Friday, 1 July 2011



Despite constantly being cited as the Worst Director Of All Time, Uwe Boll is nothing of the kind. (Go watch some Joe D'Amato or Al Adamson.) He's acquired that reputation largely on the strength of numerous videogame adaptations (Alone In The Dark, House Of The Dead), but the fact is that he's not terrible: he's just consistently mediocre. In addition, he has a tendency to lapse into inappropriate bad taste - 9/11 jokes in Postal, genuine animal cruelty footage in Seed - and excessive violence that isn't making the profound statements about humanity he thinks it is (Rampage, Seed). He also - somehow - manages to assemble big-name star casts for many of his undertakings including Ray Liotta, Burt Reynolds, Jason Statham, Michael Madsen and Ben Kingsley (although crucially not this one, which is a shame as it desperately needs some star oomph). But merely not being the worst doesn't mean he's any good: there are a hundred zombie movies more worthy of your time than House Of The Dead and a hundred senseless shoot-em-ups more enjoyable than Far Cry.

Bloodrayne: The Third Reich is the third in Boll's presumably ongoing saga of Rayne the half-vampire, half-human Dhampir (Natassia Malthe), and her constant fight against evil. Having done the Romanian Dark Ages in the first one and the American Wild West in the dull Bloodrayne: Deliverance, she now pitches up in Nazi-occupied Europe (location unspecified, but the film was shot in Croatia) aiding the Resistance. During one raid on what they presume to be a train full of weapons, Rayne's half-inhuman blood inadvertently infects and vampirises the evil Commandant (Boll regular Michael Pare), leading to the possibility of an immortal Hitler's army of the undead....

It isn't very good: an underachieving followup to an underachieving first sequel to a tolerable original. Uncomfortably, it uses Holocaust and death camp imagery in a way that doesn't belong in a knockabout vampire movie: in the same way that no fluffy Hollywood romantic comedies have been set against the backdrop of Srebrenica or the Rwandan genocide. (I'm not entirely comfortable with such imagery being included in silly comicbook movies like the X-Men films either, but if anything Boll's use is worse because he is German.) And it's no fun: it looks drab and the only laughs come from Clint Howard wildly overacting as a mad scientist in a goatee. Finally, it's a dull title. The DVD box calls it The Blood Reich: Bloodrayne 3, which is an improvement, but the actual title card on screen swaps everything around, drops the 3 and one of the Bloods. Personally I'd have called it Let The Reich One In.


Rayne Drops:

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