'BloodRayne'

DVDs and MoviesEntertainmentMoviesDeathUwe BollMatthew DavisGeraldine Chaplin

A prequel to the videogame of the same name, "BloodRayne" is the tender story of a young woman named Rayne, who wanders around 18th century Romania killing vampires because she has daddy issues.

No, seriously: Her vampire-lord father's assault on her human mother resulted in Rayne's birth as a "dhampir", a half-human, half-vampire hybrid who drinks blood, but doesn't fear the sun ... much like Wesley Snipes' day-walking Blade. In fact, pretty much exactly like him, but with a halter top.

Rayne is played by Kristanna Loken, the bad robot from "Terminator 3," with much the same sense of purpose and determination; this isn't a comment on Loken's limitations as on the sketchiness of Rayne's character. Sheexists to run and jump and kill -- not unlike a videogame character -- and Boll gives her plenty of opportunity to do all three. Also she gets to suck face with a human warrior played by "Legally Blonde's" Matthew Davis, who wears the second-most ridiculous mullet in the film.

"BloodRayne" is director Uwe Boll's third straight videogame adaptation, and he's still a complete hack, incapable of directing actors or orchestrating action sequences or even keeping track of the story he's telling from one scene to the next.

That said, "BloodRayne" has fewer moments of spit-take stupidity than either of Boll's previous features, "House of the Dead" and "Alone in the Dark," mostly because Boll is working with a better caliber of slumming actors this time around -- the largish cast includes Ben Kingsley, Michael Madsen, Michael Pare, Meat Loaf, Michelle Rodriguez, Geraldine Chaplin and Billy Zane, whose decision to supply his own dialogue regardless of whatever is happening around him leaves us wondering why the producers didn't just let him redub the entire movie.

It might not have made "BloodRayne" any less laughable, but at least it would have been funny on purpose.

Visual Entertainment is releasing two different editions of "BloodRayne" to DVD, each packed with a bonus CD-ROM of the PC game "BloodRayne 2": A full-frame edition of the theatrical cut, and an enhanced-widescreen edition of the unrated director's cut, which appears identical to the theatrical version except for a completely insane montage tacked on before the closing credits roll.

Extras are a mixed bag: The audio commentary, which crams Boll, Loken, producer Shawn Williamson, co-star Will Sanderson and first assistant director Bryan Knight into a recording booth with the movie, is halfway between a hoot and a scream, with Boll babbling on about his artistic pretensions and everyone else responding with an enthusiasm that suggests either total artistic commitment or really, really subtle mockery.

The rest of the supplemental section is pretty thin: "CGI Making of the Film" is a four-minute assembly of various digital enhancements, while "Storyboards" is just a collection of, well, storyboards. The one unusual element is "Dinner with Uwe Boll," which is exactly what it purports to be -- a 47-minute Thai meal with Boll and two unidentified dinner companions who hang on his every word, drink a little too much wine, and end up slagging Boll's critics for him. It's a lot more entertaining than the movie, I can tell you that much.

STUDIO: Visual Entertainment
RELEASE DATE: May 23, 2006
RATING: R/Unrated
PRICE: $26.99
TIME: 96 minutes (R)/98 minutes (unrated)
DVD EXTRAS: English and Spanish subtitles; audio commentary; production featurettes; storyboard gallery.
INTERNET SITE: bloodrayne-themovie.com

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