Bloodrayne: The Third Reich Uwe Boll

Bloodrayne: The Third Reich Uwe Boll
"Who watches this movie?" asks Uwe Boll rhetorically in the DVD commentary for Bloodrayne: The Third Reich. "The 15- to 25-year-old boys." Then he adds, "And this is what they want," referring to the scene on the screen in which Rayne (Nattasia Malthe), the titular half-vampire outlaw, pauses from her quest to kill Nazis during WWII to engage in a lesbian sex scene in a European brothel. "I basically told you from the beginning: write some sex scenes in," says Boll to screenwriter Michael Nachoff, "because this is what people really liked in the first one. Kate Beckinsale would be never acting naked in Underworld and Milla Jovovich is not so picky, but even in Resident Evil, she is not doing nudity." And so on. It's a universally known truth that Uwe Boll is a very bad director and that his filmography reads like a roll call of shame (House of the Dead, Alone in the Dark, In the Name of the King and Postal, to name only the ones that found theatrical distribution), so the only way for the bored critic tasked with reviewing Bloodrayne: The Third Reich to pass the time is to figure out where Boll ranks on the bad director continuum. Boll is a well-publicized madman (I use that term as affectionately as possible), prone to challenging his critics to boxing matches and spewing barely coherent venom in every direction during interviews, which would suggest that beneath his apparent hackery may be some sort of Tommy Wiseau-style personal filmmaker. Indeed, certain motifs are starting to recur, chiefly Boll's preoccupation with the Holocaust: he played himself as a Nazi profiteer in Postal; his upcoming Auschwitz is reportedly an ultra-realistic depiction of the death camp; and Bloodrayne: The Third Reich opens with the grim sight of Jews being herded by train to a concentration camp, before our busty hero appears to lay waste to some Nazi scum. Of course, opening with Holocaust imagery and then moving into some silliness about a plot to turn Hitler into a vampire, thereby making him immortal, is a pretty ghastly juxtaposition. Is Boll serious about this subject or is he cynically exploiting it? Certainly his matter-of-fact attitude about the economics of B-movie nudity would suggest the latter, but a more pertinent question might be: ah, who cares? Bloodrayne: The Third Reich is full of all the stilted dialogue (someone says "The times, they are a-changing" in '40s Europe), clumsy action and abrupt, awkwardly timed, deeply un-erotic sex you'd expect from an Uwe Boll film (in a mercifully trim 79-minute package this time); it all feels a little soulless and calculated. Dare I say that by this umpteenth film, the novelty of Boll's brand of ineptitude is starting to wear thin? Well, there is one reason for bad movie devotees to give this a look: Clint Howard as (hang on, let me just find the name) "Doctor Mangler," a sinister SS doctor who specializes in vampires. He walks with a hunch and speaks in an accent that comes and goes, never quite settling on any specific nationality other than "Peter Lorre." In a career that's spanned quite a few bad performances in quite a few bad movies, Howard's performance is one of his worst. DVD extras include a making-of documentary, where Boll's ranting alternates with interviews with cast members who can barely hide their contempt. And there's the requisite Uwe Boll commentary. "I was not really happy with Natassia Malthe and Brendan Fletcher," he notes early on. "They actually hooked up during the production and were like Brangelina, acting, basically. Like, these two flipping out; they are like the new dream couple of Hollywood, but they were not." (Phase 4)