Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Bloodrayne: The Third Reich

If you watched 2005’s Bloodrayne and 2007’s Bloodrayne: Deliverance, then the third installment in the series, Bloodrayne: The Third Reich (seriously) shouldn’t disappoint you. It shouldn’t disappoint you because the original Bloodrayne was a mess, with slumming “name” actors and an incomprehensible plot, and Bloodrayne: Deliverance was bad enough to make the first one look like Citizen Kane, so you shouldn’t have any positive expectations to be shattered. Why you would watch this after suffering through the first two is another question.

(Which leads to the question: I watched the first two, so why did I do this? Anyone who can answer that can probably get a nice research grant from the National Institute of Mental Health. I suspect repressed masochism enters into it, although I try not to think about it.)

Having disposed of the vampire Billy the Kid (!) in the previous installment, the Dhamphyre (Half-human, half-vampire) Rayne (Natassia Malthe) is now fighting Nazis in Eastern Europe during World War II. There’s no deeper motivation than hey, they’re evil, which I guess is good enough. While laying waste to a Nazi train carrying prisoners to a concentration camp, Rayne doesn’t quite kill Commandant Brand (Michael Paré) dead enough. He gets splattered with some of her blood, and transforms into a Damphyre/Vampire/Something. Rayne hooks up with some anti-Nazi fighters, while the undead Brand enlists Doctor Mangler (Clint Howard. Doctor Mangler. Really?) to help him capture Rayne and use her blood for nefarious purposes. The major subplot is to use the blood to make Hitler immortal but even Brand and Mangler don’t seem to have their hearts in that.

I think you’ve figured out by now, the plot is lacking a certain something. This is partially obscured by truly horrible dialogue. Sample, spoken by Rayne: “I need to do what needs to be done!” Thanks for the exposition there, Rayne. Although Howard does a decent job chewing the scenery, the rest of the actors appear overmatched, although it’s difficult to tell whether that’s due to lack of talent or lack of material.

The movie is directed by everyone’s favorite archenemy, Uwe Boll. Everyone piles on Boll, and his oeuvre is not terribly distinguished. He does seem to be a good sport about it, and I have to admire his ability to continue to get movies made, which is no small accomplishment. I’m also tickled by a director who stages boxing matches against his critics, and it doesn’t hurt that Michael Bay hates him, considering Bay is also the enemy of good taste. Here, Boll directs about as well as you would expect. It may be just me, but there is something unsettling about seeing a real-life horror like the Holocaust used as a backdrop for a frivolous movie like this, but this movie is hardly the first to do that, and your mileage may vary.

About a third of the way into the movie, it briefly morphs into a late-night Cinemax feature, as Rayne visits a brothel and there is a fairly lengthy soft-core lesbian sequence. I realize a substantial portion of the male readers who have been wondering why anyone would watch this just added it to their Netflix queue.

For an opposing opinion, here is a video question-and-answer with director Boll and the beautiful Ms. Malthe:

In closing, I’d like to say something nice about Bloodrayne: The Third Reich, so here it is: at 75 minutes, it goes over very quickly.

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