Rise: Blood Hunter Sebastian Gutierrez

Rise: Blood Hunter Sebastian Gutierrez
This exercise in vampire sleaze isn’t scary, thrilling or at all credible. It is, however, hilariously funny for all of the wrong reasons.

Lucy Liu plays a reporter for the LA Weekly who’s just run a story on goth kids. When one of her interviewees turns up dead in a dumpster, she does a little digging only to be devoured by a vampire coven led by smirking Brit James D’Arcy. Rising from the dead, she’s itching for revenge, and after hooking up with a pretentious git called the Alchemist, she’s ready to kick ass and take names for the greater glory of light-dwellers.

The thing is, the movie doesn’t seem terribly familiar with vampire lore: the most exciting thing about these baddies is that they can’t cast a reflection, making them seem like sad wannabes whose blood sucking is purely a hobby. But that’s the least of your worries in a film rampant with logic flaws and gratuitous cheesecake, one that puts Liu through so many uncomfortable nude scenes you wonder: what could have possibly attracted her to the role? Throw in Michael Chiklis as the archetypal cop looking for her daughter’s killers and you have a mess of clichés, camp howlers and non-sexy sex that will have you on the floor in record time.

Though The O.C.’s Samaire Armstrong has a nice scene as an unwitting victim, the rest is completely hopeless. You feel bad for the filmmakers, who have such belief in some astonishingly dumb ideas, but there’s no denying their adolescent mindset makes for great unintentional entertainment. The film is every bit as awkward as its clumsy title and just as fun to mock. (Equinoxe)