The Direct to Video Connoisseur

I'm a huge fan of action, horror, sci-fi, and comedy, especially of the Direct to Video variety. In this blog I review some of my favorites and not so favorites, and encourage people to comment and add to the discussion. If you click on an image, it will take you to that post's image page, which includes many more pics from the film and other goodies I couldn't fit in the actual review. For announcements and updates, don't forget to Follow us on Twitter and Like our Facebook page. If you're the director, producer, distributor, etc. of a low-budget feature length film and you'd like to send me a copy to review, you can contact me at dtvconnoisseur[at]yahoo.com. I'd love to check out what you got.

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Monday, July 25, 2011

Bloodrayne: The Third Reich (2010)

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We're back in the Uwe Boll ring, this time with another Bloodrayne movie. I wasn't a big fan of the last one-- not really the one before that either-- but with Michael Paré and Clint Howard, I couldn't in good conscience stay off this one. Unfortunately, I realized too late that the DVD version I got from Netflix is the R-rated one, which at 79 minutes long is 16 minutes shorter than the unrated version. Keep that in mind if you've seen the latter as you read this review.

Bloodrayne: The Third Reich takes place, you guessed it, in the heart of Nazi Germany. Our heroine doesn't like Nazis, but in the process of taking out a bunch of them, bites Michael Paré, a commandant, and that turns him. That's bad news, because Pare is a kickass vampire, and after thirty minutes of nothing really happening, he decides, with Dr. Mangler's (Clint Howard) help, to create an army of Nazi vampires. Can Rayne stop them?

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Wow, this could've been amazing. I don't know what happened, but the whole thing got all bogged down in a story that was useless, a bunch of monotony that was only broken up by a solid lesbian scene. Not only that, but I felt like Clint Howard was wasted. He had one good mad scientist scene, and from there he was just reciting bad dialog written by someone who speaks English as a second language, which is funny, but not funny enough. Then there was the leader of the rebellion, who was a tool, but Bloodrayne's love interest or something. Boll has this thing for casting tools as lead guys in these Bloodrayne movies. On the other hand, the beginning (after a 6 minute credit sequence) was good, and the last 20 minutes were pretty solid. If this hit a more boom, boom, action; boom, boom, action pace, as opposed to action, nothing, blah, lesbian scene, nothing, blah, action, it would've been much better.

Michael Paré is becoming something of a Uwe Boll mainstay. Here he plays the main villain, and he's pretty good at it. The problem is, he's given a bunch of bad scenes where he's trying to come to terms with being a vampire or something. They needed to cut that shit out and go right into him creating a Nazi Vampire Army with Clint Howard, providing tons of fodder for sweet fight scenes with Bloodrayne. Unfortunately, none of that happened. Still, he was a solid baddie. Paré has a pretty robust late 80s/early 90s DTV catalog that we've only just scratched the surface of (much to the chagrin of our friend Kenner at Movies in the Attic). Hopefully we'll start making more of that happen in the near future.

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Nastassia Malthe reprises her role as the eponymous heroine. The thing that always betrays her is the toolbags she's cast opposite of, this time the leader of the rebellion. I can understand her wanting to get a cheap lay in with the guy while she's in a prison van heading to meet Hitler, but to take the guy seriously? That's too much. Also, for a hot action chick, she doesn't get a lot of action in. Uwe Boll needs to fix that if he plans on making a fourth one of these with a Croatian tax credit. Still, love the red streaks, black nail polish, and black leather vintage American football helmet-- hot look.

I'm a big Clint Howard guy, and when I saw him on the cast list and based on the first scene he was in, I was expecting an evil scientist worthy of a 40s/50s sci-fi/horror flick. Again, not what I got, I got a lot of bad dialog that was supposed to sound like intelligent, sophisticated dialog. Come on now. Didn't you see Ice Cream Man? Get after it Uwe Boll, and have fun with it. We don't want a serious plot driven film about vampires in Nazi Germany, especially one with a substandard plot; we want some crazy-assed shit, especially when we see Clint Howard on the cast list.

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Uwe Boll seems like he should be perfect for what we do here at the DTVC, just like The Asylum or Albert Pyun; but I seem to dislike more of his movies than I enjoy them. I don't know what it is. Part of it is the bad story arcs that dominate what should be fun bad action and horror; and part of it is the casting decisions he makes. Here it was the leader of the rebellion. Then there's an annoying doughy guy he used in Bloodrayne II and Far Cry. It's like he's a good idea at the time, but in the execution he doesn't work.

And therein lies the rub. While this had pieces that worked, it had more that didn't, and ultimately made it something I couldn't recommend. That's too bad, because I wanted to like this, and I should've liked this. Uwe Boll just couldn't get out of his own way.

For more info: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1153546/

11 comments:

  1. I know I'll still watch this as I was a sucker for the first Bloodrayne, and it at least looks better than the awful second film.

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  2. Excellent review. You had the same issues with this as I had. Brendan Fletcher... The dude worked in Rampage, because he's a short geek, but as a rebel leader? A guy who the rebels should count on and believe in when fighting against the Nazis? A guy Malthe would even want to be in the same room with? What the hell?! Perhaps Fletcher inherited millions and secretly financed this himself...?

    Boll really should just embrace his reputation and go all the way with films like this. She has a sexy Malthe who's convincing as Rayne, so why give her only a few vampires to kill - and make her do it quickly and rather unimaginatively? Raise the stakes (pun intended...?)!

    But I still kinda liked this, because it did have naked Malthe in a lesbian scen....erm, I mean, it had some decent action and like almost all of Boll's films, it looked and sounded good. By the way, I have the unrated director's cut and it runs exactly 79 minutes. And I mean exactly 1:19:00. The UK DVD says 95min, but the actual running time is 1:15:48 (PAL speed-up). Was the R-rated exactly 79min? Perhaps they used some alternate takes of some scenes?

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  3. I just posted a review of this as well. I enjoyed it quite a bit despite its faults. Also, I had no idea that the Netflix version is not the unrated version and is in fact significantly shorter. Thanks for pointing that out! I'm gonna have to track it down.

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  4. Great review! I'm probably going to watch this, just to complete the series. Also that is unfortunate that Clint Howard and Pare are wasted.

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  5. It is better than the second film, for what that's worth. I didn't know that "95-minute" runtime listing was erroneous, but I do know the Netflix one said "Rated R" on the DVD, so I have no idea what the differences could be. Even if they swapped in some gorier scenes, it wouldn't be enough to change what were some serious fundamental flaws. This is worth checking out though for anyone who has a review site. Speaking of which, I'll have to check out your review of this Aaron.

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  6. I've seen the unrated director's cut and I imagine that there is more blood/gore in that version and perhaps the lesbian sex scene is longer? A lot of skin is certainly on display in that scene. But this version is definitely the way to go if you're gonna track down this film.

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  7. The sex scene probably has alternate shots with more nudity and perhaps some CGI-blood was added. Other than that, there's probably not much difference. Unrated is the one to watch, as always, but is of the same length and doesn't have any more action or character moments or anything, so it wouldn't have changed your review.

    Apparently the original script was more campy and more in the lines of what you hoped this would be. Instead of the train scene, it started with a Nazi masturbating in the woods and Malthe decapitating him... But some fans of the games (never played them myself) seem to prefer this approach. You can never please everyone...

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  8. The lesbian scene was pretty hot in the R-rated one, so who knows. I wonder if there really is any difference. Could this be an "unrated" bait-and-switch? That might be unprecedented, but if anyone would try it, Uwe Boll sounds like the one, huh?

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  9. I think this is just one of those cases where one or two seconds is altered to make it "unrated" and make it sell more. I mean, it was shot on digital, so adding one drop of blood somewhere is enough to make it unrated. It would be interesting if this was indeed the first unrated bait-and-switch, though. I hope the guys at movie-censorship.com do a comparison at some point and we'll find out.

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  10. Its important you noted the sex scene in the back of the "execution truck" and the lesbian sex scene. Clearly Uwe Boll forgot these scenes and randomly put them into the script after the fact.

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  11. It's like Uwe wanted to have it both ways, camp exploitation and plot driven vampire drama-- obviously one is a sure winner and the other almost never works, but he needed to make a choice either way. That also might explain the unrated thing-- wanting the cred of unrated when it was probably an R rated movie. Now that you mention it though, there was the scene where Clint Howard experiments on the living vampire, including cutting an ear off. That was pretty unrated for an R rated flick.

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