Tuesday, July 6

Movie Review - Bloodrayne

Today I’m reviewing Bloodrayne, one of Uwe Bowl’s many masterpieces of cinematic art. Uwe bowl is special – he creates movies based on videogames and actually does a good job. I had the pleasure of seeing Bloodrayne lately, and it may even be his best movie ever. Without any further introduction, let’s get started.
Bloodrayne takes place in medieval times, and starts off with three people walking up to someone’s stall. They are Vladimir, Sebastian, and Katarin (played by Michelle Rodriguez… I’ll just call her Michelle cause’ that’s easier for me.) They are apparently looking for something, or someone, but the movie doesn’t tell us quite yet, keeping up the suspense.  Another random dude walks up to the same stall and asks for some Absinthe, and right away Vladimir stabs him in the chest. The random dude falls to the ground and morphs into something ugly as he dies. I have no idea what just happened, but it was frickin hardcore. The best part here is how nobody seems to react to this at all. The owner of the stall then tells them of some “amazing girl” being shown off at a carnival.

The movie then warps to the carnival where we meet Rayne (played by Kristanna Loken from Terminator 3,) our main character. She’s held captive by the carnival’s owner and is brought into a show tent. They force her arm into a barrel of water and it burns. They then feed her blood and it heals. Ok, so I guess Rayne is a vampire then, so why not just tell your audience this? According to the movie vampires are all over, so I’m sure most of these people would have at least heard of vampires. Oh well, it’s awesome anyway. Afterward, they lock Rayne into a cage.

Soon after, another “captive woman” walks up to Rayne’s cage. Why she isn’t locked up I’m not sure, but I’m sure there’s some sort of amazing logic behind this. Anyway, she tells Rayne, “Are you OK Rayne? I'm working on a plan to get us out of here. My uncle - he's a sailor...and he once told me of a place where people play all day, and the trees grow fruits in every color of the rainbow, and the sunsets set the whole sky on fire. Doesn't it sound wonderful Rayne? He'll send for us soon. I know it. Until then, keep this close to you [she gives Rayne a cross necklace]...for protection. Good night, my friend.

Through all of this, Rayne just smiles without saying a single word, and the line is spoken like some kid just learning how to read. Does this mean our main character is mute? Anyway, the next scene is our first “bad guy” scene. Some guy in a throne is informed that someone went in a “blood rage” overnight. Other than that, we learn absolutely nothing here.
Next, we see Rayne covered in blood in a field. Wait, how did she get there? Next, she appears to wake up from a nightmare, and then one of Rayne’s captors try to rape her. She smashes his wine bottle on his head and bites his neck. She then goes into some sort of rage and kills the rest of her captors. This scene is edited in such a way that I honestly felt like I was on hallucinogens – it’s hard to explain, but it’s both confusing and dizzying. It then cuts back to the field and she’s crying. Why is she crying when she just escaped her captors, and why did they make it look like the field was a nightmare at first?
Yeah, this movie isn’t good at all, it’s terrible. Uwe Bowl is notorious for making terrible movies and exploiting a German tax loophole to somehow make money off of them. If you haven’t heard of him before, read about his terrible movies here.
We then have what looks like another bad-guy scene which shows another vampire who appears to be Michelle’s father. Slow down movie, you're not making any sense. You're just throwing in subplot after subplot and failing to link anything together.

Rayne spots a carriage being attacked by vampires. Our main character then kills the vampires in an extremely lame action scene and says her first words of the movie...17 minutes in. "I will not harm you. I only wish to kill vampires." The family is nice enough to give her a ride without further question. "I'm sorry we had to leave him there." One of the family members says. What? You mean the one guy the vampires killed? You didn't have to leave him there, what are you talking about? "Why did you save us?" The woman asks.  "I don't know," Rayne replies. What? I thought that you wanted to kill vampires, isn't that reason enough? "Where is your family?" the little girl asks. "I don't have a family." So far, Rayne's delivery has been so incredibly bland I'm surprised I haven't fallen asleep yet. In fact, everyone seems bored with this movie, and if none of the actors care about this crap why should I?
Vladimir, Sebastian, and Michelle show up at the carnival site, where we learn through another trippy flashback that Rayne bit her friend during her “blood rage”. Ok, so that would explain why she was crying, but why couldn't we have that shown in the earlier flashback? At least then Rayne’s crying would have made more sense. This editing is impressively bad, so far everything’s mentioned casually before we actually see it. Anyway, they kill Rayne's friend and burn all the corpses.
Rayne walks through some town and we find out she can sense who’s a vampire and who isn’t. She seduces some lesbian vamp and sucks her blood right in the middle of the street, killing her. Somehow, nobody notices this. Then some voice tells Rayne to "follow me." It's official, I've lost grip on reality and have been transported into some parallel dimension where this somehow makes sense.
Rayne follows some middle-aged woman into her hut, and the woman tells Rayne that she's a Dhamphir; half human, half vampire. That’s all fine and good, but then why did the water burn her arm earlier. According to most Vampiric literature, Dhampir’s aren’t venerable to the same things regular vampires are (water, sunlight, and crosses.) Rayne is also invulnerable to these things in the games, so why is she venerable to water and sunlight here? And if she’s venerable to those, why isn’t the cross she’s wearing harming her or any vampires she walks near? If I keep questioning everything so deeply this review is never going to end, so let’s move on.
The woman also tells Rayne that some guy named Kagan is her father. Most Dhamphir's are killed at birth, but somehow Rayne survived despite her mother being killed by the vampire who conceived her. How? The plot-holes are piling up by the minute. Rayne wants to kill Kagan despite only just learning about him, so the middle-aged woman tells her, “He's become the most powerful vampire taking advantage of a land with no law.” Yes, that is one sentence according to the script; who wrote this? "Why are you telling me this?" Rayne asks. "Because it is my purpose," the woman answers. Now they’re bringing prophecy and destiny into this piece of crap. Stop trying to be deep movie; you can't even handle your own plot. Anyway, the woman tells Rayne that she needs some eye artifact or something, and Rayne sets out to find it.
I've never played the games, but I know that the first game was really just a vampire killing Nazis. Of course there was a plot involved, but I’ve heard it wasn’t really that deep. How hard would it be to just make that movie? It would just be a simple pre-WWII movie with a vampire killing Nazis. In fact that would be pretty awesome. Instead we’re stuck with this ever increasing mess of a plot.

After another pointless “bad guy” scene, we get a traveling montage. You know, like when you see characters in the Lord of the Rings trilogy riding on horses set to epic music, remember that? Of course its different here, the music is incredibly boring and the scenery isn’t nearly as good. Rayne eventually shows up at some monastery and asks if she can stay the night. They let her right in and instantly provide her with a meal. Why was the food ready so quickly and why did they give it so freely? Were they expecting her? Anyway, she sneaks out of her, um…sleeping place that looks like a storage closet, and wanders into some chamber.
After a fight scene so bad it defies description, she finds another chamber with a tiny treasure chest opposite to the door. After she grabs it, the door shuts and the room starts filling up with water. Oh no, the floor is now covered in a puddle that only barely touches her boots, what will she do? She sticks her knife weapon (don’t know what to call it) into the ceiling and grabs on. A ball drops out of the chest and she catches it. She then looks into the ball, which looks like an eye. Somehow, one of her eyes turns green. She falls down to the floor, but doesn’t get burned when the water splashes onto her arms. Then the door opens back up with the monastery’s guard standing there saying “I suggest you follow me.” I have no frickin clue what the crap is going on, someone please help me.
The guard leads Rayne to a secluded room where the head of the monastery talks to her. He explains that the eye was created by a legendary vampire. The eye is one of three artifacts that can protect vampires from the three elements that can kill them, the others being a heart and a rib. The eye protects vampires from water. My question is, how the frick does an eye protect vampires from water? Also, why didn’t they mention these other artifacts before? To me, this information only means that the movie just got longer. I also find it frustrating how they never tell us what the Heart and the Rib specifically protect vampires from - and I mean never. Anyway, they tell Rayne she can't leave the monastery or else Kagan will become too powerful. The conversation is interrupted by the announcement that the monastery is under attack.

We have a battle scene now, Yey! I'll give Bowl credit for not holding back on the gore, but it looks so fake. There's way too many perfect dismemberments for one thing. There's even a shot where three guys are constantly striking an obviously dead and mutilated body instead of attacking someone who’s still fighting. Why? Vladimir, Sebastian, and Michelle show up and help out, but where did they come from? Also, the leader of the thralls (humans working for vampires) asks the monastery’s keeper where the eye is. Before the keeper even has time to answer, the bad guy kills him. Rayne kills a bunch of bad guys, but is subdued by simply being picked up. What? Just being picked up is enough to subdue her? And Vladimir, Sebastian, and Michelle don’t even give chase? Why don't they give chase when they’ve stated several times that she might be the one they’re looking for? Oh right - Uwe Bowl’s film-making doesn’t make any sense – forget I asked.
We then get a completely irreverent scene where some girl is given to Kagan. He says ,"Don't be afraid," and then bites her. This scene is never mentioned again, so why was it necessary? Soon after, we get Rayne’s rescue scene. I won’t take too long describing it, so let’s just say it quickly degenerates into the stupidest fight scene yet. It introduces us to yet another villain who’s almost immediately killed by sunlight. Nice to know his inclusion, or Rayne’s capture, were so important to the plot. Again we see Kagan, this time we learn that he now has the rib. OK, at least this means we don’t have to see Rayne hunt down both that and the heart. Of course if you’re hoping we’ll now get an epic fight between Kagan and Rayne, you will be disappointed.
Vladimir, Sebastian, and Michelle travel to harbor town via boat. Rayne is locked in a cell as they question whether they can trust her. I’m not sure why they’re so concerned about this when Rayne saved Sebastian’s life during the fight, but whatever. She tells them that she wants Kagan dead because he raped and murdered her mother. Why wasn't she aware of this before? Why did the strange woman have to tell her about Kagan being her father when she already knew? Also in the flashback, he enters, bites her and stabs her in the heart; there was no rape. They think this is enough so they let her out and offer to train her. She was fighting fairly well earlier, so why does she need training? Oh right, because every vampiric treasure-hunting movie taking place in medieval times needs a training montage (the montage sucks by the way.) They also give her a new outfit.

Can you tell the difference? Apparently the movie is low budget enough that the new outfit is simply removing a jacket. After the training montage we have a quick sparring match between Rayne and Michelle, where Michelle makes a threat…I think - remember that for later.

Literally out of nowhere we have a romance between Rayne and Sebastian. Well, more like a spontaneous sex scene because Bowl thought it was needed. Afterward, Rayne, Vladimir and Sebastian travel, um...somewhere while Michelle stays back. The harbor is then attacked and pretty much wiped out off-screen (thanks to Bowl for saving us the misfortune of seeing another poorly choreographed fight scene.) A messenger informs Rayne's group of this, and Rayne sets out to find the heart artifact alone, saying she can hear it…what? She returns to the building that was attacked, where we learn that Michelle is actually a bad guy. However, she wants the heart for her father who is also a vampire. Oh, so that’s the payoff for that random “bad guy” scene earlier. If I hadn’t written about it in my notes, I would have forgotten about it.
Michelle dives into a pool of water where the heart apparently is. Wait, Rayne could hear the heart artifact but didn’t bother to find it while in training? Anyway, Rayne sneaks by the bad guys and dives into the pool too. They struggle for the heart, during which Rayne is stabbed in the gut. The struggle ends with Michelle having her neck broken and blood sucked, healing Rayne. There was no sword fight involved here, making Michelle’s earlier threats only good for disappointing anyone who’s still into this movie at this point.
Rayne then proceeds to, wait, what? SHE DELIVERS THE HEART TO KAGEN'S CASTLE AND ALLOWS THE ENEMY TO CAPTURE HER. What...the...crap! Vladimir and Sebastian are waiting nearby and attack the front gate. You read correctly, two guys attack the front gate of a castle housing an army. I couldn't come up with anything more implausible if I tried. They fail and are captured – why am I not surprised? Why did they even bother with such a suicidal strategy? I've been asking "why" a lot in this movie, haven't I? The three meet up in the prison and agree to not give up, or something like that.

The bad guys take Rayne up into Kagan's main chamber, where they start some ceremony to remove the enchanted eye. The other two good guys escape with a plan so ridiculous that even the one guy says, "I can't believe that actually worked." I laughed because I couldn’t believe it either, it’s almost as if that line was self-parody. What follows is a battle where they rescue Rayne, but Vladimir dies. For some reason the two vampires that killed Vladimir don't show up again; that’s kind of weird. Also, the Sebastian is mortally wounded, but finishes all the thralls off. We then get a father/daughter duel at last, where Rayne does little more than twirl and flip around like an acrobat while Kagan looks bored. Eventually, Rayne is pinned onto the ground and stabbed. Before Kagan can finish her off, the young good guy burns him with holy water. Rayne then stabs him in the heart and kills him. Sebastian dies, leaving Rayne as the only survivor. I’m not sure why she doesn’t drink anyone’s spilled blood considering she’s badly wounded, but I’m done asking why. She then sits in Kagan's throne and stares at the camera with no emotion whatsoever. The movie then ends with an overly long and very annoying montage of, well...the movie. She then rides off in the sunlight, showing us that she's no longer affected by sunlight either.
This was my first Uwe Bowl movie, and I’m hoping it’ll be my last. It’s terrible, but not in an entertaining way like Plan 9, Troll 2, and The Room are. It has a few laughs here and there, but it's mostly just an irritating mess of, well…everything that can go wrong with an action movie. Its brain-dead storyline is filled with plot holes and inconsistencies, the acting is bland, the fight choreography is lazy, and there are so many stupid moments that it gets annoying fast. There is nothing redeemable here whatsoever. Without further to do, here’s my two-word review.
Absolutely terrible

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