Wednesday, July 27

Movie Review - Bloodrayne: The Third Reich

    Ah, Uwe Bowl. Do I really need to say anything else? This German director really needs no introduction - he's one of the worst directors of all time. Today I'm reviewing his newest release, Bloodrayne: The Third Reich, his third Bloodrayne movie. While the first two movies had nothing to do with the videogames they were based off of, Bloodrayne 3 has a very strong similarity to the first game - it's about a vampire killing Nazis.

    A year ago I reviewed Bloodrayne 1 and 2, and talked briefly about the video games. It's only appropriate that I review Bloodrayne 3 now that the DVD is finally available. To sum up the first two, Bloodrayne 1 is funny bad at times as it fails on every level of movie making. Bloodrayne 2, while better, is incredibly boring and slow. Which one will Bloodrayne 3 be more like? Let's find out.

    The movie starts with flashbacks of the first Bloodrayne movie as the title character, Rayne, narrates about her life. She says that early in her second century, she fought Nazis. Wait...are you going with the previous Bloodrayne movies here or the games, because neither of those are correct. According to the games, Bloodrayne was born in 1915, so she would have been very young during World War 2...for a vampire that is. The first movie takes place in medieval times, so she'd be more than 200 years old. So that makes this movie out of continuity of both the movies and the games, and we're less than a minute in.

    Anyway, she calls the Nazis demons, and the opening credits starts intercut with people on a train heading toward a concentration camp. I will admit, the music here is actually kind of creepy and intercutting the credits with the prisoner train sets the mood of the movie well. Could this be a better movie than the first two? I guess we'll find out.

    OK, never mind, this opening credit scene sucks. It goes on for seven minutes. Heck, I'm pretty sure the shot of the train moving by is repeated five times. I guess they were really struggling with reaching their 1 hour and 20 minutes running time. This sequence could have been good if it was only one minute or so, but seven minutes of this is just way too long.

    After the credits finally end, Rayne narrates a little more, talking about how the Nazis are more soulless than the creatures she usually hunts. She monologues about depravity, and finishes by saying "F***ing Nazis." OK, that was actually funny and well delivered. Looks like Bowl is improving as a director and has some good ideas from time to time.

    A group of freedom fighters attacks the concentration camp, lead by the damphier (one of her parents was a vampire, the other was a human) title character. The battle is very poorly choreographed, but I still found myself enjoying the blood-splattering action. Why? Because of how hilariously bad the choreography is. The movie cuts back and forth between rebels and Nazis hiding behind stuff and firing their guns. Every now and then, it cuts to one of the Nazis falling. These aren't even reaction shots; the Germans show absolutely no emotion or reaction - they just fall down.

    Rayne slices through a couple Germans and corners the officer in a train. A German soldier sneaks up behind her and shoots her shoulder. She kills them both and sucks the officer’s blood. Wow, only 8 minutes in and the movie already has more action than Bloodrayne 2. Rayne helping a group of freedom fighters rescuing a bunch of prisoners? That's actually kind of awesome. Suddenly I'm looking forward to this movie.

    Rayne introduces herself to the freedom fighters, and they figure out right away that she's the damphier. They open up the trains and find the prisoners, angering the leader. They were hoping that the train carried weapons. Really? The train has caged windows and you were hoping for weapons? Technically you could still take all the Nazi's equipment, I'm sure they still have ammunition left in their guns. It's something at least.

    As the freedom fighters lead the prisoners into the forest, Rayne narrates further about how she's never been free of violence or darkness. Really? I thought that vampires naturally enjoy the darkness. At least she explains that magical abilities protect her from sunlight and water, which is in continuity of the first Bloodrayne movie.

    Cut to the Nazi officer, who starts waking up - wait what? Rayne didn't decapitate him after she sucked his blood? Rather than eliminating an enemy leader, she just made him vastly more powerful. I thought Rayne said she's more than 100 years old, she should know by now that sucking someone's blood creates new vampires. Just to make sure you know, in both of the previous movies, she spent her time hunting and killing vampires. I'm sure she would want to avoid making new ones just to kill them later. The movie cuts to a completely pointless scene of a soldier questioning another officer about the Nazi Officer who disappeared.

    OK, I have to stop for a moment here and explain something. This movie is very confusing for a rather specific reason. Nobody even attempts any kind of accent. Pretty much everyone speaks American English: The Germans, the freedom fighters, Rayne, prisoners...everyone. I'm not sure where this is supposed to take place. In the opening monologue, Rayne said that the movie takes place on the eastern front, yet one of the resistance fighters speaks a few words in French. I...I just...I have no fricken clue when or where this movie takes place.

    Cut to the freedom fighters in a hideout. They talk about how their losing the war and Rayne complains that supper's taking too long, blah blah. Rayne wanders off and heads toward the radio operator. The operator yells "Get out" and closes the curtain. Why? This damphier just helped you liberate a train. Is the scene supposed to suggest the fighters don't trust her? I'm not getting that impression; I'm only getting the impression that the radio operator is a jerk. Oh, and the two never have any kind of rivalry, making that completely pointless.

    Cut to a concentration camp, where six or so prisoners are being dropped off in a truck. The camp's supervisor talks to a visiting officer and tells him the doctor's in his lab. Then he turns around and randomly shoots one of the prisoners. What the crap? If this is one of the extermination camps, why are you wasting a bullet on someone who'll likely be gassed anyway? Is it to show that the Nazi regime was evil? We already knew it was evil thanks to the "F***ing Nazis" line.

(This movie gets rather bloody at times)

    We cut to a doctor operating on a still-awake man. The doctor tells the officer that it's a vampire. The vampire is only restrained by one strap - how will that restrain an undead creature with super strength? Shouldn't he just be able to slip right through? I will admit though, the scene is gruesome. Bowl recently been made a movie called Auschwitz, and if this is any indication, Auschwitz could actually be really disturbing.

    The officer orders the doctor outside. The scientist suggests that his sadistic experiments could make the Nazi leaders immortal. The officer hands the scientist a note and tells him that they're leaving in 20 minutes. We already know it's about the vampire officer, why not just tell the doctor directly instead of handing him a note?

    Cut to Bloodrayne waking up rather suddenly. She walks onto the roof of some building and looks around. That's the scene, completely pointless.

    Cut back to the scientist informing the officer that his long-time friend is now a vampire. So this officer was a friend of the man Rayne turned into a vampire? Fair enough. The scientist suggests that the officer cut the vampire's head off or else his entire group of soldiers could be in danger. Why? Maybe the man will turn the entire group of soldiers into vampires. In fact, that could make this movie that much more awesome as Rayne has to fight a dozen or so vampires like in the videogames. He says,

    "These experiments will proceed when I authorize it. WHEN I AUTHORIZE IT!" Ha-ha, this line delivery is so bad it's great. It's almost as if he was practicing for the real take and trying it different ways, and Bowl went with it. I'm starting to like this scientist character. The scientist tells the officer that there is nothing special about the officer being turned into a vampire, to which the officer tells him that the attack happened during daylight. This would be an interesting twist if we didn't know this already.

    The two of them pointlessly walk around the building before re-entering the lab where the vampire officer is. The vampire attacks from the darkness and knocks the officer out. He holds up the scientist, who says,

    "I can help you with your transition." End scene. What was the point of that? Either show the vampire killing the officer or at least have more of a conversation. Bowl's using his usual trick of incomplete scene after incomplete scene.

    Cut to Rayne walking on rooftops and watching Nazis. She places her knives in an eavesdrop and walks off...why? No idea. She wanders into some run down building and finds a room with classical music and a bunch of men and topless women. We then see Rayne getting a massage, only to get back up when she hears something. She finds someone being raped and crushes the man's balls. That entire scene lasted less than a minute and has nothing to do with the rest of the movie. I guess Bowl just wanted an excuse to add topless women.

    Cut back to the scientist and the vampire officer. He stands by a window and the sunlight shines on him through, not harming him at all. What? Bloodrayne isn't affected by sunlight because of the three artifacts from the first movie. They're inside her body. They shouldn't affect those she bites and yet this guys also immune to the sunlight? Bull crap! And why was he in a room with sunlight sneaking through in the first place? Wouldn't they want to make sure he's safe? Now the typical Bowl schlock is showing.

    Cut to Rayne in a dark room, and two topless girls show up. There's a short make out, and the movie goes back outside. Another pointless scene added just because Bowl thinks boobs automatically make his movie good. Anyway, one of the women tells the vampire officer about Rayne showing up. He thanks her and sucks some of her blood. End scene!

    The movie then cuts to Rayne all dressed up again, and several men attack her. She kills a bunch of soldiers and escapes to a balcony. The building is surrounded by German soldiers, the vampire officer, and the scientist. The vampire is wearing a black hood over his head, even though the previous scene established that sunlight doesn't affect him. Seriously Bowl, you can't keep this vampire's abilities straight? How hard can it be?

    Rayne jumps onto the building's roof as the Germans open fire. The officer orders his troops not to fire as he wants her alive. The scientist then goes to the balcony and collects a bit of Rayne's blood. Of course, it looks more like dark red slime than blood. It's also cut in a way that you'd think he just walked onto the balcony directly from the street without entering the building, as his back is to the guard rail. What is going on here?

    The movie cuts to the scientist observing the new woman vampire in a cage. He throws water at her, but it only burns for a second. He goes on and on about how awesome things would be if he could make the vampires completely immortal. This movie's really starting to drag right now, even if this scientist acts hilariously over the top. She seduces him into the cage and tries to bite him. He throws more water in her face and stabs her with a wooden stake. This vaporizes her, which really doesn't make any sense. He pulled the stake right back out. In vampire literature, thrusting a stake into a vampire's chest won't vaporize them. Sure, it'll kill them, but if you ever pull the stake out they come back to life. YOU'RE SUPPOSED TO KEEP THE STAKE INSIDE THE VAMPIRE'S CHEST! Of course, it's not like Bowl's knowledge of vampires was all that sound in the previous movies.

    Rayne barges into the freedom fighter hideout and demands explosive weapons. She is planning on attacking the Nazi vampire alone, but the rebel leader won't allow it. They argue for a bit, and it ends with him insisting that the freedom fighters help her. She warns him that things are about to get more complicated and reminds him that she's been hunting vampires all her life. This brings me back to my earlier point. SHE SHOULD KNOW THAT BITING THAT NAZI WOULD TURN HIM INTO A VAMPIRE! Why didn't she decapitate the loser in the first place? Anyway, she calms down.

(Instead of her arm blades from the first two movies, she uses regular swords here.
While the arm blades were closer to her in-game weapons, these swords are much more practical.)

    I've noticed something here; Rayne really isn't doing anything in this movie. She's just hanging around the rebels, helping them out a bit, and getting massages. You'd think that the title character, a vampire, would be more pro-active. Even in the first two movies, she did stuff. She went out of her way to hunt the vampires and even gathered a fighting force in Bloodrayne 2. Here, she's waiting for the vampire Nazi to come to her. That's just...weird. Anyway, back to the movie.

    After the freedom fighters ambush an officer in a bar, Rayne leaves the group and starts her hunt...wait, didn't they agree to work together in the previous scene? She's suddenly attacked by two knife-wielding psychos and kills them easily. A battle that took up less than 10 seconds? Who are these freaks and why did they attack her? The movie never mentions them again, making this completely pointless. Oh, and the bar ambush leads to nothing either, making that pointless as well. This movie doesn't have enough plot for a half-hour TV episode.

    Rayne heads to some castle, and as she wanders through the camera has a sickening double vision. It's such a cheap effect that was most likely built into the camera. PUT ON AN UNSHARPENING FILTER INSTEAD YOU BOZO! We then see her lying in bed. Oh wait, it's a dream. Way to spoil the nightmare before it even begins. Anyway she's attacked by a vampire Hitler in the dream. She wakes up screaming. I guess that makes the bar ambush and the street fight completely pointless. Holy crap that's an awesome concept though. Rayne fighting a vampire Hitler would have been an awesome climax, but nothing ever comes of it. minute later, Rayne finds the rebel leader outside the castle and knocks him down. She warns him to be more careful, and they head off together. Wasn't she just in bed? I guess that makes the dream sequence either put into the wrong part of the movie or completely pointless. And why did she have to knock him down anyway? Holding a knife to his throat would have done the same. Heck, why didn't she just greet him? Is there a reason why she has to act as suspiciously as possible at all times? Actually, it's both pointless and out of place. My initial excitement for this movie has finally died off.

    Cut to the vampire officer invading his officer friend's house. He says that he needs the guy's tracking abilities, and then bites him. The scientist shows up and they talk while the bit officer cowers in the corner. I'm pretty sure people are supposed to be unconscious while they slowly change from human to vampire; in fact they've always been unconscious earlier in this movie - WHY IS HE AWAKE RIGHT NOW? Anyway, the vampire officer gives his new tracker a sniff of Rayne's blood and tells him to find her. What, does the tracker suddenly have an enhanced sense of smell? Did the vampire transformation turn him into Wolverine or something? This makes no sense!

    Rayne is now standing around with the rebel leader at the castle from earlier. Apparently this castle is her hideout. Yeah, a huge castle that looks exactly the same as Kagen's castle from the first movie is her hideout. Talk about hiding in plain sight. She tells the rebel leader that he shouldn't have come because it jeopardizes everything. How? You're already staying where anyone with half a brain could find you, what difference does his presence make?

(What are those? Dollar store monster teeth? All the Nazi vampires look like this; like their laughing their butts off, not like their bloodthirsty vampires.)

    Suddenly, the tracker vampire attacks. Even though Rayne has her swords with her, she doesn't draw them. Somehow this new vampire keeps knocking her away and almost sucks the rebel leader's blood before a third man beats the tracker with a pipe. As someone whose been killing vampires for centuries, this noob shouldn't even be a pushover, why isn't this fight over yet?

    Rayne starts asking the tracker questions. Not interrogating, just asking. Worse yet, the vampire answers everything without a second thought. I should also point out that the makeup covering his right eye is horrendous. I think he's supposed to look like he's lost his right eye, but it looks more like an extra flab of skin is covering it.

    The tracker tells them that the Nazis have captured the rebel radio operator. That's right, the operator was kidnapped off-screen. Why not show that instead of all the movie's padding? Once the "interrogation" is over, Rayne kills the vampire with a steak to the heart.

    Rayne jumps down from a ledge and is suddenly in the middle of a firefight. Where did that come from? She slices at Nazis and runs on walls to dodge bullets. The other rebels show up and start shooting. More shots of Nazis tripping on their shoelaces are thrown in. In several shots, Rayne slices at a Nazi soldier's side only to get a grunt out of him like being cut in the side is just a minor inconvenience. This scene is hilarious. After about a minute, Rayne orders the other to retreat, the rebels all run away, and the movie fades to black. Why are you retreating? You're winning the fight; we haven't seen a single rebel killed. Oh right, Bowl's probably approaching his budget ceiling.

    The rebel radio operator is now tied up in what looks like an abandoned train yard. The vampire officer shows up and talks about tricking the Gods into immortality or some crap like that. He bites the radio operator and leaves - that's the scene. I'm starting to have Viking Saga flashbacks.

    Rayne and the rebel leader arrive back at their hideout, only to find a bunch of dead bodies and all their supplies missing. The leader is shouting incomprehensibly until Rayne suggests a counter attack. She again reminds the leader that she's been hunting vampires all her life. Why don't you tell him exactly how long that's been rather than being vague like this?

    Anyway, we get another monologue about her hunting vampires for centuries during a "prepare for battle" montage. Wait...didn't she say in the opening monologue that this movie takes place in the early part of her second century? How is it possible that she's been killing vampires for centuries if she's only been alive for...know what SCREW IT!

    We cut to Rayne sneaking around the train yard killing people, again with no reactions whatsoever. This scene does show the potential for a movie about a hot vampire going Rambo on Nazi troopers. Under a better director with a bigger budget, this movie could have been made of pure concentrated awesome.

    The rebels soon follow Rayne into the train yard and they quickly find their radio operator. One of the rebels tries to cut her down but the operator hisses at him. Rayne than says,

    "Stop!" She tells them that the operator is no longer human. No kidding. Rayne kills the operator and they move on. They all wander into a storage room, then the movie cuts to a vampire charging from around a corner, and when we cut back to Rayne and the rebels, we see a bunch of vampires around them. Where did they come from?

    This battle sequence is again, hilariously bad. Rayne tosses one of her swords to an ally, but doesn't even bother using her other sword. Why even carry two swords if you're not going to use either of them? After a bit of shooting and struggling, Rayne orders the rebels to shoot the windows. One of the rebels shoots the windows, and suddenly all the Nazi vampires burn away. That was...anticlimactic. We cut to Rayne again, and suddenly the vampire officer is behind her and stabs her. Where the frick did he come from? You can't just jump-cut people into existence like that. And you're saying that a vampire will be taken out by a stab to the back? Rayne has endured far worse than that without even slowing down, even in this movie.

    So now the rebel leader and Rayne are captured. All the other local rebels have been executed, save for one man who escaped with information. The vampire officer tells the caged rebel that the Nazis now know where all the rebel hideouts are. This is the first time the movie mentioned that this guy is actually in charge of the entire rebel force.

(I will solve everything, WITH SCIENCE!)

    Next up is Rayne, chained upside down with some blood siphoning device attached to her neck. The scientist talks about how Rayne is remaking blood faster than he can drain it, and somehow she's never running out. THAT'S PHYSICALL IMPOSSIBLE! Vampire or not, she should be sucked completely dry of any liquid substances in her body by now. The vampire officer shows up and slaps Rayne several times before sucking blood from her arm. The scientist then announced that they're going to see Hitler, and the movie fades to black.

    I should note here that the scientist is awesome. The actor tries so hard to sound as sadistic as possible, but it comes across as more of a joke. If you know about Spoony's Dr. Insano, it's more like that than anything else. He steals every scene he's featured in, even when he keeps droning on and on about pointless crap. He keeps insisting that science will solve everything, and it's obvious that the actor was having fun with his role.

    Anyway, the next shot shows the Nazi convoy driving through the winter countryside. A quick scene shows six or so rebels by the road planning an ambush.

    Inside one of the vehicles, the rebel leader and Rayne are unrestrained. Rayne is asleep, and the leader starts groping her. She wakes up and while annoyed at first, this somehow turns her on. Thus begins the most gratuitous fake sex scene I've ever seen. At one point, Rayne even presses her boobs against the back window at one point. They missed an obvious joke here where this distraction could have broken up the back half of the convoy, but whatever. What makes this scene even more gratuitous is that it's never mentioned again. There's no tragic death scene, no follow-up...nothing. Heck, they barely even look at each other for the rest of the movie.

    As the convoy reaches the ambush point, Rayne and the rebel are fully dressed again. A dynamite explosion knocks their truck down a hill, and the final battle begins. Like every other fight scene in the movie, the choreography is hilariously bad. As the rebels shoot down the Nazis, the vampire officer downs the vial of blood meant for Hitler. The scientist tries to run away, and is sniped. He groans lightly and falls over like he tripped, ending one of the most awesomely bad mad scientist characters ever.

    The vampire officer walks over to one of the injured rebels and is about to execute him when Rayne starts attacking. He throws Rayne's head into the front grill of one of the trucks. He then brags about how powerful he's become. Rayne responds by kicking him in the butt and smashing his head with a rock. He's dead, Rayne shouts "Mother f***er," and the movie cuts to black.

    That kill was so awesome that the movie should have ended right there. I mean, you have the main bad guy bragging about how powerful he's become, and the movie seems to be building up to an epic showdown. Out of nowhere, he's killed by a kick in the butt and a rock to the face. To top it off, you have an awesome one liner - you can't get much more awesome than that. Of course, this isn't the end of the movie.

    There's a quick scene of the rebels making sure the Germans are dead, some artillery stock footage that's only useful as an epilepsy test, and one final scene where the rebels drive a truck to a prison camp and jump out. Cue end credits moving slowly enough to take up eight minutes.

    So how was it overall? Well, it's the best of the three Bloodrayne movies. It has a plot structure unlike the first movie, and it's far more entertaining than Bloodrayne 2. It's still really bad though. The movie's packed with hilariously bad action scenes, padding beyond belief, and two of the most gratuitous sex scenes I've ever seen.

    Rayne always acts as suspiciously as possible; nobody even tries to speak with a German, Russian, or British accent with a few horrendous exceptions. That said, I actually enjoyed this one.

    Throughout the movie, I couldn't shake the idea that Bowl wanted to make an exploitation film. He could have easily replaced the padding with more gratuitis violence and nudity, but he actually held back here and that's not like him. If he made an exploitation film, it probably would have sold better. As it is, it's a bad movie, but if you're in the right mood and pointless boobage doesn't bother you, it's worth checking out.

Two word review - surprisingly entertaining

1 comment:

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