The Blood Reich: Bloodrayne 3
Uwe Boll. Just the name provokes a reaction from a myriad of film fans all over the world. Boll is a prolific director whose self-proclaimed claim to fame is that he has always delivered his films on time and within budget. Whilst others may not be able to disagree with this, although we're relying on Boll's statement for this, they will point to what they perceive as a lack of quality with his finished product. One thing that Boll is renowned for is converting just about any computer game going into a film, and with Bloodrayne, he has himself a little franchise.
So, why did I mention Boll at the start of my review? Well, partially to warn anyone of a nervous disposition regarding Boll's output but also to comment on the fact that the PR piece I got didn't mention his name at all so not being familiar with the series, it was only when I fired up the disc and the dreaded caption "A film by Uwe Boll" came up on the screen that my heart sank. Still I asked for it, so I'd have to sit through it...
It's 1943 on the Eastern Front and Jewish victims are being transported to an unnamed concentration camp under the watchful eye of an evil SS Commander (Michael Pare), who has a rather psychotic Doctor (Clint Howard) sidekick. In true Josef Mengele fashion, said mad Doctor performs grisly experiments on the camp's residents and has had the luck of capturing a vampire and cutting him up to see what makes him tick. In true mad Doctor fashion, the mad Doctor cackles a lot and talks to himself in a rather weird accent.
A group of resistance fighters decide to ambush the latest train in the hope of finding a weapons cache, but are joined in the fight by Rayne, half-human half-vampire. Rayne has moved silently through the centuries slaughtering any vampires that she finds plus any injustice - which explains why she's busy killing Nazi's. Unfortunately this ambush goes a bit wrong when Rayne faces off and kills the Commandant, a German soldier manages to shoot her in the head (she survives miraculously) and some of her blood spalashes and is swallowed by the Commandant, who is impaled on a large metal pole. Left for dead, the Commandant begins a horrifying transformation into a daywalker and both he and the mad Doctor see the potential of this development in making the Third Reich invincible.
Rayne and her new resistance buddies realise the danger too late to stop the initial experiments, but must now work together to defeat the Nazi's before they can transport the blood samples back to Berlin to present to Adolf Hitler...
Making Of - which is almost a Uwe Boll love-in by his actors, whereby Boll also reasserts his credentials as the man who brings all his films in on time and in budget.
Writer's featurette - interview with the script writer who he didn't feel the need to import any continuity from the first two films, and also was not invited to Croatia to film and therefore has no idea if the finished article bears any resemblance to his script.
Director's Commentary - no, I didn't bother...
Vampires and Nazi's? A winning combination, no? Not quite. The problem is that the production values are so low that there isn't really any quality in the finished film, with some of the acting a bit wooden and much of the dialogue being cringeworthy. It doesn't help that the main protagonist looks like your average Goth girl with a couple of swords and has virtually no presence, therefore rendering her merely a supporting actress in her own film. Of course, she's quite happy to get her kit off with both a female massuese in an attempt at a sensual love scene and then with the main resistance bloke in a pretty inappropriate rough and ready scene in the back of a truck.
The resistance blokes and the token women are all a bit wooden, which only leaves the Nazi's. Both Michael Pare and Clint Howard play their roles as completely over the top and whilst that would be enjoyable in some films, here it just looks childish - especially Howard who is trying too hard to channel some mad scientist schtick - I'm reminded of Dr Frankenstein or similar from some old comedy film, but with a strange not-quite-Germanic accent.
The two things that may ultimately save this film are both the ample cleavage on show from our heroine (in the 1940's, really?) and the fact that at 86 minutes, it only outstays its welcome by about an hour...