January 12, 2006


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FILM: Bloodrayne (R)

by Amy Diaz

Vampires and humans sworn to fight them and a half-breed torn between two worlds make up the fanciful mix of characters populating the Middle Earth-ish version of Romania (or, whatever!) in Bloodrayne, an Ed Woodian adaptation of a video game by the same name.

Rayne (Kristinna Loken) is a half-vampire, half-human who escapes from a carnival freak show and decides to seek out her father, the powerful vampire Kagan (Ben Kingsley), and destroy him. Why? Aw, heck, why not. She also has to collect some vampire knick-knacks along the way (a heart, an eye) and fight off some humans who have sided with vampires known as Thralls. To this end, Rayne hooks up with some white hats (or are they?) led by Vladimir (Michael Madsen, yes, the actual Michael Madsen), Sebastian (Matthew Davis, perhaps best known as the guy who doesn’t end up with Reese Witherspoon in Legally Blonde) and Katarin (Michelle Rodriguez, with the Lost sneer and a completely bewildering Renaissance faire accent). Meat Loaf and Billy Zane guest star.

I was about halfway through this movie when it occurred to me that it would have worked so much better as porn. As skin flick, this movie would have been the Lord of the Rings of its genre. Nobody expects much in the way of acting or dialogue or, you know, anything from a porn movie, and thus Bloodrayne would have, on a technical level, met or exceeded expectations. And porn with vampires? And fight scenes? Tell me that wouldn’t be a DVD blockbuster.

After all, for the actors how different is porn from a movie based on a video game and so grainy that it looks like it was shot through a sand storm? I mean, Michelle Rodriguez with an English accent? Even she can’t be taking this seriously. And Ben Kingsley? Is there any movie he won’t sign on to?

I haven’t the faintest idea of how closely this tracks to the video game nor has this movie given me any desire to ever find out. What it did do was make me wish I hadn’t seen the movie at a dingy theater by myself in the middle of the day. This is a movie best enjoyed over pizza and drinks — lots of drinks — with friends. Enough drinks and maybe you can get people to act it out ala Rocky Horror. Talk about enjoyment of a movie.

We are a week of new releases into 2006 and this is by far my favorite movie released this year. In a sea of “C”s, I bestow this “F” with admiration, affection and delight.