BloodRayne is a 2005 German-American fantasy action horror film set in 18th-century Romania, directed by Uwe Boll. The film features a cast of Kristanna Loken, Michael Madsen, Matthew Davis, Will Sanderson, Billy Zane, Udo Kier, Michael Paré, Meat Loaf, Michelle Rodriguez, Ben Kingsley, and Geraldine Chaplin. The screenplay by Guinevere Turner is based on the video game of the same name from Majesco Entertainment and the game developer, Terminal Reality.
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Uwe Boll|
|Written by||Guinevere Turner|
by Majesco Entertainment
and Terminal Reality
|Music by||Henning Lohner|
|Distributed by||Boll KG Productions|
|Box office||$3.7 million|
The third video game film adaptation by Boll, who previously made the films based on House of the Dead and Alone in the Dark, BloodRayne received extremely negative reviews upon release and was a box office bomb, grossing only $3.7 million from a $25 million budget.
The film centers on the character of Rayne, an unholy breed of human and vampire known as a dhampir. Dhampir are unaffected by crucifixes and do not thirst for human blood, but maintain a vampire weakness to holy water. She is the daughter of the Vampire King, Kagan, who has gathered an army of thralls, both vampire and human, in order to annihilate the human race. She was conceived when Kagan raped her mother, and she later witnessed him killing her when she rejected his advances.
Sebastian, Vladimir, and Katarin are three members of the Brimstone Society, a group of warriors sworn to fight vampires. They hear of a carnival freak who may be a dhampir, so Vladimir plans to recruit her in order to kill Kagan. Kagan is also hunting for her, fearing she will interfere with his plans. Rayne escapes captivity at the carnival when her keeper tries to rape her. On the road, she encounters and saves a family being attacked by vampires. A fortune teller reveals to Rayne that Kagan has become the most powerful vampire in the land and resides in a well-protected castle. She tells Rayne that Kagan seeks an ancient talisman, a mystical eye, and if she finds it, it would allow her to gain an audience with him. Rayne sets out to the monastery where it is hidden to find it.
Rayne shelters for the night at the monastery and later sneaks away to where the talisman is guarded by a hammer-wielding, deformed monk, who she kills. The talisman is further protected by booby traps, and when Rayne lifts it from its pedestal, the chamber floods with holy water. As Rayne hangs from the ceiling to avoid the water, the talisman falls from the box but she catches the eyeball. Examining it closely, the eye magically becomes absorbed into her own eye, and when she falls into the water she is somehow unaffected by it.
When she leaves the chamber, the monks explain the artifact is one of three body parts which came from an ancient vampire called Belial, who had found a way to overcome the weaknesses of a vampire. The eye overcomes holy water, the rib overcomes the cross, and the heart overcomes sunlight. When Belial died, the parts of his body were hidden across the land. As Kagan desires all these parts in order to assume Belial's powers, it becomes the heroes' mission to stop him.
Rayne is brought to the headquarters of the Brimstone Society and they agree to work together to kill Kagan. Katarin does not trust Rayne and betrays Brimstone to her father, Elrich, who has fallen in league with Kagan, but seeks to betray him and gain power for himself. The location of the heart talisman is known to Katarin as her grandfather hid it in water-filled caves. She seeks it out but Rayne kills her and takes it. With the talisman, Rayne attempts to gain an audience before Kagan, but he takes the heart and throws her in the dungeon. He plans to extract the eye as part of a ritual. He realizes too late that Rayne had only given him an empty box and not the heart.
Sebastian and Vladimir intervene, battling Kagan and his minions, but both are fatally wounded, leaving Rayne in a final battle against Kagan. As Sebastian dies he fires a final bolt from his crossbow, but Kagan is too quick and is able to catch it. Rayne is able to summon her last reserves of strength and plunge the bolt into his heart. The battle ends, and Sebastian chooses to die rather than let Rayne save him. Rayne seats herself in Kagan's throne, and reflects on the events that led to her father's death. The film ends when Rayne leaves the castle and rides into the mountains.
- Kristanna Loken as Rayne, a dhampir who seeks to kill her father, Kagan.
- Michael Madsen as Vladimir, a senior member of the Brimstone Society.
- Ben Kingsley as Kagan, the King of Vampires and Rayne's father.
- Michelle Rodriguez as Katarin, a member of the Brimstone Society who distrusts Rayne.
- Matthew Davis as Sebastian, a member of the Brimstone Society who bonds with Rayne.
- Will Sanderson as Domastir
- Geraldine Chaplin as Fortune Teller
- Udo Kier as Regal Monk
- Meat Loaf as Leonid, a hedonistic vampire lord tasked with keeping Rayne imprisoned, and who is subsequently killed by the Brimstone Society.
- Michael Paré as Iancu
- Billy Zane as Elrich, father of Katarin and a powerful nobleman. He has fallen in league with Kagan, but secretly desires to take his power for himself. Zane described it as a pleasure to work with such a decisive director.
On January 6, 2006, the film opened in 985 theaters across the United States. It was originally to have played at up to 2,500 theaters, but that number dropped to 1,600 and ended up lower due to prints being shipped to theaters that had not licensed the film.
Billy Zane was involved with distributor Romar Entertainment and Uwe Boll later sued him for revenue owed.
BloodRayne was critically panned. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 4% approval rating based on 53 reviews, with a weighted average of 2.27/10. The site's consensus reads: "BloodRayne is an absurd sword-and-sorcery vid-game adaptation from schlock-maestro Uwe Boll, featuring a distinguished (and slumming) cast." It was ranked 48th in Rotten Tomatoes's 100 worst reviewed films of the 2000s. Metacritic gave the film a score of 18% based on 13 reviews, summarizing the reviews as "overwhelming dislike".
Actor Michael Madsen called BloodRayne "an abomination... a horrifying and preposterous movie", but added that he enjoyed working with Boll and would certainly work with him again if asked. Laura Bailey, who was the voice of Rayne in the BloodRayne games, was asked at her panel at Anime Boston 2007 what her thoughts were on the film adaptation, and said "Oh God, that movie sucked. And that movie was so bad. I saw it on The Movie Channel and I couldn't even get through 20 minutes of it! It was so bad and it was kinda sad that they took that because I really liked the games."
Critics ridiculed Boll for hiring actual prostitutes instead of actors for a scene featuring Meat Loaf in order to save on production costs. Writer Guinevere Turner stated in the 2009 documentary Tales from the Script that when she turned in her first draft of the film's script two weeks late, rather than asking for redrafts Boll accepted it and then made many of his own changes; and he then asked the actors to "take a crack at it".
The film was nominated for six Golden Raspberry Awards including, Worst Picture, Worst Actress (Kristanna Loken), Worst Supporting Actor (Ben Kingsley), Worst Supporting Actress (Michelle Rodriguez), Worst Director, and Worst Screenplay. Bloodrayne did not win any, having been dominated by Basic Instinct 2 and Little Man with seven nominations each.
Conversely, at the 2006 Stinkers Bad Movie Awards, it received nine nominations, trailing behind Zoom's ten, with four wins: Worst Picture, Worst Director (Boll), Worst Ensemble, and Least "Special" Special Effects. Its other nominations were for Worst Supporting Actor (Meatloaf Aday), Worst Supporting Actress (Rodriguez), Worst Screenplay, Most Annoying Fake Female Fake Accent (Rodriguez), and Least Scary Horror Movie.
The film was number one on GameTrailers countdown of the worst video game movies ever. The reviewers from GameTrailers said that "every actor is miscast, every wig is too fake, every sex scene is too inappropriate, and every action scene is too improvised."
In 2007, a sequel BloodRayne 2: Deliverance was made. Natassia Malthe replaced Loken in the lead role. Due to the poor box office of the first film, BloodRayne 2: Deliverance went direct-to-video instead. A third film, BloodRayne: The Third Reich was released in 2011. Malthe reprised her role as Rayne. Both sequels were directed by Uwe Boll. Michael Paré has appeared in all three films, but as different characters: Iancu, Pat Garrett, and Commandant Ekart Brand, respectively.
Before the DVD of this film was released, Boll removed the Romar name and logo from the credits and packaging of this film. As a result, Romar ceased distributing the film. Next to the R-rated version which was shown in cinemas, a more violent unrated director's cut which includes an extended ending was released on DVD. The director's cut DVD box set included a full copy of the BloodRayne 2 video game on the second DVD.
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- "Uwe Boll sues Billy Zane. Claims lost revenue from 'Bloodrayne'". The Hollywood Reporter. 30 April 2008. Archived from the original on 22 February 2010.
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But, saying all that, Madsen would consider making another movie with the eccentric filmmaker: "Uwe was fun. If he called me tomorrow and wanted me to be in a movie I would do it."
- on YouTube. Retrieved 2009-11-23.
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