If you aren’t a gamer then you will probably have never heard of the horror action franchise Bloodrayne. Developed back in 2002, the video game has inspired three movies and a comic book series. The main character is Rayne, a half-human half-vampire creature called a Dhampir, the daughter of a Vampire king who joins a secret society to battle supernatural creatures. Think Lara Croft crossed with Underworld’s Selene and you’ll get what I mean.
While the video series remains popular, the films have had ever decreasing success. The first, a big-budget spectacular starring Sir Ben Kingsley and Terminator: Rise of the Machines star Kristanna Loken and helmed by Uwe Boll of Alone in the Dark fame, was universally panned. But that hasn’t stop schlock maestro Boll from making two straight-to-DVD sequels with ex-model Natassia Malthe taking over from Loken. Having battled vampires in the Wild West in 2007’s Deliverance, Malthe’s sexy sword-wielding Rayne is back in The Blood Reich taking on Nazis (which is what she does in the original video game).
During World War II, Rayne joins forces with a band of Resistance fighters to stop Michal Pare’s Nazi Commandant Ekart Brand and his army of undead soldiers from marching on Berlin in a bid to inject Adolf Hitler with Rayne’s vampiric blood. There’s bullets, blood and fangs aplenty as the action adventure plays out against some stunning scenery (Croatia stepping in for the Eastern Front). Along for the ride is veteran actor Clint Howard (brother of Ron) as the mad doctor Mangler (a play on Josef Mengele), who is in charge of creating Brand’s undead army.
Teenage boys who like tanks, boobs and explosions will lap this up, but for me Malthe’s amateurish delivery as the titular vampire huntress is just no match for the likes of Kate Beckinsale’s Selene in the much superior Underworld franchise. Still, The Blood Reich isn’t as bad as another horror franchise with a Nazi theme, Puppet Master, whose latest effort, the appalling Axis of Evil, should never have seen the light of day.
Should you bother, the DVD comes with a making-of and writer’s featurette and a director’s commentary. Meanwhile, two new video games are also slated for release later in the year.
Released 2nd May