The oeuvre of Uwe Boll needs no introduction. Renowned by many as the only rightful air to Ed Wood, his movies are just horrendous. I first made an effort to see Alone in the Dark when I heard the Wood comparisons, saw that it starred Stephen Dorff, and, of course, it has alien-like monsters. So how bad could it be? Pretty bad, I turned out, but luckily I was totally blotto on vodka at the time, and I had a wonderful time. It was also during that movie that I first thought to myself “I know! I’ll have a website!” so it’ll always have a special place in my heart. I later went back and watched House of the Dead, which was worse than I had heard, and now comes Bloodrayne.
The first hint of my waning interest must be that I didn’t make an effort to see this in the theater. In retrospect I am so glad, as I ended up fast-forwarding through the majority of this, watching the entire 90-minute movie in an hour. And I have NO regrets.
The movie begins with a not-bad [though not that good] credit sequence in which the old Bosch and Breugel paintings are trotted out, intercut with some paintings of the main characters to make them seem like real people. The movie, however, never really identifies what time or place this is all happening in, so it just kind of happens “a long time ago” when there were castles and everyone was poor and people were tortured and shit. Giggles cannot help but arise when Michael Madsen walks onto the screen, in all his puffiness, and with hair extensions. Further giggles follow as he is followed by Michelle Rodriguez, who has apparently never been cast as a character whose primary character trait is not to scowl. No one involved has made any attempt to disguise their bland American accents, most noticeable when Madsen turns to the others and begins “Listen, you two!”
Anyway, where’s our Bloodrayne? [she’s actually just called Rayne]. She is held as a ‘freak’ and a ‘monster’ in this early freak show, where we learn that she is burned by water [huh?], and that she really likes blood. Soon enough she escapes from the circus or whatever, and takes off through the forest. Her escape is of course accomplished though all sorts of swordplay and all, and all really bloody. We see more than a few heads with swords right in them. You will note that she chose to make her escape in the middle ages equivalent of a sports bra and these chap kind of things that leave her crotch open [through a fine mesh] so you can see the bikini bottom over her crotch.
Then there’s Billy Zane for a while, looking like only he senses fully what a lost enterprise he is a part of, and then we find out what Rayne is so pissed about. It seems that her father, Ben Kingsley, raped and killed her mother in front of her. She is told that he is looking for these talismans that will make him—say it with me—the most powerful vampire ever. Maybe some clever story will gather all the “most powerful vampires ever” from all the various different movies and have them make one giant V-force. I guess that would make the actors in that movie the V-cast.
So after Rayne endures a little mini Raiders of the Lost Ark and gets the first of these talismans, the eye, she… well I don’t know what it helps her do, but she absorbs its power in a way that is SO obviously like one of the little things you pick up in a video game [did I tell you that this film is the third of Dr. Boll’s video game adaptations? Does that call for a special gift set?]. She teams up with Madsen and Rodriguez and the other one and they have some training montage. Some FUCKING LONG training montage [and I was fast-forwarding]. And of course, we’ve already seen Rayne kicking multiple ass, so you know, girl is trained. But whatever, obviously the strictures of the art form demand a training montage.
Well, now it’s about a month later and going back to post this review, I discovered that I don’t have a second half for it! It’s so annoying. I don’t know whether I wrote it and just lost it [I often write my reviews in two parts, on two different computers, and assemble them later… it has to do with my long commute, etc.] or if I never wrote it. Anyway, I’ll try to reconstruct it as best I can.
I believe we left off at the training montage. Which happens despite the fact that Rayne is obviously fully and completely trained. During this time we also have our mandatory superfluous sex scene, which seems to be required in an Uwe Boll film. The problem is that the whole training thing goes on forever, like close to 30 minutes, where it doesn’t seem like anything is happening except time-wasting.
I don’t know if I mentioned that it seems that a good third of this movie is made up of sweeping shots of someone riding a horse along a ridgeline or open field or snowfield or whatever. I swear, there’s only 30 minutes worth of actual story here.
Eventually it all leads to the big showdown between Rayne and her daddy, who turns out to be quite the ninja, for an elderly man. I think the others all have to fight someone, too. And there are various other little things they find that give them more power, like in a video game, and every now and then Rayne’s power runs down, and she has to suck someone’s blood to recharge. After she defeats her Daddy [come now, that’s not really a spoiler, is it?] she claims her spot on the throne and basically reviews her life—for a LONG time—and then that’s the end.
Tedious, tedious, tedious. I don’t know, what was kind of fun in Alone in the Dark was just stupid and boring here. Maybe because Alone was such a surprise, since I was unfamiliar with the Boll oeuvre, whereas with this one I knew what to expect and it was even worse [in a boring way] than I expected. Alone also had monster attacks, and Tara Reid trying to act like a brainy scientist, so that was amusing as well. Here we just have dumb vampires [which I’m getting pretty bored of] and a bunch of faux-medieval stuff that’s just tedious and boring.
I wish I had more insight to offer. If you find amusement in Boll’s work, you still might want to have an alternate on hand should you choose to take this one on, as a general survey of other reviews and the IMDb reveal that I am not the only person who has lost interest in how much Boll sucks. Oh dear… and he just keeps making more movies.
I wouldn’t, but if you do, have an alternate on hand.
HOUSE OF THE DEAD is the first Boll video game adaptation and is almost worse than you can imagine, and in a so not-fun way.
ALONE IN THE DARK is his second, about monsters or some shit, and I thoroughly enjoyed it, but then again I was drunk off my ass.