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Uwe Boll
Kristanna Loken, Michelle Rodriguez, Ben Kingsley, Matthew Davis, Michael Madsen, Billy Zane, Will Sanderson, Udo Kier, Meat Loaf
Writing Credits:
Guinevere Turner

Revenge never tasted so sweet.

BloodRayne, a sexy hybrid vampire-human, is a member of the Brimstone Society, which hunts down supernatural threats. She's given her deadliest assignment yet: kill Kagan (Kingsley), king of the vampires.

Box Office:
$25 million.
Opening Weekend
$1.550 million on 985 screens.
Domestic Gross
$2.405 million.

Rated NR

Widescreen 1.85:1/16x9
English Dolby Digital 5.1
English Dolby 2.0

Runtime: 99 min.
Price: $26.99
Release Date: 5/23/2006

Disc One
• Audio Commentary with Director Uwe Boll, Producer Shawn Williamson, 1st AD Bryan Knight and Actors Kristanna Loken and Will Sanderson
• “CGI Making of the Film” Featurette
• “Dinner with Uwe Boll” Documentary
• Storyboards
• Trailer
Disc Two
• Complete BloodRayne 2 PC Game


Sony 36" WEGA KV-36FS12 Monitor; Sony DA333ES Processor/Receiver; Panasonic CV-50 DVD Player using component outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Sony SA-WM40 Subwoofer.


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BloodRayne: Unrated Director's Cut (2005)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (June 6, 2006)

Cinematic adaptations of video games can’t boast that they’ve enjoyed many successes, either artistically or financially. 2005’s BloodRayne represents perhaps the nadir of both areas. It earned a pathetic $2 million at the US box office, and the film itself is a nearly unwatchable mess.

Set in Europe during some unspecified Olden Dayes, BloodRayne immediately introduces us to a trio of vampire hunters named Vladimir (Michael Madsen), Katarin (Michelle Rodriguez) and Sebastian (Matt Davis). They hear of a suspicious circus attraction named Rayne (Kristanna Loken). This news also gets to a sinister vampire leader called Master Kagan (Ben Kingsley). He wants to track Rayne to keep her from harming his nefarious plans.

When a circus employee tries to rape her, Rayne goes all a-chewy-chomp on him and escapes. She freaks into a “blood rage” and hits the road. The hunters – part of a “Brimstone Society” – follow her, as do the representatives of Kagan. It appears the Brimstones mainly want to stop Kagan, and Rayne might help.

We learn she’s a “dhamphir”: half-human, half-vampire. Kagan killed her mother, so she wants to off him as revenge. The movie follows her quest as well as issues connected to the Brimstones and Kagan.

Or at least it pretends to pursue those stories. In truth, BloodRayne barely musters the energy to forward plot issues, much less actually follow up on them. I toyed with the idea that I wouldn’t even bother with a plot synopsis since so little of the ideas I listed mattered in the film.

Heck, this is a vampire movie in which vampires barely matter! At no point did I ever feel like Rayne, Kagan and the others actually needed to be vampires. The film never highlighted their particular talents, as it preferred to stick with basic fight sequences.

Frankly, this flick more closely resembles The Lord of the Rings than any vampire movie you’ve seen. Perhaps I should see that as a positive; after all, shouldn’t I applaud a film that steers away from normal genre conventions? The answer is “no” in this case, as all it does is embrace the conventions of a different – and irrelevant – genre.

BloodRayne feels like a true video game movie due to its lack of attention to story. Essentially it mashes together little quests and scenarios and limply attempts to create a narrative. Nothing ever coalesces, though, largely because the filmmakers prefer to show off violent effects. You’ll see plenty of graphic bloodshed here, all of which amounts to gore for gore’s sake. The camera lovingly focuses on these scenes and gives them much more prominence than it should.

Doubtless some of that occurs to distract from the crumminess of the fights. They move slowly and demonstrate no kinetic energy at all. Except for perhaps Loken, it felt like the actors had never held weapons and regarded them in a very tentative way. This robbed the fights of any potential power and made them as clumsy and dull as the rest of the flick.

Add to that priceless dialogue like “You’re such a suck-up” and two of the worst wigs in film history and BloodRayne becomes a disaster. An incompetent, incoherent disaster to boot, one with little to allow it to work. I don’t know how flicks like this get made.

The DVD Grades: Picture B+/ Audio B+/ Bonus B

BloodRayne appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this single-sided, double-layered DVD; the image has been enhanced for 16X9 televisions. Although the movie itself stunk, the transfer looked pretty good.

Only a smidgen of softness ever interfered. Occasionally, I thought wide shots were a little ill-defined. Otherwise, the film boasted nice clarity and delineation. I noticed no issues with jagged edges or shimmering, and just a bit of edge enhancement was viewed. Print flaws were non-existent. At times the flick was grainier than I expected, but no defects like specks, marks or spots appeared.

BloodRayne went with a surprisingly warm palette. Reflected in its many candlelit sequences, the hues were rich and vivid. The DVD produced them with good accuracy and depth. Blacks were also dark and firm, while shadows seemed clean and smooth. This was a consistently positive image.

I felt the same way about the Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack of BloodRayne. The many fight sequences gave it a chance to open up the spectrum. The battles swarmed around us, and other elements like thunder and horses managed to use the surrounds well. Music showed decent stereo imaging, and the whole thing produced a fine sense of environment.

No problems with audio quality emerged. Speech was clear and crisp, while effects were clean and accurate. They showed good bass response when necessary. Music was also vivid and dynamic. The sound complemented matters well.

As we shift to the extras, we begin with an audio commentary from director Uwe Boll, producer Shawn Williamson, 1st AD Bryan Knight and actors Kristanna Loken and Will Sanderson. They provide a running, screen-specific chat. The commentary covers locations and issues related to shooting in Eastern Europe, characters and performances, visual effects and stunts, and general production notes.

At least for a while, this manages to be a pretty interesting track. We get a good amount of insight into the concerns with filming in Europe, and some nice anecdotes pop up as well. Unfortunately, matters tend to falter after about half an hour or so. The useful material appears on a more sporadic basis and the track grows somewhat tedious, especially since all involved frequently praise the movie. That means we end up with a mediocre commentary. I do like the part where he badmouths Jennifer Garner, though; it’s rare to hear that kind of candor in this sort of chat.

More from the director comes in a 47-minute and 35-second program called Dinner with Uwe Boll. The director eats Thai food with an unnamed couple from IGN as he discusses his influences and inspirations, his path to becoming a director, and current realities of the worldwide movie business. Boll also goes over how he approaches his projects, facets of some of those productions, plans for future flicks, and aspects of BloodRayne.

Boll continues to be frank and up-front, factors that make him a fairly interesting speaker. He even discusses his poor reputation among moviegoers. However, this program may not be very useful for those who’ve not seen all his flicks. I only know BloodRayne, and given its crumminess, I don’t intend to see his other movies. He discusses a lot of their details, so much of the material won’t resonate in you’ve not seen the films in question. Also, it’s hard to care about his upcoming projects. These factors make the interview less than scintillating.

A five-minute and 19-second featurette called CGI Making of the Film comes next. The silent piece shows a mix of shots from the film in various stages of completion. We watch them as computer effects get laid on top of the original elements. This is mildly interesting but it’d make more sense with some commentary.

In addition to the film’s trailer, we find five screens of Storyboards. Each sheet shows nine drawings, which makes them awfully small and tough to see.

On Disc Two, we get a complete PC game version of BloodRayne 2. I admit that I didn’t try to play it, but I think it’s cool that it’s included.

It has to be more interesting than the movie of BloodRayne. A shambling mess of a film, it provides no thrills, excitement, or anything else that’d make a vampire flick interesting. The DVD offers pretty good picture, sound and extras, though. If you’re one of the four people who liked BloodRayne, you’ll be happy with this release.

Viewer Film Ratings: 2.3333 Stars Number of Votes: 12
2 3:
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