Friday, October 23, 2009

Worst of the Worst: #48, Bloodrayne

German director Uwe Boll is famous for two things: 1) making movies based on video games and 2) making some of the worst movies of all time. Coincedence? Doing some research, I found that according to Metacritic, the best reviewed movie based on a video game is Mortal Kombat. To repeat, Mortal Kombat is the best ever movie based on a video game. One of those movies, not directed by Boll, is #1 on Rotten Tomatoes' list of the worst movies of this decade, but Boll does show up four times, including with Bloodrayne, the 48th worst movie of the decade and the seventh movie on the list that I have seen.

I've hated all of the movies I've seen on the list, although I've actually seen The Adventures of Pluto Nash twice because I had to believe how incredibly bad it is. The movies have spanned from boring to inane to, as you may remember from last week, downright infuriating. But... Get ready.

Are you ready?

You have to see Bloodrayne. Have to! Don't spend any money on it, Lord no, but you can catch it on Watch Instantly on Netflix. It's horrendous, but some parts are so bad that they are must-see. I'll get into some more detail, but I wanted to lay that groundwork up front. Bloodrayne is, thankfully, the first of these movies that I enjoyed watching.

The film is about Transylvania in the 1700s, a Transylvania where everyone speaks English, but in different accents (we'll get to that in a bit). The vampire king is terrorizing the land and can only be stopped by his daughter Rayne, a half-human/half-vampire, and only if she can obtain two talismans to help her. A band of humans, also out to kill vampires, meets up with Rayne and they join together to slaughter lots and lots of bad guys and stop the king. Pretty simple plot. At the end -- and I'm so sorry to spoil it -- Rayne kills her father and, with every other character in the movie dead around her, ascends to the throne. And when she sits in it, there is a montage of what happened throughout the movie! An actual montage, showing the bloodiest scenes and some that weren't shown earlier, and then it comes right back to her on the throne and the movie ends after the camera leaves the castle and focuses on some random hillside for what seems like thirty seconds.

Those bloody scenes are what make this movie worth watching. Peter Jackson's zombie film Dead Alive is the gold standard for cartoonish gore. Zombies get chopped in half, run over by a lawnmower, beheaded, and so on, as the blood spurts as powerfully as possible. Jackson clearly means it as a joke -- and it informs a lot of the humor in Shaun of the Dead -- even using pink and green blood by the end of the movie. In Bloodrayne, Boll uses the same sort of gore, but in a serious manner. So when there's dramatic music playing and the characters are fighting for their lives, you have people's top halves sliding off of their bottom halves or their bodies being split lengthwise. According to this movie, people's guts just look like a bunch of chunks or something or other and everyone has at least 500 pints of blood that must spurt as violently as possible.

Some of the other scenes are puzzling. Rayne says that the king raped and killed her mother, followed by a flashback to what happened. No rape, just killing. Later, there is a huge setup between two characters and their ability to fight each other with swords. How do they fight? Entirely underwater. They wrestle underwater for a couple of seconds until one of them comes to the surface and the other climbs out and immediately kills them. Exciting and easy to follow. Even the one sex scene in the movie is shot weird and almost hard to follow.

Kristanna Loken (the robot in T3) stars. Other prominent actors include Michael Madsen, Michelle Rodriguez, Meat Loaf, Billy Zane, and Ben Kingsley. Wait, isn't this the second of the four movies I've watched since I started this quest that included Kingsley (A Sound of Thunder being the other one)? Madsen is one of my least favorite actors of all time -- note that my two favorite Tarantino films are ones he isn't in -- but at least he's never in anything. His IMDB page lists him as appearing in 38 things in 2009 alone! Zane -- who is credited as making a "special appearance" -- has lines that make no sense and he delivers them in the most unbelievable way possible. His presence in the film is completely superfluous. And Meat Loaf? He plays a vampire that hangs out with a harem of naked women, so try to get that image out of your head.

The acting isn't just bad because the director does such a poor job of making any sort of coherent film at all. No, they attempt to put on British accents because this takes place in Europe. Well, some of them do. Madsen just talks in his normal New York accent because it's obvious that he put no effort into this movie whatsoever. That might have been best though, because I do not exaggerate when I say that Michelle Rodriguez in this film does the worst British accent I have ever heard in a movie. You have to watch the movie just to hear it.

Something that really stands out, but often doesn't in movies, is the hairstyling. The hairstyling? Well, since this takes place in 1700s Transylvania, everyone has to have long hair. There are a variety of hilarious wigs -- every male character has to have some sort of ponytail at the very least -- but none funnier than Michael Madsen's mullet. It's the first thing you see in the movie and it's the gift that keeps on giving.

Want a reason to watch Bloodrayne? Feast your eyes on this!

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