Since becoming something of an Uwe Boll fan after seeing his banker-brutalisingly entertaining Assault on Wall Street and the equally satisfying and politically charged Rampage films, I’ve gradually been getting around to watching more of Boll’s movies.
Mr Boll comes from Germany. The word Doppelgänger is also German, meaning “double walker” and fuck me, but it seems like there are two Uwe Bolls out there. There’s the one who made the fucking awesome movies I’ve mentioned already, then there’s the other one, the one that seems to have been responsible for all the others.
I didn’t intend to skip straight to the third film in the Blood Rayne series. I tried to watch the first two. The original had a decent cast, with Michael Madsen and Ben Kingsley, if I remember correctly. Well Madsen was only there to pick up the pay check, it was horrible watching him in that movie. Michael Madsen’s career choices after Reservoir Dogs could be the subject of an article on their own. So anyway, I quit about halfway through the first one, then did even worse with part two, which was set in the wild west. I only managed about fifteen minutes of that.
Now, as the title suggests, Bloood Rayne: The Third Reich is set in World War II, on the Eastern Front, the same time period as the games, according to one geeky Rotten Tomatoes reviewer. It starts with a montage of archive footage of Hitler and the Nazis, with a voice over by the main character, Rayne, explaining the historical setting, for anyone who, er, never went to school I guess. One of the cool things about having an immortal, half human, half vampire character is that the films can be set during periods of history that are hundreds of years apart and I’m glad Boll has capitalised on that. For the record, I’ll just state that I’ve never played the video game, so I have no idea how the films compare.
Once the montage is over, the movie itself does look pretty good. Boll uses that kind of muted colour palette that works nicely on films set during the second world war.
Natassia Malthe plays the part of Rayne. I don’t rate her particularly as an actress, but she’s red hot and her cleavage looks damn good, almost reason enough to watch the movie on a quiet Sunday afternoon when your wife or girlfriend is down the shopping mall with her mother. There are some gratuitous sex scenes thrown in and we do get to see her topless, which gets a big thumbs up from me. I was slightly surprised by the idea of her visiting a brothel for a girlie massage halfway through the film, but what the heck, I can work with that.
Of particular note is Brendan Fletcher, ol’ Bill Williamson himself, as the leader of the resistance and Blood Rayne’s love interest. Fletcher is in the second film in the series as well, but with an Irish accent and playing a different character. Come to think of it, I wonder how many people spotted him more recently in The Revenant, he was definitely there, although he didn’t get much screen time, sadly.
Other Boll regular Michael Pare plays a Nazi Commandant who Rayne accidentally turns into a vampire. Therein lies one of the plot holes that you just have to kind of ignore – after biting him on the neck she must have known he would’ve come back as vampire, right? I mean, it’s the third film, so it’s not like she’s new to all this vampire stuff. Whatever. Clint Howard is absolutely horrible as the Nazi scientist, Dr Mangler (seriously, who wrote the script for this thing?), who’s experimenting on live vampire specimens with a plan to make the Fuhrer immortal using vampire blood. I’m not sure if it’s that the part of Dr Mangler is just horribly written (by which I mean badly written), or that the actor is just horrible, or both, but he made me cringe whenever he was on screen.
There are gruesome moments with blood and guts, as there should be, this isn’t some PG13 crap. Kudos to Boll for having more integrity than to take it down that route. As great as it isn’t, I’d still watch this film another ten times before I’d watch some Kevin W.S. Anderson Resident Evil piece of shit.
There are some reasonably good action sequences, I thought, and the story just managed to keep me going to the end. Remember, I’m more than willing to give any film of this man’s a chance, but I didn’t get through the first two of his vampire video game spin-offs. Therefore, I’d say that this must surely be the best of the trilogy, although, with me, the WWII setting may have given it an unfair advantage over the others. It’s a pitty Uwe Boll didn’t star in it himself – he was cool as the television executive in Rampage 2 and would’ve shat on Clint Howard as the despicable Nazi doctor cutting up vampire specimens.