Bloodrayne
You’ve got a little something on your face.

Theatrical Release Date: 01/06/2006
Director: Uwe Boll
Cast: Kristanna Loken, Michelle Rodriguez, Ben Kingsley, Michael Madsen, Matthew Davis, Billy Zane, Will Sanderson, Udo Kier, Meat Loaf

Well, 2006 is starting off with a real contender for my annual wrap up of the year’s best and worst films. Of course, I suppose it comes as no surprise that “Bloodrayne” will be nowhere near the list that deals with good movies.

As a discretionary note, some of this review is a bit naughty and I openly talk about some of the scenes. If you were planning to see this … well … no, nothing. Go ahead and see it. (Snickering sounds are echoing through my apartment right now … but really, go ahead and see this … damn snickering, who’s doing that!)

Back in reality, I actually have to applaud the movie-going public for their restraint on this movie. The opening weekend saw less than one million dollars go back to the distributor. I don’t remember a movie making that little money since “Swept Away”. And that’s not a movie you want to be compared to.

Back to making fun of this movie, “Bloodrayne” is the fault of director Uwe Boll and writer Guinevere Turner. Boll is best remembered for … well … his name is interesting. Oh, and he did “House of the Dead”. If you really saw or know of any of the other movies he’s supposedly responsible for, you are in dire need of serious mental therapy.

Turner actually has a partial writing credit for the screenplay of “American Psycho”. That was a decent film. Though come to think of it, no one remembers the dialogue, they only remember a bloody Christian Bale wielding an axe and chasing people around. So I guess I’m not all that surprised the script was so God-awful.

Speaking of God, this is one of those movies that makes you wonder if he/she/it really exists. But that’s a subject for another time and place.

“Bloodrayne” is based on a popular video game of the same name. Essentially, a half vampire, half human hottie goes around killing vampires. Fun for the whole family!

In this cinematic wonder, Boll recruited actors whose pay grade I had thought would be too much but somehow everyone was coerced into showing up to the set each day. No one cares who played who, but I listed the people you would probably recognize and should never be given the benefit of the doubt in the future at the top of this review.

Let this sentence provide a nice point for anyone reading this to stop, grab a glass of water, break the glass and slit their wrists. Seriously, I understand.

Anywho, now that we’re all back and have bandaged our wounds, let me pummel more crap into your head about this movie.

The basic back story is that the titular Rayne is on a quest to kill her vampire father for raping and murdering her human mother. There’s a group of humans who oppose the vampires and their quest for world domination. All other plot elements are needless and not expanded on, so I’m not going to say any more.

If you think I’m being facetious, (though I doubt you do), let me categorically say that this movie has the same amount of character and story development as most movies you might find at two in the morning on CineMax 14.

To prove that point, let me talk about the sex scene. Rayne and one of the other main characters have come to some sort of unspoken understanding of each other’s inner pain. (I say unspoken because little more is done than say what drives them. Neither takes the time to think about what they actually said. Get used to this, it’s like you’re a racing snail and the movie is a rock giant motoring through the forest on his stone big wheel.)

Tangent aside, I was talking about the sex scene. So Rayne throws the guy up against the cell bars where she’s been living (don’t ask) and proceeds to kiss him and goes to kiss his neck. He utters a less than half-hearted refusal and then proceeds to help her get their pants off. Once we get her shirt off and the pants are gone, she uses the cell bars as leverage and mounts up, slamming the cell door open and closed in rhythm with the ‘action’.

To add to the artistic merit of this absolutely necessary scene, Boll alternates shots between close-up throes of what I guess could be called ecstasy and a shot from behind a table in the room, where the table covers the lower half of their bodies. What makes this shot even funnier is that it almost seems like the table was CGI. Maybe the unrated DVD has no table? Who knows? I don’t. Though to be fair, I can’t say I care either.

As you may have surmised, there is virtually no explanation for any of the plot developments, character motivation is slim or ridiculous, and the action is laughable at best. For example, let me spoil something and describe/deconstruct a scene for you:

So Rayne has gotten herself captured and is thrown in her father’s dungeon. (A Medieval grounding so to speak.) Her two companions have followed her to the castle and decide that she’s probably in trouble so they decide to storm the castle to rescue her. To do so, they toss a Foster’s keg can-sized barrel of Chinese powder (gunpowder for the history buffs) at the front gate and proceed to lock swords with the guards. In about twenty seconds, they are disarmed and thrown into the same dungeon. Great plan, Ray.

Now Rayne has been summoned to her father to take part in a ritual that will probably kill her. (If you’re wondering what happened in-between, don’t. This is how the movie actually develops, I’m not skipping things). The two brave but now imprisoned companions up and decide to bust out and save the day. Of course, there’s only one guard and he falls for the line, “Hey, where did the other guy in the cell go?”

The Mensa nominee dungeon guard comes right over, sees only one person in the cell and decides to open the door to get a better look. But wait … can this be? The other prisoner was hiding above and once the door is open, he swings down and clobbers the guard? Who thinks of such brilliant escape plans? Now free, the intellectually superior companions of Rayne rush to save her.

I can’t believe I just spent three paragraphs explaining that situation. I have very little doubt I just wrote more than was in the script the day they shot the scenes.

As one might expect, the acting is nothing spectacular. Of course, the script was so useless they might as well have made a movie using mimes. The problem there would be relying on the movie’s score to convey the emotion of the scenes.

Henning Lohner is the person credited with composing music for the movie and if he has any sort of accreditation, it should be stripped of him immediately. From frame one, the music is loud and boisterous and set at a breakneck pace. It’s like every scene is a battle scene. Even the end credits are scored as if the Russians had just invaded a small mountain town where only brothers Patrick Swayze and Charlie Sheen can mount a guerilla resistance movement. Wait a minute, in that film, none of the music can even begin to hold a candle to the cacophony of sound that is the score for “Bloodrayne”.

Now there is one aspect of the movie that people might hope would be good – and that’s the fighting. Wrong again, my little chickadees. Boll uses a mix of shaky cameras and blurry focusing to keep everything as chaotic as possible. That means that no one really has to be all that good at following their fight choreography because there’s almost no way the audience would be able to see it anyway.

Though I do have to thank Boll for being kind enough to give Mr. Kingsley the same sped-up film technique normally reserved for only the greatest of martial artists, like Steven Seagal. I doubt the public is ready to see the true speed of a deadly and “sexy beast” like Sir Ben Kingsley. I mean, did you see his lighting fast swordplay in “Gandhi”? Riveting.

Well, that about does it. The direction, writing, composing, acting and fighting in this movie stink. None of it is any good. I have week-old leftovers that could make a better pile of crap than this movie.

So obviously this movie will receive the lowest rating and earn only the second bag of hammers in Sobering Conclusion history, right?

Nope. This movie is so undeniably bad that I was laughing my way through all the lackluster acting, piss-poor dialogue and consistently bad camera work. I have to admit I enjoyed almost every bad second of the movie … though that’s not to say I need to see it again anytime soon.

Look for this movie to make the ‘Horrible But Fun” list at the end of the year; partially due to the new drinking game I invented for the movie. Every time Boll uses the blood spurt/spray effect, drink … and every time you think there should be another scene to explain what’s happening, take a shot. Want to know how drunk you might get. I’d say that by midway through the film, the ghost of John Belushi will pay you a visit and tell you to slow down.

I guess it’s a marginal surprise that I’m giving “Bloodrayne” a 1 out of 5. That’s equal to the number of monkeys with a typewriter and digital camera it would take to make a better movie. Also, in order to truly merit the lowest rating I dole out, the film has to have no redeeming value. “Bloodrayne” is at least worth laughing at with enough alcohol in your system.

Now I guess all we can look forward to is the next waste of film stock Boll is going to unleash which is In the Name of the King. I can’t begin to go into how eager I am to see this one follow in “Bloodrayne”s footsteps. Just take a look at the cast list and notice that the scheduled release date is December 1 of this year. Anyone want to bet it gets pushed back a month? I smell another January stinker in the pipes … and no, that’s not the leftovers I mentioned earlier.