BloodRayne (2005)

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Overall Rating 33%
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Ranked #2,106
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Connections: BloodRayne

In the eighteenth century, a vampire escapes from the freak show, in which she once participated, and teams up with a group of vampire slayers to kill the man who raped her mother. --IMDb
Kristanna Loken
Kristanna Loken
Michael Madsen
Michael Madsen
Matthew Davis
Matthew Davis
Will Sanderson
Will Sanderson
Geraldine Chaplin
Geraldine Chaplin
Review by Chad
Added: December 11, 2007
Uwe Boll is a man who makes horrible movies - nay, he's a man who makes soul-suckingly awful movies. I know this, yet I keep coming back to his releases time and time again. Why? Well, to be honest, I just can't resist seeing these video game adaptations and hoping that he'll finally get one of them right someday. House of the Dead was a disappointment to say the very least: it was a bad movie to begin with, and being a huge fan of both the original game and the zombie concept left me even more disappointed when the credits rolled. Next, he tried his hand with Alone in the Dark, and again, the end result was wretched. Being a fan of this game as well, my anger at his ineptitude was only increased when I saw how bad he fucked it up. Today, we've got BloodRayne, and even though I've never even played the game that it's based on, I had extremely low expectations going into it... I mean, the man's previous two films weren't just bad, they were things of legend in the world of horrible movies. I expected to write a scathing review for it, but much to my amazement, it was actually an enjoyable film. It won't singlehandedly change my opinion of the man's talents (or lack thereof), but it's a start.

We begin the tale with a look at Rayne (Kristanna Loken), a young woman who just so happens to be a Dhampir - a half-human, half-vampire oddity that is being forced to perform in a carnival freak show. It doesn't take long before she realizes the powers that she has, and her captors at the carnival soon wind up on the receiving end of a vicious vampire attack courtesy of the woman decked out in red and black. She eventually encounters a group of vampire hunters - Vladimir (Michael Madsen), Sebastian (Matthew Davis), and Katarin (Michelle Rodriguez) - who belong to a group known as Brimstone, and realizing that Rayne isn't the typical vampire, they take her under their wing and train her how to fight and use weapons. That's fine and all, but we wouldn't have a very thrilling film without a lead antagonist, and with that in mind, Rayne soon informs us that her father Kagan (Ben Kingsley) raped and killed her mother (hopefully in that order) and that she's set on avenging mommy dearest. Vengeance will not be an easy task, however, as Kagan is the strongest vampire in the world and has an army of human soldiers at his command. There, we have ourselves a movie, and making cameo appearances along the way are Udo Kier, Meat Loaf, and Billy Zane.

So, why has this film been called "the worst movie, like, EVER!" by countless people? Simple: Uwe Boll directed it. Now, I know that the man doesn't have a stellar track record, but let's call a spade a spade here: had this been directed by anybody else, it wouldn't have received half the negative reviews that it did. It's far from a perfect film, and yes, there are some major flaws along the way, but taken for what it is - a vampire movie based on a video game - it could have been much worse. As it is, it's an entertaining if not very memorable film, but when compared to Boll's previous films, it's a masterpiece.

Now, it's not all flowers and sunshine, as yeah, there are a number of flaws to be found here. For starters, how about that acting? Granted, that point I just made about this being a movie based on a video game should come into play right about here, but folks, the acting in this was downright horrible from just about everyone involved. Kristanna Loken is far from the worst of the bunch, but considering that she's in the leading role, it's much more noticeable when she's phoning it in than when some minor character who only shows up for a few minutes does so. Then we have Ben Kingsley, a man who may have a whole room dedicated to his awards and achievements, but here, he comes across as though he had zero interest in the character he was given. That may very well be the case, but c'mon: would a little emotion have killed you, even if it was for a Boll flick? Most of the rest of the case fare no better, and those of you who demand even average performances to be entertained would be well-advised to look elsewhere.

We've also got one of Boll's trademarks here, that being his penchant for trying to shove too much into one film with the end result being mass confusion. There are dozens of characters running around here and pages upon pages of storyline which really have no relevance in the grand scheme of things, and I repeatedly found myself wondering "who that guy is" or "why they were bothering with that." A tighter script would have worked wonders here, but again, this is Boll we're talking about: scripts take a backseat to everything else, including one of the most out-of-place sex scenes since... well, since Alone in the Dark.

With those complaints out of the way, you're probably wondering why I threw the film a little bit of praise up above. Well, I did that because for all of its flaws, BloodRayne is a fairly entertaining film with some decent action sequences and some surprisingly good gore effects, and as an added bonus, the storyline is also pretty engaging when it isn't branching off into a dozen different directions. Yes, that was a shocker to me as well, but it seems as though Boll was finally getting the hang of telling a good story while shooting this one.

Overall, BloodRayne is simply an entertaining film. It's not a great one and it's not even really a good one, but it's also not a bad way to spend ninety minutes in front of the tube. I can't say that there isn't plenty of fodder here for those who live to bash Boll, but if you just put his name out of your head and watch the film for what it is - a simple movie about vampires with a strong emphasis on action - you may find yourself having a decent time with it. 5/10.
Crispy #1: Crispy - added 12/11/2007, 08:00 PM
For me, this film warranted a 2.5/10, and those points and more were docked for raping the game it's based upon. I noticed of the three, this is the one game you haven't played, and the disappointment you had over a game you liked getting turned into THAT is in full swing here. I'm willing to bed if you were a fan of the source material your score would have been lower. Also, your theory that had this film been directed by someone else it wouldn't have been as slammed is probably true to some extent, but it's certainly not to the extent of five points.
Chad #2: Chad - added 12/11/2007, 09:07 PM
I do try to place all of that aside when reviewing something, even if I am a huge fan of the source material (be it a game, book, movie, whatever). I might not have played the game, but this movie was decent enough in its own little way... me being a huge fan of the games wouldn't have changed that.
Crispy #3: Crispy - added 12/11/2007, 09:15 PM
Fair enough, but I maintain that by no means was it "decent enough", but I'll chalk that up to your bad tastes. Or reverse Bollism.
Chad #4: Chad - added 12/11/2007, 09:19 PM
Don't make me break out the Night Watch argument again.
Crispy #5: Crispy - added 12/11/2007, 09:24 PM
I liked it! Incidentally, when does the statute of limitations come into effect on that?
Chad #6: Chad - added 12/11/2007, 09:30 PM
That's a permanent one, there.
bluemeanie #7: bluemeanie - added 12/12/2007, 10:20 AM
Here -- Here -- let me settle this. They both sucked.
bluemeanie #8: bluemeanie - added 12/12/2007, 12:24 PM
I wanted to be in Sir Ben Kingsley's home when he opened the package from his agent that said "SCRIPT FROM UWE BOLL". I wanted to see the look on his face and then the subsequent looks, while reading, that eventually led the Oscar winning actor to say 'Yes'.
Chad #9: Chad - added 12/12/2007, 12:39 PM
I just want to know how in the hell he keeps getting notable names to sign on to his films. I could understand if they were washed-up has-beens, but some of the people he's had show up...
Crispy #10: Crispy - added 12/12/2007, 02:10 PM
Came complete with a photograph of Ben's loved ones tied to a chair no doubt
grain of sand #11: grain of sand - added 12/12/2007, 04:10 PM
this sucked dude, and this man will never make a good movie..
bluemeanie #12: bluemeanie - added 12/12/2007, 05:18 PM
I second that. You've either got it or you don't. Uwe Boll don't. Never has. Never will. Needs to go back to brawling.
MerrysMiko #13: MerrysMiko - added 07/30/2008, 11:01 PM
The concept was good, Kristanna Loken was a good fit for the role, the setting wasn't bad....I have to agree. This could have been SO much better with a different director...and some better writing. Poor Madsen, he must've really needed the paycheck.
Crispy #14: Crispy - added 01/16/2011, 01:04 AM
You know I watched it again, trying to enjoy it from its own merits and separating it from the game, and it still sucked. The acting was horrible, the plot was incoherent at best, and the fight scenes were wooden and uninspired. Can't think of a single good thing to say about this.
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