BloodRayne: The Third Reich

Since BloodRayne 2 jumped forward a couple of centuries from the first film, I half expected BloodRayne: The Third Reich to do the same, except the title clued me in that we wouldn’t be going that far into the future. Yes, we’re going to a time around WW2, where Hitler is a monster that Rayne (Natassia Malthe) wants to kill. Sure, he might not be a vampire, but she hates him enough for ordering the death of millions of people, so she’s going personally hunt him down.

However, that plan is going to get a little sidetracked. While in the middle of raiding a train filled with Nazis, Rayne accidentally gets her blood mixed up with one of the Nazi leaders, Ekart Brand (Michael Paré), turning him into a dhampir, just like she is. For those who have forgotten, a dhampir is a half-human, half-vampire. In the first film, Rayne absorbed an eye and a heart, meaning she lost most of the weaknesses that vampires generally have. Ekart, because he turned with her blood, also does not posses these weaknesses.

So, since Ekart was turned dhampir because of Rayne’s mistake, she makes it her new goal to silence him for good. Meanwhile, Ekart’s scientist, Doctor Mangler (Clint Howard), is trying to figure out a way to make Hitler immortal using vampire blood. Obviously, he must be stopped, too. Oh, and all of this has to happen in just under 80 minutes, because any filler had to be removed from this film. Coming off BloodRayne 2, I’m happy about this. That movie played just over 90 minutes, but felt much longer. This one is a short adventure, but is far more tolerable because of its abbreviated length.

I’m not entirely sure why Rayne decided to dye her hair like she’s a punk rocker from the 1980s, or why she still uses her archaic swords while everyone else is using machine guns. It doesn’t really matter, as she’s never put in much danger and we know that, up until she has the inevitable showdown with Ekart, she won’t be mortally wounded, but wouldn’t it be more efficient to adapt to the Nazi’s weaponry and gun them down instead of having to charge headfirst into their stream of bullets?

It doesn’t matter. BloodRayne has gone back to its B-movie roots, bringing out as many ridiculous things as it can, showing us as much blood as possible, and adding in a couple of random, completely unnecessary and out-of-place sex scenes. In this regard, it’s much like the first film. That one at least tried to bring us a plot, too, but I’m satisfied just with this approach. The last film took itself too seriously for the most part, and was boring as a result. This one has limbs and intestines flying everywhere, and is much more enjoyable.

I will not say that it’s a good film, because it’s still pretty terrible. The dialogue is just as bad as previous installments, the acting hasn’t improved any, nothing makes a whole lot of sense — but I think that it’s finally reveling in this. I say this because director Uwe Boll shot another movie, Blubberella, at the same time as this one, with most of the same crew. That was a parody of The Third Reich, making fun of the movie that wasn’t taking itself seriously in the first place. Boll has become aware enough that he’s not making good movies in this series, and has taken to making them ripe for parody.

Hey, fans of the BloodRayne video games! This one finally takes place in the same time period as the first game. That should make you happy, right? You can finally say that an integral part of the game has been used in a film version. In that regard, this is a closer adaptation to the game than the fist BloodRayne film was. That’s kind of surprising, and I guess that’s something to praise if adaptation accuracy matters to you.

This is also the most action-packed BloodRayne film yet, in large part because, when your movie is only 76 minutes long, it had better not contain a lot of filler. There are about the same number of action scenes in this film as the last couple, but because the running time is so much lower, it feels like there are more. Boll has never done a terrible job with these action scenes, and that trend continues here, as they continue to be just fine.

One thing to note is how each BloodRayne film differs in look and genre. The first is your typical sword and sorcery film, shot with warm, bright colors. The second is a take on a Western, and takes place mostly at night, meaning everything is dark. While I’m not sure what unique genre this one is besides just being an action film, its color palette is washed-out and the only vibrant color is red — you see this when a throat is cut or with the armband on the a Nazi’s uniform.

BloodRayne: The Third Reich is a better movie than the second film, but not quite as good as the first one. Granted, we’re talking about terrible movies, and “good” really just means “enjoyable” in this cast, but I did actually have some fun with this movie. It has some fun action scenes, it isn’t at all bloated, it embraces its cheesy, B-movie-ness, and if you had fun with either of the first two BloodRaynes, you’ll probably enjoy this one as well. It’s nothing special, but it does the job that it’s required to do.

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