Sunday, January 27, 2008

BloodRayne, The Vampire Killing Fox


Uwe Boll gets such a lashing in the fan circles that I was prepared to let this one go by. Ultimately, I rented it after seeing Kristanna Loken's "come hither" gaze in every retail establishment that sells DVDs, everywhere in the world, for the past two years. That's what's weird about this guy's movies. It's like there's a conspiracy to place them at point of purchase zones in the wal-mart, target, and best buy stores all over the land, despite the bad rap they continue to get. With lowered expectations and an interest in the female lead based on her Terminator 3 status, I settled in for my first Uwe Boll flick.

Frankly, it wasn't that bad. I've seen worse attempts at action/ horror, and in movies that got better reviews. BloodRayne is going up against your Blade/ Underworld/ Hellboy type of film, being a movie that looks like it might be horror, but is in fact, action. Classics like Aliens and Terminator aside, it's a sub-genre that I simply cannot get excited about, which is probably why I'm okay with the ridiculous costumes and bizarre casting presented here. Seriously, Michael Madsen rules, but I was hoping to see him carve off a vampire's ear and light him on fire. Likewise, the women all know karate and bare exposed midriffs, and sport video game style vampire hunting gear unique to their characters personality traits.

Another thing that some might find upsetting is a near complete disregard of vampire canon, allowing for an amazing vampire body count that actually hinders the sensibilities of the plot. Maybe they explain this somewhere, but that's another problem I have. There seems to be an artistic decision here that interferes with the story telling. There are several scenes that are flashbacks, and then several more that appear to be flashbacks, but are actually stylized transitions that left me sort of confused until the action starts up and everyone is face to face, kicking the crap out of each other again. The ending is also subjective enough to cause further bewilderment.

Yet, despite being a film that is really all over the place, BloodRayne has it's charms and works as your basic popcorn flick. There are buckets of fake blood poured over the cartoonish, old world landscape, the aforementioned ass-kicking women, and a completely unnecessary sex scene for the new (goth?)couples who might be watching. None of this was nearly as horrible and tasteless as one is led to believe from reading the reviews, although it's not winning any awards. In edited form, this flick would play well on the upper dial of your basic cable TV service, perhaps on USA or TNT. It's the movie your inner thirteen year old watches at 1:30am, eating pizza, when sleeping over at your childhood friend's house. This film might be representative of what Uwe Boll is reviled for, which I take to be amateurish film making. Yet, after watching BloodRayne, I have to believe the backlash against his movies is due to the unprecedented marketing support they receive, rather than any short comings of the director. In the end, this is the type of movie where you know, even before watching, whether you'll enjoy it or not.

No comments: