Bloodrayne (2005)

“My mission is my own, and not of evil intent.”

Justin’s Rating: This is the day the music died.

Justin’s Review: I won’t take the position that all video games have stories equal to great literature, but you know what, some do. Some are good. But some are just flimsy excuses for redheads to slaughter supernatural foes and Nazis, which is pretty much all that the Bloodrayne series is. But if you’re going to acquire such a property for a movie, you might as well stick to the premise and not alienate what few fans are going to make the jump from their consoles to the silver screen by changing things up. Then again, this is director Uwe Boll we’re talking about, so “faithful retelling” and “steadfast continuity” are not going to be anywhere in his vicinity.

Anyway, Boll continues his infamous video game film march here with 2005’s Bloodrayne, all the while convincing himself that he’s the movie messiah and merely misunderstood in his time. That’s okay, he can have his delusions — but does he have to foist them upon us?

So far, the video games that Boll has massacred were not the most near and dear to a majority of gamers. Bloodrayne is no different. Despite the semi-cool “vampire vs. Nazis” hook, the Bloodrayne games were standard, easily-forgotten fighting games that only remained in the public eye because someone thought it’d be a great idea to throw Bloodrayne into a Playboy magazine spread. Seriously. Still, I would’ve tolerated even Uwe Boll doing this movie, if he just allowed us to vicariously enjoy some vampiric payback on the Third Reich. No such luck.

Instead, we get Bloodrayne: Brought To You By Cherry Kool-Aid, an overly gory, sloppy mess of a film that’s just as incoherent and silly as Alone in the Dark and House of the Dead. One can only imagine Boll’s preproduction sessions:

BOLL: So everyone in the world hates me and I was laughed off stage at my 10th year high school reunion… I am the GREATEST director alive! I almost got Tara Reid’s phone number — she was SO into me… oh, those luscious lips…

ASSISTANT: Um, Mr. Boll? The movie?

BOLL: Ah, yes! It shall be my most glorious achievement! You taking notes? Good. Michael Madsen with a giant hair metal wig! Horsies! Gypsies! Ben Kingsley raping people! Billy Zane! Dismembered vampire body parts! That chick from Terminator 3, but only if she agrees to go topless! Oh! Oh! And Meat Loaf in a white fluffy wig doing blood shots off of naked prostitutes! Not just movie prostitutes, but REAL hookers! This, I command!

ASSISTANT: Hail Caesar!

I scarcely need more ammunition to torment Mr. Boll with, but when he continues to drop offal in my lap like Bloodrayne, how can I resist? If I didn’t see his other two video game works, I’d say this is easily one of the silliest things I’ve ever seen. In comparison to Alone in the Dark and House of the Dead, I’d say it’s in the top three. Arranged however you like.

Not that I would recommend seeing this — I really wouldn’t and wish I hadn’t — but if you did, you would bear witness to a trifecta of bad acting, bad directing, and a bad story. You will howl with laughter at the pseudo-Proper English that spouts from every misconstrued line of dialogue. You will spend sleepless nights wondering who decided to put goofy wigs on all of the male cast. You will grow easily bored the fifty-second time someone slashes a sword and a veritable fountain of Hi-C fruit punch spouts from their chest. You will shrug in befuddlement while trying to figure out the mess of a plot involving vampire body parts, vampire hybrids, and your prerequisite vampire fighting organization known as “Brimstone,” which honestly sounds like a type of beer.

There’s a lot of overcompensating going on here, mostly in terms of cleavage and large swords, but can I just go back to the acting? It amazes me that these are fairly well-known and sometimes professional actors who got sucked into this mess, then gave it about 15% for the whole bit. Madsen looks drunk and disoriented (which he probably was, according to reports), Rodriguez tries so very hard to overcome her gag reflex in mouthing Victorian phrasing, Kingsley tries to sound menacing with a dead possum on his head, and Loken more grumpy than my kids first thing in the morning.

This is the type of film that can’t be taken the way the director intended, mouths pursed in admiration and hands rising to clap in approval. If you’re able to watch this to the very ridiculous end — one of the dumbest and most nonsensical endings of any film I’ve EVER watched, and that’s saying a lot — without losing bladder control and requesting a friend to hit you with any hard object nearby, just to dull the pain, then you are my hero.

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