BloodRayne (2005)

Rayne is a half-human, half-vampire creature. Her mother was raped by the vampire Kagan, and Rayne seeks to exert her revenge on him. On her way to his castle she joins forces with three members of the Brimstone society, a clan of vampire hunters. Kagan also has some plans of his own, as he is looking for three mystical talismans, that when combined will instill him with the power of the primordial vampire Belial.

After the atrocious House of the Dead and Alone in the Dark movies, BloodRayne was the third video game adaptation by Boll, and the first that actually turned out to be a somewhat watchable movie. Based on the reasonably successful video game series, that drew most of its appeal from a slinky main protagonist dismembering Nazi soldiers, BloodRayne places its story into a medieval time, and retains only marginal links with the two video games. The movie spawned two sequels with a substantially lower budget, that were not really bad, just relatively tame and conventional compared to the bizarre outbursts of the first film.

BloodRayne could have been a really fun movie, all the ingredients are there, but Boll did not manage to pull all these things together properly, and it resulted in an incredibly haphazard and inconsistent affair. And while he may not even have cared what sort of a movie he put together, BloodRayne oscillates between a fairly average vampire movie and unintentionally funny trash. The good stuff: lots of bloody and gory action (put together nicely by German underground splatter movie legend Olaf Ittenbach), beautiful landscapes and castles. The bad: most actors, the dialogues, the plot, and the wigs. Good or bad depending on your point of view: a decent amount of cleavage and nudity.

There’s a whole bunch of Hollywood celebrities in the movie, but especially Michael Madsen, Michelle Rodriguez and Ben Kingsley seem like they are not even trying to play a role, but just stand around most of the time looking irritated or uninterested. Not all is bad, though. Kristanna Loken plays the part of Rayne well, and Udo Kier as slightly deranged, but well-meaning monk is always great to watch. There’s also a really weird cameo by glam-rock legend Meat Loaf that contributes to the trash character of the movie. BloodRayne hits many lows during its run-time, but if you can get past its inconsistent composition, it’s an almost decent horror-action flick.

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