BLOODRAYNE (2005) Reviews and overview

 

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BloodRayne is a 2005 fantasy action horror film about the titular character, a female half-human half-vampire Dhampir seeking revenge.

Directed and produced by infamous German filmmaker Uwe Boll (Rampage and sequels; Stoic; Postal; Seed; Alone in the Dark; House of the Dead) from a screenplay written by Guinevere Turner [but apparently greatly rewritten by Boll] based on the Majesco Entertainment and Terminal Reality video game of the same name. Also produced by Daniel Clarke, Wolfgang Herold and Shawn Williamson.

The German-American production stars Kristanna Loken, Michael Madsen, Matthew Davis, Will Sanderson, Billy Zane, Udo Kier, Michael Paré, Meat Loaf, Michelle Rodriguez and Ben Kingsley.

Two sequels, both directed by Uwe Boll, were released. In BloodRayne 2: Deliverance (2007). Natassia Malthe replaced Loken in the lead role for both sequels. BloodRayne: The Third Reich was released in 2011.

Reviews:

“Other than Zane’s performance […] there’s disappointingly little nourishment here for bad cinema junkies, certainly nothing on the level of Tara Reid’s egghead/suxpot palaeontologist in Alone in the Dark. With minimal flare and maximal gore, Boll simply delivers the turgid drama and incompetently staged action sequences that have made him the unstoppable Big Boss of the gaming community.” AV Club

” …if you’re looking for a basic medieval vampirish way to spend an hour and a half, this film might just whoop your trick. Does the film’s dialogue suck a lot? Well, sometimes, but that problem is also exasperated by some of the actors’ delivery, like Michael Madsen…” JoBlo

“The plot of BloodRayne feels like it is slung together from a host of vampire film and sword and sorcery cliches […] you are never clear why anything is happening. It is filled with numerous poses, various betrayals and shiftings of sides, everyone is hunting some McGuffin artifact and everything is whipped along by Boll at a busy pace amid a good deal of bloodletting but little in the way of coherence.” Moria

” …lurches from incident to incident at a graceless plodding place, offering little in the way of genuine excitement—the swordfights often are confusingly cut and choreographed—and only minimal amounts of guilty-pleasure titillation” Variety

“It’s not the absolute worst thing out there, but it’s definitely nothing worth wasting your time over. It’s cheap, it ends with a pointless recap of the entire movie (no doubt to pad things out) and the final fight with all its sped-up action is truly horrible. And I can’t forgive a movie that gives Kingsley nothing to do but sit around trying to look menacing.” The Video Graveyard

“Terrible acting, idiotic script, anachronisms from here to eternity, many of them having to do with modern female behaviour and slutty dress in the 18th century, extremely lame fight scenes and a director who didn’t know what to do with all the splatter so he concentrated most of it in a stupid flashback scene towards the end of the movie.” The Worldwide Celluloid Massacre

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Plot [includes spoilers]:

Rayne is an unholy breed of human and vampire known as a dhampir. Dhampirs are unaffected by crucifixes and do not thirst for human blood, but maintain a vampire weakness to holy water. She is the daughter of the Vampire King, Kagan, who has gathered an army of thralls, both vampire and human, in order to annihilate the human race. She was conceived when Kagan raped her mother, and she later witnessed him killing her when she rejected his advances.

Sebastian, Vladimir, and Katarin are three members of the Brimstone Society, a group of warriors sworn to fight vampires. They hear of a carnival freak who may be a dhampir, so Vladimir plans to recruit her in order to kill Kagan. Kagan is also hunting for her, fearing she will interfere with his plans.

Rayne escapes captivity at the carnival when her keeper tries to carnally assault her. On the road, she encounters and saves a family being attacked by vampires. A fortune teller reveals to Rayne that Kagan has become the most powerful vampire in the land and resides in a well-protected castle. She tells Rayne that Kagan seeks an ancient talisman, a mystical eye, and if she finds it, it would allow her to gain an audience with him. Rayne sets out to the monastery where it is hidden to find it.

Rayne shelters for the night at the monastery and later sneaks away to where the talisman is guarded by a hammer-wielding, deformed monk, who she kills. The talisman is further protected by booby traps, and when Rayne lifts it from its pedestal, the chamber floods with holy water. As Rayne hangs from the ceiling to avoid the water, the talisman falls from the box but she catches the eyeball. Examining it closely, the eye magically becomes absorbed into her own eye, and when she falls into the water she is somehow unaffected by it.

When she leaves the chamber, the monks explain the artefact is one of three body parts that came from an ancient vampire called Belial, who had found a way to overcome the weaknesses of a vampire. The eye overcomes holy water, the rib overcomes the cross, and the heart overcomes sunlight. When Belial died, the parts of his body were hidden across the land. As Kagan desires all these parts in order to assume Belial’s powers, it becomes the heroes’ mission to stop him.

Rayne is brought to the headquarters of the Brimstone Society and they agree to work together to kill Kagan. Katarin does not trust Rayne and betrays Brimstone to her father, Elrich, who has fallen in league with Kagan but seeks to betray him and gain power for himself.

The location of the heart talisman is known to Katarin as her grandfather hid it in water-filled caves. She seeks it out but Rayne kills her and takes it. With the talisman, Rayne attempts to gain an audience before Kagan, but he takes her heart and throws her in the dungeon. He plans to extract the eye as part of a ritual. He realises too late that Rayne had only given him an empty box and not the heart.

Sebastian and Vladimir intervene, battling Kagan and his minions, but both are fatally wounded, leaving Rayne in a final battle against Kagan. As Sebastian dies he fires a final bolt from his crossbow, but Kagan is too quick and is able to catch it. Rayne is able to summon her last reserves of strength and plunge the bolt into his heart.

The battle ends, and Sebastian chooses to die rather than let Rayne save him. Rayne seats herself on Kagan’s throne and reflects on the events that led to her father’s death. Rayne then leaves the castle and rides off into the mountains…

Choice dialogue:

Kagan [Ben Kingsley]: “Ungrateful bitch.”

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Main cast and characters:

Kristanna Loken … Rayne
Michael Madsen … Vladimir
Matthew Davis … Sebastian (as Matt Davis)
Will Sanderson … Domastir
Geraldine Chaplin … Fortune Teller
Udo Kier … Regal Monk
Meat Loaf … Leonid (as Meat Loaf Aday)
Michael Paré … Iancu
Billy Zane … Elrich
Michelle Rodriguez … Katarin
Ben Kingsley … Kagan
Darren Shahlavi … Priest
Esteban Cueto … Rok
Madalina Constantin … Amanda
Daniela Nane … Rayne’s Mother
T.J. Storm … Strongman / Kagan Vampire Guard #3
Constantin Barbulescu … Ringmaster
Teona Galgotiu … Rayne – Age 5
Razvan Popa … Bartender
Laura Burlarda … Little Girl
Ingrid Bisu … Young Girl
Dicu Aurel … Vampire Male (as Aurel Dicu)
Cristina Iulia Pavalache … Vampire Female (as Iulia Muresan)
Romanita Ionescu … Woman Vampire
Rocky Taylor … Monetary Guard
Iulia Popescu … Mother

Filming locations:

Bran Castle, Bran, Brasov, Romania
Corvin Castle, Hunedoara, Romania
Fagaras Castle, Brasov County, Romania
MediaPro Studios, Bucharest, Romania
Sighisoara, Mures, Romania

Filming dates:

From 16th August 2004

Budget and box office:

Bloodrayne took a mere $3.7 million globally against a reported budget of $25 million

Trailer:

BloodRayne movies timeline:

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