Bloodrayne – Videogames are bad for you week

This is videogames are bad for you week. Bloodrayne is currently available on instant Netflix.


AVOID: Bloodrayne (2006) – UR – This movie is unrated

The theatrical version is rated R for strong bloody violence, some sexuality, and nudity. Presumably the unrated version is a little stronger.

“A half-human, half vampire sets out to destroy her vampire king father in this Gothic horror film based on the video game. Bloodthirsty Lord Kagan (Ben Kingsley) wants his daughter to become a full-fledged vampiress, but fanged femme fatale Rayne (Kristanna Loken) denounces her father’s legacy and instead joins up with a trio of vampire hunters (Michael Madsen, Michelle Rodriguez and Matt Davis). Billy Zane and Udo Kier co-star.”

“Keep your friends close, your enemies closer”

Yes this film doesn’t even bother with its own dialogue. It simply borrows from other films. When it does have original dialogue that dialogue is awful.

“Where are you going?” – “I’m going on my own.”

Thankfully there isn’t as much shaky cam, jump cutting, shifting camera angles and out of focus photography as in yesterday’s Alone in the Dark II but all are present to an annoying degree here as well.

Kristanna Loken, last seen as the hot Terminator in Terminator 3, is actually an ideal choice as Bloodrayne. It seems a shame that they didn’t keep the Nazi setting of the game. My guess is that Uwe Boll must have had easy access to medieval costumes. Also of course since much of his financing is German, Nazis probably don’t play well there.

The stupidity on display here is amazing. Vladimir (Michael Madsen) has a wrist-mounted mini-crossbow that apparently can reload itself. Characters are not so much killed by others as they do fall on other character’s weapons. Every unimportant character (villagers for example) is dressed in completely drab clothing, most lacking any color at all.

At one point the heroes get ‘black powder from China’. Is this somehow better than the gunpowder that Europeans had had for hundreds of years by this point?

No one looks askance at Bloodrayne’s midriff and cleavage baring outfit, much less that she seems to be the only character allowed outdoors in the color red. Don’t even get me started on the tattoo she sports. Also it apparently only takes Bloodrayne two seconds to completely drain a vampire of blood.

I love how the monastery has been guarding a sacred artifact for centuries yet Bloodrayne shows up and minutes later she has not only killed the guardian and foiled the videogame like puzzle, she also has the artifact. The monastery is then completely wiped out in a hilariously bad gorefest.

The only bright spot in the film is a single scene with a must be slumming Geraldine Chaplin (The Four Musketeers, Jane Eyre). She plays a fortune teller and in spite of all the other good actors in the film, she is the only one to give a good performance.

In fact I shouldn’t let the good actors off so lightly. Michael Madsen appears to be pretending that he is in a completely different film. Michelle Rodriguez just plays the same tough girl she always does – it would be nice to see her play against type sometime. Ben Kingsley is completely and somewhat inexplicably dreadful.

By all means AVOID this movie. If by any chance you missed any of the hilariously bad gore effects, don’t worry. They replay all of them at the end of the film in a flashback.

People Watch: Meat Loaf appears as Leonid. He is billed as Meat Loaf Aday – is this to distinguish him from all the other actors out there named Meat Loaf? At any rate his scene is the most embarrassing one in the film.

Interview with the Vampire

Unfortunately I was out of town all day yesterday so I missed my chance to post every day in October. I’ll post twice today to make up for it. I thought first we’d take a look at some vampires adapted from other medium.

Interview with the Vampire

WATCH: Interview with the Vampire (1994) – “Director Neil Jordan’s Oscar-nominated tale of bloodsucking immortals moves from 18th century New Orleans to a Grand Guignol theater in Paris to present-day San Francisco as it explores betrayal, love, loneliness and hunger. The lives of a trio of vampires — cavalier Lestat (Tom Cruise), tormented Louis (Brad Pitt) and childlike Claudia (Kirsten Dunst) — are interconnected for centuries in this adaptation of Anne Rice’s romantic horror tale”

Anne Rice was livid when she found out her vampire Lestat was going to be played by noted Scientologist Tom Cruise. Pretty much any film Tom Cruise is in becomes a Tom Cruise film (due in part to Tom Cruise being so powerful that he often retains final cut and has no problem overruling directors though in this case Neil Jordan retained final cut) so she certainly had cause for alarm. It was a wonderful surprise then when Tom Cruise gave a riveting, masterful portrayal of Lestat – indeed in my opinion it is his absolute best performance. For those who adore male scenery, in addition to stars Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise, we also have Christian Slater, Antonio Banderas, and Stephen Rea. A very young Kirsten Dunst almost manages to steal the show from Cruise as a gloriously creepy young lady. Anne Rice does a wonderful job of adapting her own novel amd Neil Jordan’s direction is superb. The cinematography and atmosphere in the film is wonderful as well if you can manage to tear your eyes away from the performers long enough to enjoy it. To her credit, Anne Rice not only apologized to Tom but took out a two-page ad in Vanity Fair and the New York Times endorsing the movie.

AVOID: Bloodrayne (2006) – This film is simply dreadful. Uwe Boll is widely recognized as one of the (if not the) worst genre director in the world. His films are not hilariously incompetent like Ed Wood’s but simply unwatchably incompetent. I swear that I needed a dramamine to sit through House of the Dead with my daughter. This one is no different in spite of┬áthe presence of slumming actors Michael Madsen, Ben Kingsley, Michael Pare, Billy Zane and Udo Kier.