At this stage in the cinematic game, you’d think that Uwe Boll would know how to handle the “Bloodrayne” series. After all, he’s already pumped out two films, each of which is enjoyable in its own wonky right. However, with the third installment, Boll seems to have completely given up, delivering the sort of fetid, uninspired direct-to-video action/horror hybrid you’d expect from a filmmaker who’s just starting out in the industry. And while no one with their sanity intact would declare Boll to be a savvy director, he has been known to provide quality entertainment to those who don’t mind spending 90 minutes with soulless, empty-headed motion pictures. Believe it or not, these people do exist, and I happen to be one of them.
This particular outing with the curvy half-human, half-vampire takes place during World War II, an era that actually sticks closer to the source material than the previous endeavors. After assisting a group of resistance fighters with a batch of ill-prepared German soldiers, the impossibly busty Bloodrayne teams up with this ragtag cluster of ruffians in order to take down the Third Reich. What they don’t know, of course, is that one of the Nazis she gnawed on is transforming into a powerful new breed of vampire (read: day-walker), one that will pose a serious threat to all of humanity should the Germans figure out how to harness its strengths. And while this may sound like a pretty good idea for a motion picture, in the hands of Uwe Boll, it quickly loses its luster almost as soon as it begins. Pointless lesbian sex can’t save it.
As I mentioned earlier, I actually enjoyed the first two entries in the “Bloodrayne” series, despite the fact that neither picture had any redeeming qualities whatsoever. They’re just good, old-fashioned B-movies loaded with gratuitous sex, graphic violence, and goofy-looking vampires, a recipe that shouldn’t be that hard to screw up. With “The Third Reich”, however, Boll’s lackluster direction, combined with a script that assumes its audience is either brain dead or functionally retarded, grinds the series to an immediate and unfortunate halt. Theoretically speaking, putting a movie like this together shouldn’t be that difficult, especially since Boll has covered this ground before. Alas, this simply is not the case. Which is sad, really, since I think that the series still has some life in it yet. Assuming, of course, that someone out there is willing to resuscitate it.
Wagging my finger at everyone for their respective failures would be the right thing to do were this not an Uwe Boll flick. Honestly, I can’t even really blame the cast for this one, as most of the individuals involved have proven their worth in other projects. Natassia Malthe, for instance, did a decent job in “Bloodrayne 2”, though she seems quite bored with the character this time around. Michael Pare and Clint Howard, meanwhile, appear to be going through the motions, delivering auto-pilot performances that are as forgettable as they are dull. The only two actors on-board who appear to be giving it their all are Brendan Fletcher and William Belli, though this really isn’t saying too much. Fletcher, who appeared in Boll’s “Rampage”, gives it his all, while Belli — one of the titular characters from the immensely entertaining “Ticked-Off Trannies with Knives” — is merely adequate and unremarkable. It’s a damn shame that all of this talent went to waste.
“Bloodrayne: The Third Reich” is a major letdown, and this is coming from a guy who generally enjoys this sort of mindless entertainment. Boll just doesn’t seem to be trying this time around, and it shows in nearly every aspect of the film. In fact, I’d almost recommend “Blubberella” — an obvious spoof of the “Bloodrayne” franchise — over this underwhelming slice of action cinema, though, truthfully, I wouldn’t subject anyone to that embarrassingly awful chunk of digital celluloid. Until you’ve seen everything else that’s currently available on the direct-to-video market, I’d strongly recommend skipping over “The Third Reich” entirely. Unless, of course, you’d just a Boll completist, in which case you may need to seek immediately psychiatric help.
Uwe Boll (director) / Michael Nachoff (screenplay)
CAST: Natassia Malthe … Rayne
Clint Howard … Doctor Mangler
Michael Paré … Commandant Ekart Brand
Brendan Fletcher … Nathaniel
Willam Belli … Vasyl Tishenko
Natalia Guslistaya … Sniper Natalia
Annett Culp … Magda Markovic
Steffen Mennekes … Lt. Kaspar Jaeger