Reviewed By David Cornelius
Posted 05/22/06 11:15:18

"Oh, Uwe Boll, will you never learn?"
1 stars (Total Crap)

There is a report that’s been going around for a while now - chances are you’ve probably heard of it - that suggests Uwe Boll intentionally makes bad movies, in order to take advantage of a some loophole or other in German tax laws, a loophole that rewards failure. He’s the Max Bialystock of cinema, if you will.

Boll, who specializes in lousy adaptations of lousy video games, now delivers his very own “Springtime For Hitler:” “Bloodrayne,” a medieval vampire romp that would be painfully hilarious if it weren’t so dreadfully boring. Yes, there are castles and monsters and swordfights and even Sir Ben Kingsley, but there is nothing here that works as anything other than bland catastrophe.

Kristanna Loken (she of “Terminator 3” fame) stars as Rayne, a half-human/half-vampire who cannot touch ordinary water, apparently because she is also half-gremlin. Rayne escapes from the carnival that held her captive and goes off in search of Kagan (Kingsley, of “A Sound of Thunder” fame), her vampire father. Along the way, there are vampire hunters, some of them played by Michael Madsen, and there are big fat vampires, some of them played by Meat Loaf. Udo Kier shows up at one point, if only to ensure that “Dracula 3000” does not wind up as the worst movie in his filmography. Michael Paré shows also pops by, thus giving everyone watching the chance to crack “Eddie and the Cruisers” jokes.

There is a lot of wandering around sets borrowed from the local renaissance fair, and occasionally someone will attack Rayne with a sword or something. A few times, whenever things get too unbearably dull, Sir Ben Kingsley will turn into a vampire and eat somebody.

That’s pretty much all there is to “Bloodrayne,” really. I am told there is a screenplay, and that it was written by Guinevere Turner, the very same Guinevere Turner that penned “The Notorious Bettie Page” and “Go Fish.” Watching the film, however, one gets a sense of no script at all; all dialogue was surely spat out minutes before filming by anyone with a free minute, and the cast was required to remember these lines just long enough to say them in the correct order while the cameras roll. Surely this can be the only reason for such a combination of unfathomable dialogue and unwatchable performances, and don’t worry if none of the accents match, or if nobody looks like they’re in the right role, or if most of the cast is rushing through in hopes of cashing their paychecks before they bounce. This is a movie so bad that it actually asks Michelle Rodriguez, of all people, to attempt a British accent - which, much to our horror, she does.

The key to all of this, of course, is Boll himself. This is a director that has yet to master the very fundamentals of storytelling. He gets things on camera, yes, but he does not know what to do with them. He asks nothing of his actors, and that’s often exactly what he gets. He points and shoots and maybe they can fix it in editing, and that’s as close we get to any sort of effort. If Tor Johnson would show up in a Uwe Boll movie, bumping into walls, I wouldn’t be surprised in the least.

The sorry thing about all of this, however, is that “Bloodrayne” is not the hysterical crapfest every Bad Movie fanatic hopes it to be. While there are moments so mindless here that guarantee a giggle or three over pizza and beer with your buddies, the majority of this film is a soulless, uneventful mess. We can marvel at the ineptitude on display in every scene, but it’s all so dreary and rambling that it becomes a struggle just to maintain attention. This is a movie that begs you not to watch it.

Still, Meat Loaf in a gigantic white wig? OK. That’s hilarious.

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