BloodRayne (2005)

Starring Kristanna Loken, Michael Madsen, Ben Kingsley, Michelle Rodriguez

Directed by Uwe Boll

Life carries its share of evils. Homicide, disease, taxes . . .

And, of course, the films of Dr. Uwe Boll.

Once a year the modern day Ed Wood unleashes his latest cinematic travesty to the hellish screams of critics and fanboys alike. But, really, there’s no point in fighting it anymore: Uwe is here to stay. Much like the death of a loved one, his films teach us to appreciate the joys of life through unbridled suffering.

Many people wonder how a director this awful is able to keep making movies. The answer is simple: Boll is a fundraiser extraordinaire and operates exclusively out of Germany, where investors can write film productions off on their taxes. Hence, no matter how much he fails, nobody loses a thing. It’s a shame he doesn’t use his talent producing movies for good filmmakers. Alas, Mr Boll thinks his place is in the director’s chair.

And so we come to BloodRayne, the latest in the director’s long line of video game movies/endurance tests. Although it goes without saying, Boll hasn’t improved much and once again delivers a big heaping dose of cinematic pain. This time he’s gone “period” on us, and the result is an epic as grandiose as a Renaissance fair.

The plot is slightly better than Boll’s Alone in the Dark, which may be the single least coherent film of all time. From what I understand, the story revolves around Rayne (Kristanna Loken), a half-human/half-vampire hybrid (they call ’em “dhampirs”) who makes an uneasy allegiance with a team of vampire-slayers (Michelle Rodriguez, Matt Davis, and a comatose Michael Madsen). Together our band of heroes set out on a quest to kill an evil vampire lord before he can fullfill one of those pesky doomsday prophecies. To do this, Rayne must collect three powerful talismen so she can advance to Level 10 and fight the uber-boss. The big baddie in question just happens to be her father, the villainous Kagan (played by Ben Kingsley’s wig) who spends the duration of the movie sitting on a throne and scowling at his servants. I’m still unsure as to what his ultimate goal is, but with a hairpiece like that, he has to be really, really evil.
Along the way we get several random cameos from the likes of Udo Kier, Meatloaf, and the unparalleled Billy Zane (who is a total joy in his two minutes of superfluous screen time). But the best performance comes from Ms. Loken’s breasts, which single (or double) handedly steal the show. In keeping true to the source material, Boll doesn’t skimp on the leather fetish and even throws in a gratuitous sex scene for good measure. But at the end of the day, it’s pretty sad when a pair of aereolas manage to upstage Ben Kingsley.

Yes, Uwe Boll has the supernatural ability to make even the world’s greatest actors suck. To make matters worse, he films swordplay about as well as he does gun-battles, which means we’re treated to long drawn-out sequences of people randomly banging metal together. Although a surprising amount of blood flows forth in these scenes, they’re so bland they practically enduce hypnosis.

On a technical level BloodRayne is head-and-shoulders above the director’s other efforts, sporting some truly impressive cinematography and a score the feels a little too epic for this film. But when has that ever stopped the good doctor from making a muck of things? This time Boll goes loco editing Lord of the Rings style aerial shots. Occassionally we’ll watch as Rayne rides across a beautiful landscape. Then we’ll cut to another similar shot. And another. And yet another. Again and again and again. And, yes, this usually goes on for several minutes. Oh, Uwe, when will you ever learn?

Many horror fans will feel obligated to see BloodRayne out of morbid curiousity. That’s fine. But be forewarned: Time stops in the Uwe-verse. What clocks in at 94 minutes feels like a few hundred millenia. It’s enough to make the toughest cinema masochist dread Boll’s 3-hour medieval epic, Dungeon Siege — coming soon, whether you like it or not.

BloodRayne (2005)
Fantastic Films International
Directed(!) by Uwe Boll
Starring Kristanna Loken, Michael Madsen, Michelle Rodriguez, and Ben Kingsley with his wig

1 out of 5

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Steve Barton

You're such an inspiration for the ways that I will never, ever choose to be.

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