“The UNDEAD fear no one… EXCEPT HER.”
Directed by Uwe Boll
Starring Natassia Malthe, Zack Ward and Michael Pare
The town of Deliverance lies under the despotic heel of Billy the Kid (Ward), outlaw, murderer and vampire. His reign of terror can only be stopped by half-vampire Rayne (Malthe) and a ragtag band of gunslingers… or if someone in the town would actually get off their arse and do something.
On finding her only friends murdered and their children held hostage, Rayne joins forces with vampire hunter Pat Garrett (Pare, not that he is named as Garrett for most of the movie) to bring down Billy the Kid, a vampire of exceptional age and power.
Meanwhile, Billy the Kid holds a group of children hostage and is generically evil at them, while his vampire minions toss about and conform to every stereotype of misogynist cowboy rapist serial killer imaginable, and some I’m pretty sure they just make up. A seemingly interminable meeting of the terminally indecisive townsfolk of Deliverance engages in circular argument and never really does anything.
What’s wrong with it?
Much of the movie consists of Billy the Kid terrorising and murdering children, which is horrible. A movie has to earn the right to that sort of unpleasantness, and Bloodrayne 2 does not.
Every single character – if I can use the word of cutouts without personality – who isn’t Rayne or Pat Garrett is basically useless, and Rayne and Garrett are situationally stupid.
The Kid’s plan seems to be to create a vampire army and send them out across America when the railway comes to Deliverance, rather than, say, infecting New York.
Boll seems to be aware that long pauses before gunfights is a tried and tested method for building tension in a Western, but his attempts to utilise this method fall flat, so the action parts of the film are just slow.
The citizens of Deliverance could all be dead already for all the difference they make to the plot.
Rayne and Garrett recruit two random gunslingers, the Preacher and Slime Bag, to aid them. They do next to nothing of value and are neither interesting nor sympathetic enough for their deaths to mean anything.
Preacher and Slime Bag are oddly keen to get in on the vampire killing action, which makes Rayne’s insistence of some quasi-sexy shenanigans to approach the latter plain confusing.
For a movie based on a game noted – and fairly criticised – for its splattery, sexualised violence, this film is almost ludicrously tame.
Rayne’s machete-tonfas are ridiculous, especially as the complete lack of a competent weapon master means that Malthe has no idea how to hold or wield them convincingly, and they evidently can’t even be sheathed in-shot.
What’s right with it?
I got nothing.
How bad is it really?
Oh, fuck me is this bad. It contains all the sins of the original computer game (psycho underwear model protagonist, ludicrous machete-tonfas) and none of its advantages (half-thought out plot, dieselpunk Nazi occult brouhaha, mechs). A flat, grey-brown colour palette and incompetent night shooting combine with the tameness of the violence and complete lack of actual sex to produce the cinematic equivalent of cold gruel.
Best bit (if such there is)?
What’s up with…?
- Billy the Kid’s plan?
- Billy the Kid being a mighty, ancient vampire? There’s no payoff on it, and Garrett drops him nice enough at the end despite the machine gun putting no more holes in him than the sheriff’s six-shooter.
- The wacky recruitment scenes, juxtaposed as they are with Billy murdering more children?
Production values – The film doesn’t even manage decent splatter, and the overdone ‘shing shing’ of every blade stroke is unintentionally hilarious. 16
Dialogue and performances – The film makes an attempt at witty banter, but at best manages to assay the dizzy heights of ‘silver nitrate; bet you didn’t see that coming‘. The cast signally fail to inject any life into the script. 19
Plot and execution – The story isn’t even an excuse to move between fights and sex scenes, because there are no decent fights and no sex scenes. The story is nasty with nothing of quality to justify the nastiness. 18
Randomness – Preacher and Slime Bag are both pretty random, and the townsfolk change their minds as if the scriptwriter couldn’t decide which of them we were supposed to be rooting for, if any. 9
Waste of potential – Even as the sequel to a terrible Uwe Boll movie, this is unsatisfying fare. 12