than the cell door bang session from the first flick. The finale – I am not making this up – begins with Rayne captured and unconscious in the back of an armored Nazi truck transporting her and local resistance leader Brendan Fletcher, with whom there has been not a smidgen of romantic chemistry with prior; she awakens, they exchange a look, and without saying a word, both proceed to drop trou and play hide the strudel. No thought of escaping; just nookie. I was so disappointed that the other resistance fighters didn’t stage their rescue a few moments sooner so that Rayne and Fletcher would have ended up buck naked in the snow battling Nazis.

BloodRayne: The Third ReichRayne unintentionally turns a Nazi Commandant into a dhampir like herself during the heat of battle. A Nazi doctor gets all giddy at the thought of using her blood to make Hitler immortal. Why exactly they can’t use the Commandant’s blood to make Hitler immortal was kind of lost on me. Not that any of it truly matters in the end since very little between the hacking and slashing and humping and carpet munching matters. A short running time, a breezy pace, and some enjoyable loopiness make it easier to digest.

You know what does matter? Casting Michael Pare as a Nazi! Correction: Michael Pare as a Nazi vampire! Double Correction: Michael Pare as a Nazi vampire that spends much of the movie appearing a tad unsure as to what do with himself post-transformation until the finale when he juices up on Rayne’s blood and starts screaming to the heavens about absolute power as if he were Skeletor on a coke jag.

The Commandant will be so quickly and anti-climactically dispatched in the end I’d dare say Count Duckula would have made a more worthy adversary for Rayne. If this movie is in any way accurate as to the tenacity and intelligence of the Third Reich, I cannot fathom why it took so many years to win that war.

Pare’s German accent vanishes faster than Kevin Costner’s British accent in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. He clearly speaks with a German accent in his first scene or two and from there either doesn’t bother at all or merely speaks with a slightly stilted inflection meant to make him sound less obviously American.

Boll will see your Michael Pare as a Nazi Commandant turned vampire and raise us Clint Howard as a Nazi mad scientist. Howard, too, forsakes a German accent in favor of doing what I can only describe as a full-fledged Igor voice. Considering this is Clint Howard we’re talking about, I just prefer to imagine this doctor used to be Dr. Frankenstein’s assistant Igor until he got corrective hump surgery and put himself through med school.

While I’m on the subject of voices, I’m sorry to say Natassia Malthe’s chirpy delivery just doesn’t carry the weight of a kickass action heroine. Original BloodRayne Kristanna Loken looked the part and possessed a husky voice that added some needed gravitas to her otherwise flat line readings. The silly aviator hat Malthe wears during many action scenes also detracts from her perceived badassery.

I could never determine from the sound of his voice if Brendan Fletcher’s resistance leader was supposed to be German, British, or American. A little annoying considering there are enough scenes involving his anti-Nazi brigade that the movie could have been cheekily retitled Inglourious Dhampirs.

There is one all-too-brief sequence that almost makes me want to give this sequel a five-star rating. Rayne experiences a daffy nightmare in which she gets the crap beat out of her by a vampire Hitler. She wakes up from this dream screaming in terror. I would have woken up laughing hysterically.

2 1/2 out of 5

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Friends Don’t Let Friends Review – A Haunting Mixture of Psychological Turmoil and Brutal Supernatural Horror



Starring Brittany Anne Woodford, Jenny Curtis, Kanin Guntzelman, Brendan McGowan, Jake White

Directed by James S. Brown

We all like to think of ourselves as being surrounded by friends, but let’s face it, if we were to ever truly hit hard times, there are probably very few, if any, people we could truly rely on. So on some level, Friends Don’t Let Friends is a film we can all relate too, as it deals with this very issue.

Stephanie is an emotionally unstable young woman who strangles her boyfriend to death after he insults and breaks up with her. She calls her friends to help her dispose the body out in the Joshua Tree National Part area, and instead of reporting her to the police, they reluctantly comply. As their car breaks down, the four friends find themselves alone at night in the Californian wilderness with the rotting corpse in need of disposal. Given their dire circumstances, they begin to become more and more aggressive towards each other, and this was where the film was really at its best. I was on the edge of my seat, wondering how far the limits of their friendship could be stretched, and who would be the first to crack and turn on the others.

Anyway, their body disposal endeavor soon proves to be a mistake, as Stephanie’s ex rises from the grave as vengeful zombie demon thing with claws as long as knives. I’ll admit, I first I thought Friends Don’t Let Friends was going to be a movie purely about the limits of trust, so I was pretty surprised when the supernatural elements came into play. And when they did, the trust and friendship elements of the plot were somewhat downplayed in favor of a more traditional horror approach, and while it was still entertaining, I still would have preferred for the film not to have strayed from its initial path. At least the ending came as a shocker. I won’t go into spoilers, but let’s just say the even the most attentive viewers probably won’t see it coming.

As you can probably guess from a psychologically-driven film of this kind, the performances were top notch, with Brittany Anne Woodford being on particularly top form as the manipulative and unstable Stephanie, a character who revels in the revels in the power she felt when ending another human life.

With its mixture of psychological turmoil and brutal supernatural horror, Friends Don’t Let Friends is a film I would certainly recommend, but keep in mind that it may make you think twice when confiding in people who you think of as being your friends.

8 out of 10.

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Coulrophobia Review – One of the Most Entertaining Killer Clown Films in Quite Some Time



Starring Pete Bennett, Warren Speed, Daniella D’Ville, Roxy Bordeaux

Directed by Warren Speed

The word ‘Coulrophobia’ refers to the fear of clowns, and if you happen to suffer from it, you might want to avoid director Warren Speed’s film of the same name. However, if you can stand the sight of clowns with gaping wounds in their manly parts, then you’re in for one heck of a fun time.

An all-female hockey team get lost deep in the Scottish woods on their way to a match (don’t ask), and are captured and forced to participate in a series of horrific games by the Grock family of clowns. All of the members of said family are absolutely fucking insane, but the one that really stood out was Twitch (Pete Bennett), who wears jester cloths and it said to have a short attention span. He longs to be a violin player and wishes he could blend in with normal society like the other members of his family. And you almost feel sorry for him, even though he’s a mad killer with bells on his head.

Director Warren Speed also appeared as Milo, a grunting mute who had his tongue cut out when he was a boy. As mentioned above, we see a close-up shot of a open wound in his penis being stitched up, which is not an image that will be leaving your mind anytime soon. Speed is clearly fearless when it comes to his art.

Inter-spliced with all the torture and mayhem, we also see documentary-style telling the sad history of the family involved, and this was where the film unfortunately faltered, because these scenes seemed out of place and just didn’t flow with the rest of the plot.

Ultimately, however, Coulrophobia almost seems like a film Rob Zombie might have made before he lost his way and started churning out trash like 31. Comparisons to House of 1000 Corpses are inevitable, and I absolutely mean that as a compliment. This is one of the most entertaining killer clown films in quite some time.

  • Film
User Rating 2.94 (17 votes)
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The Gatehouse Review – What Is Found in the Woods Should Be Left in the Woods



Starring Scarlett Rayner, Simeon Willis, Linal Haft

Directed by Martin Gooch

Now while no one will sneeze at the prospect of bringing up a bit of a rebellious child alone, it’s those damned kids that like to tempt fate by pissing off creatures in the woods…oh kids, they do the funniest things, don’t they?

In Martin Gooch’s moderately spooky presentation, The Gatehouse, a struggling writer named Jack (Willis) finds himself behind the 8-ball following the tragic drowning death of his beloved wife, and if that isn’t enough to torque your drawers, his young daughter, Eternity (Rayner) is becoming quite the salty soul herself. Unfortunately the little one has been finding herself bullied at school, and her recourse of sorts is to simply toss attitude around as if it was pleasantly acceptable. Her pastime has become lonely wanderings in the deep woods, digging for hopeful treasures…and we all know what problems reside in the woods, don’t we, horror fans? Well, Eternity’s father is attempting to re-start his writing career with a frightening backstory – taking the reigns on a novel that was abruptly ended when the author committed suicide, and supposedly the tome is quite the dark piece of literature.

Eternity’s never-ending quest for fortune and glory in the forest leads her to a most interesting (and ultimately) dangerous discovery (don’t sweat it – I won’t spill it for you). Bottom line here is this: the little girl has taken possession of something that should have been left in the friggin’ woods, and now someone (or something) wants it back PRONTO. What follows is a lackluster series of “spooky” events, and far be it from me to say, I’ve seen creepier stuff watching the evening news. Gooch then tries to bombard the audience with a plethora of instances and swerving plot direction – it’s fun at the beginning but can grow a bit tiresome over a duration.

Performance-wise, both Rayner and Willis play the perfect combination of mentally-shot dad and determined-to-be-independent daughter – their scenes are ripe with subtle contempt, and the right amount of indecision. Overall, the film is best suited for those fans of fantasy/fable-like horror, and while it might not scare the pants off of you, it definitely will give us all another reason to stay the hell out of the woods once and for all.

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Children in a forest-setting don’t always add up to cutesy-pie encounters with furry creatures – this one’s got a few scares to keep fans of coppice-horror appeased.

User Rating 3.56 (18 votes)
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