Thursday, August 11, 2011

Review: Bloodrayne: The Third Reich

Yes, I did know what I was getting into when I decided to watch this flick. I had to answer a very important question though: Can even Uwe Boll suck bad enough to make me lose interest in a movie about a cleavage baring babe with swords fighting vampire Nazis? Plus, I knew that I was attending a screening of Lucio Fulci’s classic City of the Living Dead last night, and that would wash the rotten taste out of my brain. The answer to that question, surprisingly, is no. Don’t get me wrong, he tried hard. This movie sucks in nearly every way it is possible to suck. It reaches such ludicrous levels of sucktitude, however, that it is entertaining despite itself. It seems as though after making a career out of unintentionally making unwatchable movies, Boll tried to make this one unwatchable, and still failed. If you are the kind of movie watcher that loves to throw in the worst of the worst and play Mystery Science Theater 3000 with your friends, oh man, have I got a flick for you!

I guess I should start with the plot. By the way, I couldn’t even TYPE the word plot with a straight face. We begin with a six minute long credit sequence with a few shots of Jews being transported by train to concentration camps. It might actually be the most effective scene of the film, but six minutes? This isn’t Bloodrayne’s List. Oh, by the way, did I mention that the movie is only 76 minutes long? Six of those are this opening sequence. Not only that, but the damn closing credits are 7 minutes long. I’m not kidding. Without the credits, this freakin’ movie is only 63 minutes long, and it still drags! Wait, I was talking about the (snicker) plot wasn’t I? So Rayne, the “dhampir” (half human half vampire), is killing Nazis when she decides to drink one of them. Oops, he turns into a dhampir too. A mad Nazi doctor decides that they must track down the dhampir that bit him so they can use her to make Hitler immortal. Rayne, in the meantime, has hooked up with a group of resistance fighters. After an incident in a brothel, Rayne and Nathaniel, the leader of the resistance, are captured. The resistance fighters rescue them. That’s about it.

There is no way I could really write a coherent review of this nonsense, so from here, it’s probably going to read more like a random collection of my thoughts on the flick. Shall we start with Rayne herself? She is played in this installment of the series by Natassia Malthe. Natassia, it’s a good thing you’re so hot, because you can’t act at all. Not as hot as Kristanna Loken in the first one though. Actually, she’s one of those women who are more attractive scantily clad than disrobed. Maybe it’s that all blood diet, but I haven’t seen a jutting ribcage like that since those “for pennies a day we can end the suffering” commercials. Eat something! Anyway, she delivers her lines with all the emotion of Ben Stein and all the believable acting skill of a bored porn star. Her “epic cleavage” outfit, although alluring, would never pass in the streets of WWII era Germany. Also, what the hell is with that stupid leather hat thing she wears for half of the movie? Who thought that looked cool?

The dialog in this movie is amazingly bad. I think my favorite moment is when Dr. Mangler says the line “The times, they are-a-changing” in a definite Dylan-esque cadence. Pardon me, but did the good doctor just quote a song that wouldn’t come out until decades after the movie is set? Yes, yes he did. Attention to detail folks. Rayne’s voiceover monologues are impressive in their cheesiness. When Rayne tells Nathaniel that he’ll have to kill vampires now, he gives the classic line “Good. I was getting tired of just killing Nazis. The undead will spice things up.” I’m not going into what all is wrong with that line. Just to give you one final indication of the intelligence of the writing, the movie ends on the line “Guten Tag Motherf**ker.” Sheer brilliance.

The action sequences are an absolute riot. Some of these Nazis have the worst death scenes ever. They get shot and just kind of slump to the ground like they fell asleep. The fight choreography is horrible. Uwe Boll’s action sequences always look like they were filmed by a coked up chimp, but it’s particularly bad here. There is one point where, during a fight scene, the camera just swings down and points at the ground for four seconds for no apparent reason. What the hell was that? We all know that I abhor CGI blood, but I will give it credit here, some of it looks pretty realistic. In fact, I’m not 100% sure some of that wasn’t actual practical blood spray. The problem is, that real looking blood isn’t coming from anywhere close to the right spot. Rayne will slice a Nazi, and blood will explode from three feet to the side of the victim. The blood isn’t even coming from the bodies! It’s just materializing out of thin air! Someone wanna explain the physics of that to me? Please?

With the exception of Brendan Fletcher (Freddy vs. Jason, the Ginger Snaps sequels), who to be fair always at least gives it a good shot, and Clint Howard, who I’ll get to later, everyone’s acting is sub “Syfy original” level. For one thing, why does NO ONE have a believable German accent. Half of them don’t have an accent at all. You would think Uwe Boll, who is German, could get some of these folks to sound remotely German. It seems like the majority of the cast signed on and then, when they found out who was directing, realized that it didn’t matter if they half assed their performance or not.

In the end, the final fight is the definition of anticlimactic. As Rayne and Nathaniel are putting their clothes back on (don’t worry, I’ll explain), a handful of their friends saves them and annihilates a well armed Nazi convoy in two minutes flat. Worst Nazis ever. These guys couldn’t dominate a game of capture the flag, much less take over half of the world. The vampire commandant, who is the main villain of the film, drinks more dhampire blood and becomes, as he put it, “power incarnate.” He even has the crappy echo chamber voice to prove it. Then, Rayne beats the film’s number one threat by squashing his head with a rock after a titanic battle that lasted…wait for it…26 SECONDS! Now that’s how you off your bad ass villain!

I could go on and on forever about the ridiculousness on hand here. I haven’t even gone into the psychedelic vampire Hitler attack dream sequence or the commandant drinking blood from Rayne’s armpit. I’m going to switch gears here, however, and tell you the two things that really make the flick worth sitting through. The first is the gratuitous sex scenes. I’m all for gratuitous sex, and the flimsier the excuse for throwing it in, the better. I love the balls on these screenwriters, as I’m sure they argue that they’re integral to the plot. The first is a lesbian scene. Rayne is getting a massage in a brothel when she hears a German soldier roughing up one of the whores. She saves her, and another one of the whores sexes her up to say “Thank you.” Makes perfect sense to me. The second one, however, deserves a spot in the “Awkward and ridiculous time for a sex scene” hall of fame. Rayne and Nathaniel have been captured. They are being taken in a truck to Berlin to be tortured and killed. Rayne is unconscious, and neither of them is bound in any way. No handcuffs, no ropes, no nothing. She wakes up, grabs him by the throat, and their eyes lock. My first thought was “There’s no way they’re about to do what I think they’re about to do.” Sure enough, within 10 seconds, out of nowhere, they’re getting’ it on. They’re not trying to escape, they’re not formulating a plan, hell, Rayne doesn’t even know where she is or how she got there. They’re banging in the back, and the guys driving apparently don’t notice. The best part is that they’re getting naked in the half open back of a truck driving through snowy terrain. Seems like one of those “take off just enough to do the deed” situations. Nope, up against the cold steel. Kinky. The inopportune timing and idiotic placement of this scene had me literally laughing until I cried. That’s a lot better than the reasons I usually feel like crying during Uwe Boll movies.

The other thing that makes this worth watching is a must see performance from Clint Howard. Clint is playing Doctor Mangler, a thinly veiled play on words (Dr. Mengele), but it’s more than that. It’s a performance within a performance. Clint Howard is playing Peter Lorre playing Dr. Mangler. It is truly a sight to behold. I truly can’t put this scenery chewing, bizarre, hilarious performance into words, and as much as I hesitate to tell you to see this movie, it absolutely must be witnessed. Remember the Loony Tunes character that was basically a caricature of Lorre? That’s exactly what this reminds me of. That character, brought to life by a true B movie icon and spewing Z movie lines, is mesmerizing.

I was expecting crap, and I sure as hell got crap. I just wasn’t expecting to enjoy it. Bloodrayne was an agreeable enough slice of shlock with a good cast. It was one of those Saturday afternoon, catch it on TV, why not type of flicks. I’m not sure what they were going to do to Rayne and Nathaniel once they got to their death camp, but it couldn’t have been much worse than watching Bloodrayne: Deliverance. Bloodrayne: The Third Reich is a lot like cheap pot; it made me laugh like a fool and I’m pretty sure it killed a whole bunch of brain cells. At least it’s short. Cheese, cleavage, and Clint Howard earn this one half of a severed thumb up. I couldn’t in good conscience give it more than that. If you insist on your movies being good, or even average, hell, even decent, turn around and run as far as you can away from Bloodrayne: Third Reich. If you need a good hearty laugh at Uwe Boll’s expense, Nathan says check it out. So far, it’s the best comedy of the year.

Right back at ‘ya Uwe, right back at ‘ya!

1 comment:

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