A Review by Noah Antwiler
I honestly had no idea this movie was coming until one of my readers posted on my forum saying that he'd watched it. I'm normally well-apprised of everything Dr. Uwe Boll is doing. I try to keep tabs on the cinematic antichrist. I guess Bloodrayne 2: Deliverance got lost in the shuffle as everyone's been talking about Postal (a movie which, I understand, has little if anything to do with the already nonexistent plot of the game), and to a lesser extent, Far Cry. I'm quite serious when I say that Postal could well be his defining masterpiece and (god help us) might make an insane amount of money. He's set out to make a movie that will be a carpet-bomb assault on good taste intentionally, and will probably be the most inappropriate and offensive movie ever made since Freddy Got Fingered. On the other hand, the MPAA will almost certainly nail it with an X-rating which will ensure it'll never see a single theater screen in America. As you can imagine, I'm a little torn on this one. On one hand, I hate everything Uwe Boll is and everything he stands for. On the other, I love nothing more than offending large groups of prudish assholes. On the third hand, Freddy Got Fingered sucked massive elephant balls (and I do mean that literally, Tom Green sucks an elephant's balls) and had no place in a theater. On the fourth mutated hand, fuck the MPAA. On the fifth, please let them make the bad Uwe Boll movie go away. On the sixth, he may actually produce a good movie with Postal.
In a funny way, he's sort of embraced his badness here. Oh, he's still out of his fucking mind, but now he's making movies to spite us. I have never seen that kind of attitude in my life. Somehow-- somehow this guy gets producers to hand him money after a string of films critics line up to pan as the worst tripe they've ever witnessed, and his attitude is to strut like Tony Montana and to make even worse movies, hoping we choke on them. This isn't entertainment, this is vengeance. Somehow he got the money to film the feature-length equivalent of Uwe Boll giving us the finger, disguised as Verne Troyer getting assfucked by monkeys. I'm calling it now: win or lose, Postal will be the entertainment event of the year. The universe might well implode in a warped sense of cosmic justice, and you want to be there.
Bloodrayne 2, however, is not that event. It's not even close. Let's not forget, despite what I said earlier, that Uwe Boll is a creepy, untalented, leering, misogynistic, paranoid lump of shit who can't write, can't direct, and has no business whatsoever behind a camera or working with people. Remember, he thinks he is a genius. He can't admit that his movies blow like a veritable shitstorm with hurricane-force winds coming out of Ed Wood's necrotized ass. He blames the failure of his movies on anything and everything: a blacklisting organized by a vast conspiracy of movie critics to the strategic release of other movies on his films' opening weekends. Oh no, it couldn't be that Alone in the Dark is widely regarded as the most incompetently-assembled movie in decades, it opened #1 in the Middle East! I guess Christian Slater translates really well into Arabic.
This movie, subtitled Deliverance (because the first thing people need to be reminded of when seeing the cover of a Uwe Boll movie is painful hillbilly anal rape), is a direct-to-video release. That's right; it's a Boll movie that wasn't good enough to get a theatrical release. Holy crap. You'll notice immediately that the role of the title character has been re-cast. I'm actually rather surprised by that, because Kristanna Loken is almost as insane as Boll himself. Listen to the director & cast commentary for Bloodrayne; she speaks very highly of the film and her experience working with everyone. It's goddamn hilarious, because the other cast members are actively mocking Uwe and Kristanna, and the both of them are too dense to figure it out. Boll's movies are worth owning for the commentaries alone. I promise you, they're the funniest things ever produced-- well worth the price of owning the DVD. Anyway, Kristanna cited her commitments to The L Word and the horribly bad Sci-Fi Channel original series Painkiller Jane and bowed out of Bloodrayne 2.
Shame. Kristanna probably would have shown her tits again if she'd come back. She has a very "can do" attitude whenever Uwe asks her to lose her top. Listen to the Bloodrayne commentary. You'll see.
Anyway, Rayne is played this time around by Natassia Malthe, a "say who?" type of actress you might have seen if you were sad enough to actually rent DOA: Dead or Alive, where she played the purple-haired ninja Ayane. She was also in Elektra and Skinwalkers, but let's be real: nobody saw those. DOA was produced by fellow videogame-movie slayer Paul "The Man" Anderson, resulting in a somewhat tolerable jigglefest. Yes, I rented it. Look, if you want a movie about improbably hot chicks kung-fu fighting each other in as little clothing as possible, then playing beach volleyball and engaging in vaguely lesbian shit in their downtime, the movie sells itself. What, you thought the DOA videogame had a plot? It really is about mostly-nude women, volleyball, and lesbian stuff. And grotesque breast physics.
Now that would have been funny, if DOA had used CGI to artificially inflate all the women's breasts to ten times their normal size and let them wobble around independently of one another at the slightest movement.
The package comes with a second DVD, which includes the original Bloodrayne videogame. I don't really give a damn about the game, but even I have to admit, that's a really good idea. Sure, it's an old game and it was never that good to begin with, but it's hard to beat as a special feature. Plus, you get to see for yourself how the movies have absolutely fuck-all to do with the game. Not that the game had a rich plotline to tamper with; it's got something to do with a half-vampire chick with gravity-defying boobs killing Nazis and dry-humping other women as she feeds on them. If that's your thing, hey, have fun with your Laurel K. Hamilton novels. You and your weird porn fetishes...
The back of the DVD case is what draws my eye. Sure, the front promises a "HEART-STOPPING ADVENTURE!" but the back tells us that Bloodrayne 2 is both "EXHILARATING" and "ACTION-PACKED!" Featured prominently is a long-haired dude posing with a pair of antique six-guns who looks like a young Jake Busey. Not only is he rocking a dirty blonde mop of greasy hair, he's got the full lamb chop sideburns like The Rock AND a goatee/chinstrap. He dresses exactly like you'd hope a powerful vampire wouldn't, in a black suit, his white shirt's collar upturned and a strangely-undone red silk necktie. This will (apparently) make sense in a minute. This is the plot synopsis on the back:
This is so awesomely bad on so many levels I barely know where to start. Okay, a gang of merciless vampire cowboys? They don't ride off into the sunset...that's when they WAKE UP! Bwa hahaha! And of course, the guy on the back must be their vampire leader. Billy the Kid. Oh sure, let's just drop a deuce all over one of the Wild West's most enduring and iconic legends. I don't suppose you've all heard the stories about Billy the Kid being chopped to pieces by a dhampir? Had it coming, you know. Word is he was a vampire!
I'm not even sure that sentence about "blazing a trail of mayhem for her villains" even makes sense. How are they "her villains?" Can death-defying stunts blaze a trail? And if they can, it seems to imply that she's being followed by her villains, meaning that the trail of mayhem she's creating has nothing to do with her villains. In fact, it sounds like she's deliberately leaving a trail of mayhem specifically so her villains can follow it. "Look! A trail of mayhem! Someone did some stunts here with a knife." Who wrote this?
And what's this on the back? "With participation of Canada: The Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit."
Canada?! YOU BASTARDS! Germany finally got wise to his tax credit scheme, and you bacon-sucking fuckers have offered financial sanctuary to Uwe Boll? Oh that's it. Canada? You're on notice. You're now officially part of my Axis of Evil.
The DVD loads up immediately with an unwarranted trailer for Postal. Um, yeah. Anything I might have said earlier about this movie being...what did I say, "the most entertaining movie of the year?" Forget all that. Actually, don't forget it. Take it out back behind the shed, kick it in the knees and savagely pound its brains out with a snow shovel. This preview (marking the fastest I've ever been absolutely pissed-off at a movie: the trailer) served a very important purpose: it reminded me of just who the fuck we're dealing with. A good movie? An entertaining movie? We're talking about Dr. Uwe Boll, the human herpes outbreak. Hollywood's venereal disease. There is no cure for the man, only outbreaks of blinding, horrible pain every few months.
The game Postal has little to no premise beyond a white-trash moron killing anything that annoys him. And yes, Boll screws this up. He has a movie about nothing, and fails to make it. It has less of a plot than DOOM, for christ's sake. The film is apparently about Osama bin Laden attempting yet another cataclysmic attack on the United States, and only some average Joe with access to very large weapons can stop him and his Al Qaeda flunkies by destroying a postal truck carrying a planet-killer virus. Boll is going for a comedy in the vein of the old Zucker films, I think, with lots of irreverent sight gags and zany dialogue. Thing is, though, he's trying to be shocking and offensive, and it's just not working. For instance, there's a scene where some Al Qaeda terrorists have hijacked a passenger jet and are discussing whether or not it's really worth it to die as a martyr for a hundred virgins in paradise, and then start arguing if it's still a hundred or if there have been cutbacks in Heaven because of all the suicide bombings. Then they call home to check. It sounds like a bit Jerry Seinfeld would think up, then quickly discard. "What's the deal with those hundred virgins? Do you get them all at once or do you have to cash in some coupons?"
In fact, several of the gags in the preview deal with reluctant bombers, as if Boll found this concept hilarious and needed to write follow-up scenes just to cash in on those big laughs again. The second bit deals with a weeping terrorist being bullied into martyring himself, so the leader tells him if he'd rather have someone else blow themselves up, to hop up and down on one foot singing "Freebird." Why hopping? Why "Freebird?" And why the Al Qaeda leader knows about "Freebird" and thinks this will suddenly put him in the mood to commit suicide, I don't know. I doubt Boll has even heard "Freebird" in his life, and thinks the mere mention of it will draw big laughs. My brother suggested an alternate hypothesis: that the entire joke is an elaborate knock on the song "Freebird" itself. That is, the leader suggests the song because he knows Abdul would rather die than sing it. That idea has a strange plausibility to it, but it's an awfully long way to go to make a "Freebird sucks" joke, especially when our context is a group of Middle Eastern suicide bombers who, in all likelihood, have never even seen a Lynyrd Skynyrd album in their lives.
I don't even think I'm being that much of a prude here, but the act of suicide bombing just isn't funny to anybody. Certainly not when it's a very real fear domestically, and many of us have family members serving overseas under constant menace of some asshole with an anti-personnel device blowing up in their face. The airplane scene concludes with the passengers storming the cockpit and attacking the terrorists, sending the plane into a nosedive while everyone has a big open-mouthed "YeeeeeHaaaaaawwww!!" scream like the Duke boys jumping a gorge in the General Lee. I don't know when America will be ready to laugh about terrorists flying airplanes into buildings, but it's sure as hell not today.
The rest of the trailer is the kind of stuff that would have been spiked off bad episodes of Saturday Night Live. It's typical nonsense about Al Qaeda members with improbable pop culture knowledge and American speech patterns, saying things like "yo, it's bin Laden. Hellooooooo, it's your dime!" or recording one of his videos and then walking off the set declaring "I'm gonna watch Oprah." Then there's a scene that takes place in a bookstore where a clerk approaches bin Laden and informs him that his credit card has been declined. Because that's funny? Another absolutely dead bit comes when the Postal Guy is in some kind of meeting and his interviewer asks pointedly "What is the difference between a duck?" And then the scene slowly rattles to its death for about ten seconds as everyone waits for her to finish the end of her question, like some lame joke made on Family Guy that's not funny, but if we let the punchline slowly agonize for a minute or so, the blown joke itself becomes funny.
This one doesn't. In fact, even Family Guy did a bin Laden video joke where Osama kept getting the giggles because someone behind the camera was making funny faces. You can't just have Osama say things like "I'm gonna watch Oprah" and expect it to be funny, just because people make a lot of Oprah jokes. Simply invoking Oprah's (or anyone's name) is not enough to pull of a joke. You have to give it some context, even if that payoff is to simply show Osama watching Oprah. Even using Oprah as a joke makes it seem like Uwe wasn't really trying. You almost expect an Oprah gag whenever you're trying to undermine someone's masculinity. It didn't even play well in Ocean's Thirteen, and you had Brad Pitt and George F'n Clooney selling that bit. You have to try and throw a curve with these jokes. Maybe if Osama stood up and said "Holy shit, I'm missing Dancing With the Stars."
Then there's Dave Foley, a guy who wasn't even all that funny when he was supposedly funny on Kids in the Hall, a show which consisted mainly of dudes dressing in drag for 9 skits out of 10, and realizing by the end of the show's run that they were all incredibly gay. He's playing some kind of cult leader with a super-virus. And there's Verne Troyer. Other trailers show him getting sodomized by chimpanzees. Here's the thing: it's funny to type the words "Verne Troyer getting raped by chimps," but when you've actually reached the point where you've had to hire the guy, secure a group of chimpanzees, organize a camera crew and you've spent the day recording that guy taking it up the ass, it has to make you feel just...pathetic. How much time and money did they invest in filming a throwaway gag that wasn't very funny to begin with? How much does it say about Verne Troyer that he's willing to go this far to bury his already nonexistent dignity in the hopes of staying relevant? The gag isn't even about Troyer, it's supposed to be about Gary Coleman, and he turned the role down. That's right, Gary Fucking Coleman decided he was too good for a Uwe Boll movie.
Mr. Coleman, I salute you.
And if you weren't already convinced that Uwe has no idea how to write comedy, yes, there is a scene where Osama bin Laden confesses to President Bush "I wish I knew how to quit you."
When you're making Brokeback Mountain references, you've officially hit comedic rock bottom. Monkey-midget sodomy ain't much, but at least it's original. The Brokeback shit stopped being funny after the millionth time I heard it. Even people who were making brazen Brokeback jokes understood that there was a very clear expiration date on the gag. As soon as the Academy Awards were over, the gay cowboy jokes had to stop. The entire concept is an unfunny perversion of the three-way Bill Clinton / Monica Lewinsky / Saddam Hussein phone call skit in SNL anyway. I feel I also have to point out the flaw with the entire homosexual inference between Bush and bin Laden: the married, religiously conservative Texan retard and the Islamic extremist who believes homosexuals should be stoned in the town square? Probably not gay.
I hate Uwe Boll. I really, really hate that man.
Okay, finally we can get started. Now imagine you're a German idiot, and you're trying to make a vampire Western movie.
I know, by now any sane person has already shot himself, but you're a German idiot, remember. How do you start? And stop saying "shoot myself."
The movie starts with the incompetence right off the bat by playing one of those twangy, bouncy parodies of an Ennio Morricone Western theme so stereotypical and stupid you'd only hear it playing over a commercial for Bullseye Barbeque Sauce or a lame ad for a used car dealership. There are even some half-hearted male vocalizations ("Hoo! Hah! Hey-Hoo!") and little train noises, but disappointingly, no sounds of people cracking whips and shouting "Haaaaa!" While this is going on, the film fades between wildly anachronistic photographs of old stuff, artificially sepia-toned with an amusingly amateur effort of digitally adding a film grain effect. It's sort of like something Ken Burns would edit together if he was seven years old, only had Windows Movie Maker to work with, and could only use Google Image Search to collect photographs. And he has attention deficit disorder. And is on quaaludes.
The first photograph is of a Bavarian-style castle, which fades to a ship with Cyrillic lettering on the side (and I'm pretty sure the photograph is backwards), then to immigrants waving to the Statue of Liberty. As the Bloodrayne logo leaks onto the screen with a "wheeeooooo!" sound effect, there's another photo of people heading west. Must have been a rough trip for ol' Rayne, an unmarried, strangely-dressed woman with arm-blades riding on the Oregon Trail, somehow managing to spend months keeping herself out of the sunlight and steadily feeding on innocent people along the way. As the names of the cast of unknowns shimmer across the screen, there are more photographs of wagon trains, actual steam trains which couldn't possibly have played any role whatsoever in her emigration West if she rode with wagons, and large-mustachioed people with the same wearied, bored expressions sitting for their photo. For about a full minute the photos dwell on bridge-building and the construction of the rail lines as if to say, "You know what? Forget it. She just rode a train west. That wagon idea was stupid. Sorry."
The production designer's credit goes to "Tink." Just Tink. Either they didn't know his real name or Uwe was screwing with him, because nobody would willingly call themselves Tink. Even the fairy Tinkerbell would probably bitchslap you for calling her Tink if you are not, in fact, Peter Pan. Nobody would print up business cards reading "Tink: Production Designer to the Stars." It's just not the kind of one-word name you'd go with if you had a choice, like Prince, Sting, or even that lousy director known only as Pitof. At least Pitof sounds like an artistic dude with a cool accent, like some guy in Vidal Sassoon commercials. You'd trust guys named Pitof to make a movie. A guy named Tink you wouldn't trust to run the Tilt-A-Whirl. Guys named Tink sell pickles in the park for fifty cents and re-use their plastic gloves to save on overhead.
Wow, three minutes of credits and we're still looking at sepia-tone photos of old trains. I had no idea this many people were willing to take credit for this abomination. Let's take some notes here...executive produced by Uwe Boll and Horst Hermann (add that one to your list, folks), story by Christopher Donaldson & Neil Every (next project: Bloodrayne vs. Pirates!) Still more trains. I can't wait for Uwe to show a subtitle to try and establish what year this is supposed to be.
Free of the old pictures, the camera slowly pans across some snowcapped mountains and a miserable gray sky before settling on a froggish man in a wool suit, bowler hat, and round spectacles. Every inch of this guy is tailor-made to scream "Tinhorn Nerd," because the only way Uwe Boll knows how to convey characterization and backstory is by dressing everyone as a broad stereotype. Want someone to look geeky or smart? Put glasses on 'em. Comic relief? Well, fat people are funny. We can make fun of them for a while. He surveys the land around him, piggish nose scrunched up to bare his front teeth and breathe through his mouth as he struggles to focus through his Coke bottle glasses.
"Deliverance!" he marvels aloud to nobody at all, "The Wild West! This is it!" This is so obviously Canada and not the American southwest it makes me want to bludgeon Uwe Boll to death with a hockey stick and shit in his heart. When you think the Wild West, you don't think of snowy mountains, perpetually overcast skies, lush, verdant forests, and large standing puddles of rainwater everywhere. Even Flounder in Animal House wasn't trying this hard. And just in case you didn't know already, one of the things I hate most in any screenplay is when characters talk to themselves to provide exposition. It makes me want to superglue your ass shut.
Flounder notices a gruff cowboy stereotype standing inside some kind of ruined animal corral for no reason, conscientiously checking the action on his pistol and shouts "Howdyyyyy!" and waves like an idiot sixty yards away. Then he starts bumbling (literally bumbling) down the road, stepping in puddles and generally stumbling around like a toddler who's just learned to walk. See, it's funny because he's mildly overweight. The guy shows admirable restraint even when Flounder gets closer and greets him again, this time with "Howdy, Tex!" I mean, he's got a gun in his hand. You tell me you wouldn't have shot him in the throat.
Cut to the inside of a saloon, where Flounder is scribbling notes as the town mayor prattles on about how Deliverance represents the future of western expansion once the railroads come through town. They've got hard-workin' people, coal in the mountains, and blah blah blah. The first scene of the movie is a perfect example of how completely inept Uwe Boll is as a director. Take a look at the blocking of the scene in the nearby image. Both Flounder and the mayor are sitting on the same side of the table so that we can see their faces at the same time. When you have actors on a stage, you can't help this. You need to be a little artificial in theatre and have everyone's faces projected outward so nobody is talking to the back wall. The audience needs to be able to hear the actors. But you see, when you're making these things called "movies," when two grown men sit on the same side of a table, it looks fucking ridiculous. In real life, people sit on opposite sides of the table so they can, you know, look each other in the eye. You can almost tell Uwe staged the scene like this so he didn't have to shoot coverage on both sides of the table. Yet just as soon as I start thinking that, the shot switches to close-ups of each actor in turn. He did shoot coverage of each actor, so why in the hell are they sitting beside each other?
I can come up with only three explanations for why he might have done this:
1) He couldn't do a reverse-angle shot because the background we see is just a half-finished set.
2) He didn't want to move the camera because that would have meant setting up lighting for three shots instead of just the master, and he'd have to worry about time-of-day continuity through outside windows.
3) Uwe Boll is a gibbering idiot.
I can just see Boll now, struggling in vain to figure out how to light and frame this scene in three different angles, then getting frustrated. "Urgh, making movies is hard! Ah, fuck it, you know what? Just zoom in! Tell the gaffer he can go home. We got this one lit." There are flaws in this argument, though. Do you think Uwe Boll even cares about properly lighting a scene? Do you think he knows how? I haven't even mentioned until now that almost all of the shots in the movie have been made using a handheld camera, judging by the sudden pitching and lurching. I don't know what Boll is going for here other than being trendy, but one of the perks of going handheld is that you can move and get footage at any angle you want. In a Western, this is generally a bad idea. It's a modern technique and looks out of place given the setting.
Need more examples of how clueless Boll is? Flounder is still wearing his bowler. Gentlemen in those days removed their hats when indoors. Clearly, Boll knows dick about historical context. Not only that, but the scene is severely under-lit (intentionally, I think, to conceal the shoddy, half-finished set). It's lit only by a few lamps and candles like very few drinking establishments would have been in those days, and it gives the impression that they're having this discussion well past sundown, when a few seconds later we're shown a time-lapse shot of the sun falling below the horizon. We're meant to believe this dreary, dark scene takes place in the afternoon. Worst of all, you can tell the blocking has thrown the actors off in a bad way. The actor playing the mayor has no idea where to look during this scene, because he looks everywhere except at the person he's talking to, doing everything he can to project his voice towards the camera. He only glances at Flounder a few times during his long speech because he's unable to make any sort of eye contact. For god's sake, man, just look at each other. You don't need to talk towards the camera. That's why you have boom microphones.
Bad, unknown actors and the worst director of all time? Wear a helmet, folks.
I can even tell this scene wasn't rehearsed at all, because in the middle of the mayor's speech, Flounder interrupts with "Um, Mr. Mayor..." firmly stepping all over the Mayor's line, causing him to break character, stammer, then covers it with a chuckle and says "Oh, by all means Mr. Pyles..." Then Flounder starts speaking and then the Mayor steps on his line by accident, continuing "go right ahead!" Flounder says he's much more interested in the um, "Wilder" aspects of the town, but is interrupted by the mayor stepping on his lines again when he says "oh yes, certainly!" The mayor explains that Deliverance isn't nearly as interesting as some of the stories he's heard might have led him to believe. No sir, we took care of that homo hillbilly problem years ago!
The scene changes to a cabin nowhere near the town, where a family is having a meal of what looks like bread and chicken feet. The two young boys ask their dad if he'll read them a story before bed. Dad looks totally zoned-out, as if he's beginning to truly dread what will happen when the food he just ate hits his colon. The kids scurry off to get their story book, leaving pop looking worried. Mom finally takes the bait and asks what's wrong. He says that the snows have come late (what snow??) and they might not be able to plant until June. Mom comforts him, saying they'll make do somehow.
Then suddenly, the house is filled with the sound of neighing horses. Hilariously, Dad leaps to his feet, crying out "It's that damn bear again!" and goes to get his double-barelled shotgun. We spend about ten seconds just idling as everyone watches him break open the action of the gun and put the shells in the gun. Boll even gives us a close-up of the shells being loaded, probably because I would never have figured out how exactly he loaded that gun by myself. Thanks for that little detail. Then Dad sighs, visibly girds his loins for the upcoming battle with that damn bear (whom he apparently has done battle with many times before) and says "we'll figure it out somehow." What, the bear? Oh, you're back on the harvest. Focus on the Damn Bear.
Dad steps out the front door, and almost immediately the rest of them hear some kind of whooshing sound pass the house which immediately makes me think of the perfectly normal sound of street traffic outside most people's homes. They stay put and listen to the sound repeat about three more times, nervously looking at one another before Mom has had enough and goes outside after her husband, telling the kids to stay put. Another whooshing noise overhead. I know, it's Santa! The kids (who both look like imperfect clones of Ron Howard) decide to hide under the bed. Brilliant! Nobody will ever look for you in the most obvious hiding place in history! Ooh, I know! Try the closet! Nobody looks there!
Someone dressed all in black enters the home, but since we're locked into the childrens' perspective, all we can see is his boots. Boll starts taking his sweet time here as for the next couple of minutes we just watch the mysterious figure mill around inside the house. He sits on the bed, taps his foot for a little while, then stands up and sits somewhere else to tap his foot. And no, we never see his face; Boll is saving the big villain reveal for a truly momentous, badass line, I bet.
"Are you...sad, children? Do you miss your mother and father already?" asks the Man in Black. The guy still has his hat pulled low over his eyes, and he takes out his gun, attempting to do that thing villains do where they spin the chamber of their revolver along their sleeve. Only this guy screws it up, catching the gun on a wrinkle in his sleeve. There's a loud, obvious ratcheting sound foleyed in that doesn't match up with the timing of this action at all, still making clicking noises even after the guy has stopped moving the gun along his arm. Then he twirls the gun and holsters it, accompanied (of course) by a loud "whooshie-whoosh" sound effect idiots like Boll put in every time a gunslinger twirls a pistol, even though he didn't twirl the gun all that impressively.
Two more vampire cowboys enter the room (one of which walks in with a strange hesitant bow-legged hobble that makes me think he just crapped himself) and toss the bed. Gosh, and I was so certain the bed was a foolproof hiding place, too. The head vampire just grins and makes the usual stereotypical cat/snake hissing noise as his flunkies feast on the two kids, staring directly at the camera for the sole purpose of baring his fangs to confirm that, duh, these guys are vampires.
Back in Vancouver-- I mean, Deliverance, about two inches of snow have suddenly hit the ground as Flounder takes notes on a bunch of dudes working on the railroad. Hey, look! There's snow on all the roofs all of a sudden! Back to the hotel...nope, I guess I was mistaken. No snow again. "So the railroad's coming to Deliverance!" Flounder says aloud, once again to nobody at all. "The man said it, and it's true!" MAN that was a great scene. It boldly restated a totally irrelevant fact and established absolutely nothing! Wow! Uwe Boll actually paid for this script! Worth every Canadian tax dollar!
Now we watch a group of riders entering Deliverance (we know this because they ride under a big wooden sign that says "DELIVERANCE"), galloping down the muddy, puddle-filled road. There are puddles in the road because it's suddenly started raining like crazy and there's fog everywhere. We've changed weather conditions three times in twelve seconds! Damn this El Nino! Also, if you pay any attention at all, you'll see that they ride past the sign that says "Deliverance" but there isn't a town along that road for miles. I'd like to note at this time that we still have no clue where or when this movie is taking place other than the unhelpful designation of "the Wild West," which is about as helpful as saying "this movie takes place sometime during the Hundred Years War." What is this? Montana? Colorado? I don't know. It's just that when one gets a mental picture of the Wild West, it's of dusty landscapes and tumbleweeds blowing across a sun-scorched Earth, with Comanches anxiously eyeing some passing horsemen on a scrub-covered mesa. You don't picture a tundra that would have depressed the Donner party.
Then with all the subtlety of a car crash, we're whiplashed back to the hotel in the dead of night. That's right, we just surveyed the events of an entire day: the fat guy looked at a railroad, some guys entered town, and a weird low-pressure front blew through Canada. All the snow is completely gone and any sign of heavy rainfall is nonexistent, by the way. Uwe Boll, you fascinate me. Inside we see the town sheriff boozing up. The hotel owner, a black guy (I only mention it because the notion of a black property owner anytime near the Civil War seems unlikely) offers him a free room for the night for him and "Sadie." The sheriff declines, gesturing with his hogleg and explaining that Sadie prefers her own bed. He waves his goodnights to everyone on the way back to his place, and thus we circle back to the Mayor and Flounder.
Oh, and those horsemen I mentioned earlier? They have nothing to do with anything. They're never seen again.
The mayor asks if Flounder is leaving tomorrow, and the tubby guy says he is. "If I don't find the...uh, "Wild" in the Wild West, the paper's gonna cut me loose!" Oh golly, is it ever going to be hilarious when he gets all the excitement he ever asked for! Hoo hoo! Uwe Boll, you cheeky bastard! You're going for irony!
The mayor tries one last effort to get him to stay (why does he even care?) by repeating "Well when that rail service comes through here next week, there'll be a lot more goin' on!" Wait, there's a railroad coming into Deliverance? Since when? You can't just spring this news on me. You need to repeat it two, maybe THREE times in the span of ten minutes before I get it!
The scene cuts to another bedroom where a pair of little girls are sleeping. A goofy vampire cowboy starts sliding past the windows like a silent film villain, pawing at them with a huge wacky fanged grin on his face as he makes loud vampiric "haaaaahhhhhh!" sounds all over the glass. He rather reminds me of Torgo at this moment. Their mom (the bar wench at the hotel) enters their room for absolutely no reason and sing-songs "You'd better be sleeping!" to the kids, despite the fact they weren't making any noise that might alert her at all. She just decided to spontaneously throw the door open and tell the kids to go to sleep, which might have annoyed them greatly if they actually were asleep at the time.
A vampire cowboy drops down the ceiling in the hall behind her and throws her in a choke hold. Yeah, I can see how she missed a two hundred pound cowboy clinging to the ceiling like a bat as she passed him in the hall. More cowboys spill into the room and grab the girls, who do a lot of shrill-screaming, but not much else. They don't run or resist the vampires at all. I don't know if any of you have sisters, but I do, and I know for a fact that if anything had entered her room, up to and including a pack of maniacal vampire cowboys she would have clawed their fucking eyes out. They don't even offer half-hearted wuss-slaps to their abductor's arms, just meekly go "Eeeeek! Eeeeeeek!" and allow themselves to be carried out into the street. Along the way out the door, they slug the oblivious hotel manager in the head with the butt of a rifle. Boll is trying to tell me that a group of cowboys floated upstairs past this guy, abducted two shrieking kids and a grown woman, and still managed to catch him by surprise.
This movie had better have some boobs in it. And they better be SPECTACULAR.
What's Billy the Kid doing while all this is going on? He's outside, kickin' it on the stoop. Everyone watches as Billy's gang starts manhandling their prisoners down the main road until the sheriff comes out of his office, rifle in hand. He tells Billy that Deliverance is a good town and he aims to keep it that way, so he'd better let the kids go or there'll be hell to pay. Then, in a moment that defies all logic and reason, the sheriff lowers his rifle to his side and brushes his coat back to reveal his holstered pistol to back up that threat. Asshole, you had a rifle pointed at him. Why did he even bring the dag-blasted thing out here if he wasn't going to use it? "I won't use my big gun on you, boy! Wouldn't be fair!"
And yeah, maybe you're thinking Boll just wants to work a classic showdown into the movie. It still makes the sheriff look like an idiot, but you figure what the hell, showdowns are cool. The entire movie The Quick and the Dead is based around that fact. Crummy movie, but lots of showdowns!
But no, instead of a showdown, Billy just spreads his arms wide and grins, so the sheriff draws his gun and blows him away. The sheriff-- the lawman, just gunned down a defenseless man. A laughably huge squib blows a bright red spot on Billy's chest, but being a vampire gunshots doesn't bother him all that much except that he'll have to buy a new puffy shirt and sports jacket. The sheriff keeps firing his handgun to no effect, seemingly forgetting the large caliber rifle he's carrying in his other hand entirely. Billy just wades through the gunfire and munches on the guy's neck, which the sheriff reacts to by going cross-eyed and grimacing like Billy just kneed him in the balls. If I were Billy I would not want to taste the sheriff's blood. Probably tastes like cigarettes, syphilis and Wild Turkey.
The sheriff (still clutching his unused rifle) collapses onto a nearby staircase, retching. That's when the mayor comes down and confronts them. Can you believe the stones on this guy? The unarmed mayor, after just witnessing the sheriff unload a gun into the man's chest, who then proceeded to eat him, still decides to march into the middle of the street and stop the gang of armed undead desperadoes with a stern "Now see here!"
Billy just looks at the kid, works some vampiric mojo, and the mayor lurches to one side, saying "my house is at your disposal." (For you World of Darkness fans playing at home, that was the Dominate discipline!) Even ballsier is Flounder, who walks right up to Billy with a business card in hand. Billy intercepts tubby with a choke-hold, lifting him a foot off the ground a la Darth Vader. Flounder somehow gurgles out that he works for the Chicago Chronicle (which was never an actual newspaper in circulation), so Billy discards him to the ground.
"Tell me...is telling stories your life's work?" Billy asks, still reading the card. Flounder wisely passes the "are you a god" test by saying yes, so Billy invites him to join their group by saying "Then bear witness to the greatest story ever told." Why, are they about to do a production of Hamlet?
Oh! He means that a tale of four swarthy idiots periodically riding into town and eating small children is what he considers to be the greatest story ever conceived. The sad thing is, in Uwe Boll's mind, this might easily be the greatest story ever told. The saddest thing is that this really could be the greatest story Uwe Boll's ever told. Kill me.
Seventeen minutes into the picture, and finally Rayne gets her entrance. The faux-Morricone theme ramps into high gear, the kind of lame comedy anthem you might hear over a Cinemax soft-core porn production of A Fistful of Hooters that someone noodled out on their Casio keyboard. Rayne hauls ass on her horse through the soggy wilderness of Vancouver in the typical slow-motion hero moment you'd expect, twin blades openly displayed in sheaths on her back. And she's doing all this in broad daylight. Well okay, in broad cloudiness. Vancouver always seems to be under a gray overcast pall of 96% humidity. Now, I saw the first Bloodrayne, but you'll excuse me if my memories of that piece of shit have been reduced to a blur of pain and hard liquor, but I seem to remember that the Ben Kingsley vampire was attempting to gather ancient vampire relics to become immune to the usual vampiric weaknesses: sunlight, staking, and running water. Rayne managed to grab and absorb the one that makes her immune to water, but she never got the other two. Meaning she should be a smoking husk at this very instant, and the movie should be over. Of course, Boll never bothered to remember the harmful effect of sunlight on Rayne in the first movie either, so why bother keeping track if he's not?
Rayne rides past an abandoned farmstead, stops to look around, then continues on. The next farmstead she comes to is abruptly covered in a thick frosting of snow, a radical change the glum snowless weather of a few seconds ago. I mean there's some serious snowfall going on here, and it's still snowing when she hitches her horse up and investigates the empty house. She starts calling for "Bernadette" and "Steve." Two more Western names I couldn't hope for. She spends a couple minutes looking inside, then looking outside and seeming more than a little spazzed out by their absence. She whips out one of her swords and checks around back (it's snowing quite heavily now) and finds the frozen corpses of the farming family we saw at the beginning of the movie. She gets a "well that's just great" look on her face and wheels around at the sudden, silent arrival of Some Dude. At first I thought he was the sheriff, because they both look almost identical and this guy even carries a similar short-rifle as the sheriff. But he's not. He's just Some Dude. As most male directors think empowered female characters are supposed to act, she goes right for his groin and tucks her sword up in his daddy zone. I don't blame her for being jumpy; he didn't make a damn sound when he snuck up behind her walking through snow. What did he do, teleport?
Natassia Malthe must be freezing her tits off, too. Rayne is dressed in a halter top, low-riding leather pants and an open leather coat, and she's walking around outside in Vancouver during the dead of winter. I'm seriously impressed by her ability to walk around half-dressed in as ass-end of Canada and try to act without her teeth chattering like a snare drum. Okay, that wasn't fair. Vancouver isn't the ass-end of Canada. Newfoundland is. But it's still flippin' cold. Her nipples must be so hard they could cut glass.
He tells her to simmer down, because Billy the Kid probably took the youngin's prisoner. Rayne snarls something empowered and feminine like "no duh," and brandishes her sword some more to remind him of the imminent impaling threat to his wang. And whenever Rayne does anything with her sword, it makes an exaggerated "whooshi-shiki-schwinnngg!" sound, whether or not it's actually touching anything. The Dude says he's serious, that Billy's "some kind o' creature!" and shows her a clipping found in Chicago newspaper (because apparently, the bustling town of Deliverance doesn't have one of its own). Gee, what are the odds that the one person uniquely qualified to deal with a roving pack of vampires should arrive in the right place at the right time? Probably the same odds that led Billy to eat an entire family that Rayne has a personal connection to, of all the families on the entire planet.
The newspaper is folded in half, but I can see that the paper is dated sometime in September. They consider the first snows of the year in September to be a late start? Where in the Wild West is this? The Yukon Territories?
The Anonymous Dude tells her that if those kids are alive, they're somewhere in Deliverance. Rayne saddles up to go kick some supernatural cowboy ass. The Dude asks if she wants to team up, and Rayne predictably tells him to piss off. Because she's, y'know, empowered and stuff. Actually she just says "your fly is open," and rides off. I'm serious. Even funnier is that the Dude doesn't seem to care whether it is or not, because he doesn't even check. Oh no you don't, lil' missy! I've fallen for that one too many times before!
She arrives in town and bam! All the snow is gone! It's a miracle! And it's nighttime again, so it's taken her about eight hours to reach town. For no reason that I can fathom, some mysterious person has taken great care to construct small wood fires at regular intervals at the side of the road. I guess I shouldn't complain. Most of this movie is already too dark to see anything clearly. Two of the vampire cowboys, now led by a swarthy vampiric sheriff approach her in an eye-rollingly superfluous slow-motion shot.
"Hol' on there, missy!" the sheriff calls out, still cradling his useless rifle, "You discharge a single round from your weapons in my town, you, me 'n' Sadie here'll be havin' ourselves a conversation!" It would be good to hear from Sadie, wouldn't it? I don't know what weapons the sheriff is talking about. The only weapons she's carrying are those uselessly blunt swords, so please tell me he hasn't mistaken them for the much more lethal gunblades! That would just be ridiculous! Rayne gives him the stinkeye as he goes on to suggest other more "professional" lines of work she could do if she's not here for trouble. "And the railroad line's comin' soon!" Oh sweet merciful Christ, can we forget about the fucking railroad? It's important to the town's future economic prosperity. You've mentioned it five times now. I fucking get it.
Rayne decides to just walk off to the hotel and ignore their continued suggestions that she buy herself a "purty dress." The three cowboys don't seem to find it strange or threatening at all that an unaccompanied woman wearing wildly inappropriate clothes (for the historical period) with two swords clearly strapped to her back just rode into town. The sheriff just tells his new flunkies to watch her closely. Like the stereotypical dunces they are, they start chuckling conspiratorially and saying things like "Think I'm gonna enjoy this!" Guh'hyuk! Whut she gonna do? She's just a woman!
In the hotel are a couple of people playing Stuntman Poker, a classic Western style of poker where mortal enemies play until someone is caught cheating or a stranger crashes through their table and spills whiskey everywhere, resulting in a classic saloon brawl. I never understood why, in those movies, the players' first reaction when some idiot accidentally destroys their table is to slug the person across the table. It's not like it's his fault. And then all of a sudden, like a switch is turned, everyone else decides to clobber the person nearest to them with a chair whether they had it coming or not. Strange that there are only two people playing Stuntman Poker, though; usually there are a lot more stuntmen gathered around. And why, why, why are they both sitting on the same side of the table to play?
Anyway, what draws my attention right away as the camera pulls back to reveal the interior of the hotel is that the place is lit with a number of electric ceiling fans. I called bullshit on this immediately, so I did some research. Ceiling fans did exist around that time, typically operating on running water and, later, on electricity (and it's an awfully big assumption that a town as small as Deliverance has electricity at this time). But it's certainly not possible that these fans had light fixtures, and the concept of the four-bladed ceiling fan wasn't popularized until World War I (Viva Wikipedia)! Uwe baby, it's called a historical consultant.
Some drunkard is loudly addressing the stuntmen, describing how he'd tracked down some low-down desperado and filled him full of holes. Then he brandishes his gun at Flounder, who is feverishly taking notes of a real-life Wild West story, and demonstrates for the saloon audience (who has been paying rapt attention to him up to this point). "And then I tells him, 'When ya see the devil, you tell him Flintlock Hogan sent ya'!" It took me a while to think of a dumber cowboy nickname, but all I could come up with was Ninny O'Coward and Punkass McGee.
Then he shoots the beer glass in Flounder's hand. The shot probably should have passed right through the glass and blown most of Flounder's hand off, crippling it for life, but this is a movie so the glass just shatters. "Ah shot that cocksucka good!" he cheers. Little known fact: Uwe Boll's historical research into the Wild West was to get the first season of Deadwood on Netflix. They sure did say "cocksucker" a lot back then! Flounder, not at all disturbed by nearly being shot in the face, stands up and applauds. This is because he's a complete dolt. I can only worry about the two genetic wonders who produced a mouth-breathing frog-boy as dumb as this one, and pray they realized their mistake after their first child.
Fun things to spot during this scene: one of the poker-playing cowboys wearing a cashmere sweater and the bartender still working after being slugged into unconsciousness last night.
Rayne swaggers into the saloon, hat pulled low over her eyes. In a hilarious twist on normal Western movie conventions, the piano player in the corner takes no notice of her whatsoever and continues playing merrily. Buttplug Malone senses that he's losing the room after his gripping tale of murdering an unarmed man and saunters up to Rayne at the bar. "Only two thangs a woman's good fah!" he sleazes, "Makin' mah grub an' keepin' mah dick warm!" As pick-up lines go, it's probably not the best one to use on a woman wearing swords. This guy's eHarmony profile must be fantastic, though.
Cashmere Cowboy gets a rich guffaw out of Sweat Gland Smith's little joke. Rayne just develops a facial tick and pounds back a shot of whiskey. Isn't the whole point of being a vampiric creature of the night to not being able to draw nourishment or pleasure through food or drink, therefore being forced to drink the blood of the innocent, and all that? Why is a dhampir drinking whiskey? Swampass Steve decides to punctuate his mating ritual with an exaggerated honk-honk squeeze of her butt, which earns him a roundhouse kick to the face. The guy has the audacity to look surprised. Dude, the woman wears swords. You got off light.
"Yer crushin' mah windpipe," Hemorrhoid Harry says helpfully, exposing a horrid set of tobacco-stained teeth. Rayne says she didn't forget about him (who could possibly forget Toilet Breath Travis?) and she's not letting him off the hook for this one. Flintlock offers her a seat in the Stuntman Poker game if she wants to win some money, and for some reason, she agrees to this.
After a few hands, the Cashmere Cowboy starts chuckling and speaking in an awful approximation of an Irish accent. "Oooh Oi must have a farrr-leaf clover shoved straight up me arrse!" he says. "Oul' Irish Mick is gonna send y'all croiyin' home ta yer mamas!" Irish Mick? Really, Uwe? You just went ahead and named the stereotype Irish Mick. Rayne says that he talks funny. Mick laughs and says he's Irish (um, hence the name "Irish" Mick, yes?) and grabs her thigh. "Doncha know what an Irishman sounds like?" Mick, did you not have a front row seat to what happened to the guy who violated her personal space five minutes ago?
Flintlock Hogan (ever the voice of reason) tells everyone to chill and to play their cards. Irish Mick guffaws some more and lays down a full house of face cards. Everyone else tosses their hand in except Rayne who says she's got that beat and lays down four aces. Only she puts the cards down very strangely, showing two aces, a four of diamonds, and then laying down a third ace on top of the hand. I had to still-step through this scene to make sure there were actually four aces in that hand, and I'm still not sure. I think there's a card wedged in the middle of that hand we never see clearly.
The table is stunned. Hogan shouts "You cocksuckin' cheatin' bitch!" and flips the table. If you're fast, you can spot a continuity error here: the cards on the table in front of Rayne moments before he flips it are clearly not a hand of four aces, and the whiskey bottle has moved. Irish Mick smashes a bottle and holds it to Rayne's throat, to which she says "Just like an Irishman to bring a bottle to a gunfight." Um, Rayne, nobody's drawn a gun yet.
"Arrriiiihaddanuffadis shit!" gurgles the other stuntman around a giant cigar wedged in his teeth.
"Back down, Kentucky!" Hogan says. "This is between me and the little cunt!" Yes, the silly little trollop who has kicked my ass several times in the past, one of those times being five minutes ago, could never do it again! He asks her to step outside to settle this once and for all, so the patrons of the saloon filter out to watch the impending showdown. The mayor tries to sidle up to Rayne and warn her away from drawing down on Hogan (because he's oh-so-badass), saying "Miss, you don't know what you're dealing with."
Hogan opens his mouth wide and bares his disgusting, fanged teeth once more, instantly causing all plant life within sixty yards to wither. Boll decides this is a good time to insert a sound effect of a lion roaring.
"That's okay," Rayne says, her expression rarely shifting its default "narrow-eyed intense stare" mode established at the beginning of the film. "Neither does he."
Hogan laughs, "Aw Rayne, you know I'm the best cocksuckin' shooter God's America ever spat into existence!" Foul! Gratuitous use of the word "cocksucker," movie! Ten yard penalty. It sounded like he just admitted to being a cocksucker. "Shit, I done killed seventeen men since I last saw ya! And I ain't countin' Chinamen and Injuns!" It's important to make that distinction; some outlaws have asterisks next to their murder totals when someone illegally broke the record on Chinamen and Injuns. That's just cheating.
Cue the usual showdown scene: closeups of their eyes, tensed mouths, and lots more of Hogan's really gross teeth. Flounder starts wandering directly into the line of fire, intently scribbling notes on the battle he's witnessing. The mayor pulls him back, only to nearly lose him again when he starts pacing once more. Not only is Flounder so stupid that he will happily wander into a crossfire he already knows is there, he'll do it again after being reminded of the fact. I have a Darwin Award all polished and ready for this guy.
Hogan makes another bestial sound instead of just shooting, so Rayne smokes him with two shots to the chest, and he turns to ash on the spot. "Whudda FUK?" Kentucky barely manages to enunciate around his cigar.
"Bad reaction to some garlic, holy water, and some bullets," she explains. She kisses her necklace. "God bless his soul." I think you mean "God rest his soul," but whatever.
"If bullshit were music, ye'd be a bleedin' brass band!" Irish Mick shouts, and he and Kentucky whip out their pistols. They last about as long as the first stage of Duck Hunt. The sheriff shoots the gun out of her hand with a borrowed rifle (hah!), then takes Sadie the Scattergun back and pops a shell loose into the air to make sure he's got everyone's attention. He tells her that Sadie's killed over 30 people. Does everyone in the West keep score?
The sheriff tells everyone to prepare the gallows for a hangin', because Sadie don't like it when people break the rules, and neither does the boss. He indicates Billy the Kid looking foppish as ever in his puffy shirt and grunge-rocker hairstyle. Rayne works in a tight close up of her eyes as she gives him a good old "no way you live, no way" stare. The sheriff goes on to say that Rayne's got "till High Midnight" to make her peace. No vampire would ever say something as lame as "high midnight." The very purpose of the phrase is to indicate the position of the sun. A time when the moon is directly overhead doesn't exactly narrow it down unless you happen to have someone who has a doctorate in astronomy with you. Rayne thinks about it for about two seconds before kicking people in the face, but the sheriff stops her rampage by giving her a Wyatt Earp pistolwhip shot to the back of the head. You know, for all her super speed and vampiric powers, Rayne really does have a glass jaw. I remember in the first movie when a perfectly normal human managed to knock her out for well over sixteen hours with a single punch to the face. That's beyond being knocked out. That's a coma. And yeah, it's a different thing to be cranked in the back of the head with a gun, but she's a freaking vampire. I want to believe that if there are vampires, I wouldn't stand a reasonable chance against one in a fistfight.
They lock Rayne in the hoosegow unguarded, where Flounder wakes her up and introduces himself. He pesters her for an interview, explaining that he's there on Billy the Kid's orders and he doesn't really have any choice in the matter. Rayne starts working him for info on Billy, when someone the next cell over speaks up, asking what business she's got here. They get a little standoffish until Rayne recognizes that the stranger has an identical necklace as she does, marking him as a member of the Brimstone Vampire Slayer Club. Ain't that convenient. So far that makes two slayers from Brimstone that have managed to get themselves utterly defeated and captured. The stranger says his name is Muller, and he's been tracking Billy all the way from Cheyenne. "Somethin' weren't right about him..." he muses. Seeing as how Brimstone's only reason to exist is to kill vampires, do you think he might be a vampire?
Rayne asks how good Billy is as a gunfighter, and Muller says he's crap, but he's basically immune to bullets because he heals so quickly that it doesn't matter. "But it's the damndest thing," Muller continues, "he don't even need to feed on blood to heal himself." Upon hearing this, Flounder look at his notes with a priceless "oooh, that's naughty!" expression. Muller guesses he must be one real old vampire to account for plot holes like that.
This entire time, the running gag here is that Flounder is taking notes on all this vampire talk, and Muller keeps reaching through the bars and taking his paper away. Defiantly, Tubby just keeps taking new paper out, only to get it taken away again a few seconds later. It's nowhere near as funny as it sounds, and it doesn't sound funny at all. Finally, Muller grabs the spectacles off Flounder's head and uses them to pick Rayne's manacles. Flounder whines and protests as you'd expect, but if he had any brains at all he would have just taken a step backwards out of arm's reach and the entire scene would have fallen on its face. Come to think of it, that's not even the biggest logical gap in this scene: the fact that this jail has nobody supervising it.
Muller goes on to explain why he's here: simply investigating the farmstead massacres when he and his partner discovered Billy and his vampire cowboy mob. Muller's partner went for help and someone sent the poor guy's head back in a mail bag. That must have been awkward to send parcel post. "Hey, why is this bag dripping?"
It's at this point that Flounder raises his hand and starts the obligatory "Excuse me, I'm the know-nothing everyman of the movie, so could you please give me the brief rundown on what a vampire is" scene, and the heroes testily explain it to him. You get bitten, you become a vampire. Unless they kill you, in which case you stay dead. But if they don't kill you, you still die, but you come back as a vampire. Everybody got that?
They speculate that Billy is building an army. "Railroad's comin' through here next week, isn't it?" Muller asks. Oh for cryin' out loud...
"Of course!" Flounder cries, "The railroad! Hundreds of people will be coming in, and coming out vampires! But he has to keep things looking normal until then, so that's why he kept those kids hostage!" Wait, Flounder figured that out? Billy's doing a great job of making everything seem perfectly normal, too: openly getting shot four times in front of the entire town to no effect, abducting children and marching entire families down the main street with a posse of men around him with blood all over their faces? Bang-up job, Billy. See? The railroad subplot pays off! See?
The saloon owner enters the jail, and it's so dark that he actually performs the entire scene obscured in shadow and bars in the foreground. The only thing that you can see in the light is the top of his head and his right hand, holding a bottle of whiskey. The whole building is lit with about three feeble kerosene lanterns casting a pitiful glow. Boll did not see fit to add any light to this scene. He's actually going forward with natural lighting at midnight in a building with no windows. He's basically shooting a film by candlelight. I can't see anything. The Paris Hilton sex video had better lighting than this. Anyway, the guy says they've finished erecting the gallows.
Flounder asks if they plan to put up a fight. Muller's all "I don't know, fatass, you gonna help?" Flounder waffles around a bit and admits that he's more a lover than a fighter, and he's still a virgin. Rayne asks the Nameless Saloon Owner if he's got any weapons, and he says sure, he's got Rayne's swords that-- get this-- the drunken cowboys traded to him for a bottle of whiskey. The cowboys didn't think for a second that the owner of the saloon that they belted over the skull with a rifle before eating one of his waitresses and victimizing her kids would betray them. Oh no, they were perfectly happy to trade him the swords of the vampire slayer they just abducted and let him walk unchaperoned into the jail. Somehow I think the world can handle an invasion by Billy the Kid's vampire cowboy army.
The sheriff walks in, remarking at how many unauthorized people somehow got into his jail. "Bob, what you doin' here?" he asks the saloon owner. The saloon owner's name is Bob. Bob the Saloon Owner. This is crackerjack writing, ladies and gentlemen. I'm just amazed they didn't try the "guard, my friend is sick!" ploy. Bob just tells them he was delivering a last drink and skidaddles as they drag Muller off to be fitted for his necktie.
Billy looks somewhat despondent as all the children he's abducted murmur fearfully in the background. He's looking at himself in the mirror-- or at least, what little he can see of himself in the mirror. You know how vampires in some stories can't see their own reflections? Usually you interpret this to mean they cast no reflection at all, right? Well here, Billy himself casts no reflection, but you can see his clothes just fine. And just like The Invisible Man, Billy drinks a shot of whiskey, so you can see the liquid filter down his unseen throat. So vampires enjoy whiskey, too. The effect is pretty lame, too, especially since Billy's shotglass never has any fluid in it, even when he drinks it. You just see the whiskey materialize out of nothingness. I wonder if Billy took his shirt off, would you see the whiskey sloshing around in his stomach? What if he ate a sandwich? Would you see all this really nasty pre-digested olive loaf?
Billy decides to deal with his angst by taking a couple of minutes to brutally victimize another child. This is good. The movie was needing more child murders. It figures that the only scenes in this movie that are lit are the ones I least want to watch.
Meanwhile, the sheriff has Muller hanged. If you were expecting an exciting action sequence or actual heroism from Rayne, you don't know Boll very well. Muller's last words are "Y'all'd better hope we don't meet again!" which, as last words go, are pretty stupid. Even the boorish sheriff seems a little disappointed, expecting a courageous "fuck you, bloodsuckers" or something. At least the scenes are poorly-lit again. For a brief time I could actually tell what was going on and who was talking and it scared me. I think we can all agree that not being able to see a Uwe Boll movie is the gift.
The mayor asks if he really needs to be in this movie, and the sheriff says sure, he's the face of this town and it's only fitting he be around to mete out justice. "And it gives me a hard-on to see you shit in your pants! HAR HAR HAR!" Yes, he really does say that. Watching the mayor get nervous gives him a boner.
Rayne is marched down the road towards the gallows, past another one of those strange carefully-constructed wood fires along the side of the road that continue to be dutifully maintained by someone. Nobody notices or cares that Rayne's hands are no longer manacled behind her back. These vampire cowboys are exceptionally dumb. As they put the noose around her neck, the sheriff howls "Whooooo's ready for a hangiiiiiiiin'!" and pops his shotgun in the air again, a cry which draws an anemic "yay" response courtesy of the assembled disinterested crowd. He punches the mayor in the arm and hands him a piece of paper, shouting "Ah think YOUUUU should do the honors! REEEAAAAAAD!" and sounding exactly like Yosemite Sam. "YOUUUUUU VARRRRMINT!"
The mayor goes on to read the list of charges which includes "Raising a ruckus" (a serious offence in the Wild West!), for which the sentence is to hang by her neck until "dead, dead, dead." The paper literally says that. Just as they're about to drop the hatch out, she slips her manacles, grabs the rope, pulls herself up, slashes the rope apart with her spurs (no way!) and drops to the ground in a battle stance. Some Dude covers the action with a shotgun, while Bob the Bartender returns her swords. It takes about twenty seconds for the vampire cowboys to even begin to react to this nonsense. Instead of punching a two-foot wide hole in her chest with the scattergun he has never used in an offensive manner, he just yells "You will not disob-GLEEEYYYKKKKK!" (the tail end of that thanks to a pair of swords slashing his throat out)
Rayne high-tails it once someone shouts "shoot her!" and everyone starts brandishing a shootin' iron. She dives into the nearby marsh (?!) and escapes, while Some Dude grabs a flaming brand of the Nonsensical Roadside Campfire of Plot Convenience, saddles up, and torches one of the buildings before riding off. In this light, riding a horse and wielding a torch, Some Dude looks remarkably like Zap Rowsdower of The Final Sacrifice. And seeing as how this is Canada, if Bloodrayne 2 really were a sequel involving Rowsdower, it would be the greatest movie ever filmed. I'm just saying. In a world fraught with danger the world needs that big chunky mullet-rocking alcoholic in a beat-up truck more than ever. You get me the money, I can have a script written in two days!
Billy walks up to Bob the Bartender and shoots him in the heart. Bob, upon reflection, decides that after helping the vampire slayer escape the correct move might not have been to stick around in the middle of a group of vampires looking like a dope.
Rayne crawls out of the muck with a little help from Rowsdower. He tells her that they don't have to worry about the railroad coming through Deliverance anymore, because he just burned the station down. I am in total awe of this logic. The trains can't possibly reach the town now!
Anyway, the next scene is of a pair of Indian-looking people rowing down a river in a canoe that have nothing to do with anything, except as a segueway to where Rowsdower has his camp set up. It's now a completely different season in Canada, judging by the lack of snow on the ground. Rayne has gunshot wounds we never saw Rayne take, and Rowsdower's solution is to strip her half-naked and leave her outside in the pouring, freezing rain to recuperate. Rayne pleads for some blood to heal up with, explaining that she's a dhampir and she can walk around in the daylight now. She says that animal blood would work but human blood is better. You might want to try asking for a blanket. Or, like, shelter. That might help a lot more. Zap takes the hint and opens a vein for the cause by taking a knife and giving himself an eight-inch slash across his arm. Which is...a bit extreme. You'd need staples to close a gash that big.
It works like a charm; Rayne's wounds are all but healed. But Rowsdower recommends that they get a few more gun-hands before they go marching back into town. Winter crashes down on Canada like a fucking anvil, because the snow is back and blanketing everything in sight. Do you now see the troubles in making a film with 90% exterior shots in Canada? Unfortunately Uwe Boll's moviemaking policy is "Tax loophole? Git R Done!" Anyway, they hitch their horses up to a church out in the middle of nowhere, where Rowsdower shows her a wanted poster depicting a scraggly white guy and heads inside. The same guy is delivering a fire-and-brimstone sermon. Actually he's giving an overact-and-flail-around-like-a-moron sermon, but whatever. We have to endure his spasmodic scenery-chewing for three minutes before Boll gets to the point: that this guy is conning people out of their cash by posing as a preacher. Do you have any idea how long that is when you're forced to spend it looking at the same bad actor acting like a cross between a manic Tom Cruise and a coked-out Stephen Baldwin?
He's got quite the scam working, having constructed an entire church all by himself, lured a dozen townsfolk inside, and conning them out of about $7 in loose change. Rayne and Rowsdower corner him after the parishioners have all left and threaten to expose him as a fraud if they don't join him on their quest to slay vampires. The guy agrees without hesitation. He just gets a puckish Bugs Bunny "well why didn't ya say so" look and puts on his hat. Look, movie, if you're not even going to try to care about character motivations, why should an audience bother? Well, I have no idea what his name is and the wanted poster refers to him only as The Preacher, so now on he's Father Oily Chipmunk Head. Because of his teeth and stupid hair.
The Many Expressions of Father Oily Chipmunk Head
The heroes' next stop is to "Jessy Malone's," a brothel. Father Oily Chipmunk Head is thrilled and immediately starts defrocking the ladies therein. See, it's funny, because he's not really a preacher, but he's dressed as one. And...preachers don't normally act that way. Kill me.
Rayne tells Rowsdower to wait outside, but Zap warns her to be careful: "It's a hard fella you're dealing with in there." God I hope he's not. Rayne walks inside the guy's room posing as a whore (insert joke here), does an unsatisfying strip tease, and eventually straddles the profoundly ugly guy. And all the while, the guy is acting exactly like you'd hope he wouldn't: a cartoonishly horny country yokel with a raucous, annoying laugh that literally has the phrase "Guh-HYUK!" in it, and says things like "Aw that's right, bay-bee! I got sumthin' fer ya! I'm-a gonna give you the ride o' yer life! Hoooooo-weeee!" This goes on for an interminably long time as she pretends to be attracted to this hairy freak. He does that creepy, disgusting laugh constantly throughout this unending scene, and it only amplifies when the bondage play starts. Then she starts tying him to the head board of the bed, and I black out with nausea for a few blessed minutes of peace. I hate everything. Once he's tied up, she jams a gun into his mouth and demands that he join them to go hunt some vampires. He immediately agrees. For fuck's sake. Was the seduction and bondage ploy truly necessary if you were just going to jam a gun in his teeth? Is this movie actually trying to get me to vomit? And why is it there's always a scene exactly like this in every girl-power movie, where the heroine seduces a greasy, horribly stupid chucklehead with a bondage fetish? Is this the kind of guy you really want on your squad of elite vampire slayers anyway?
Outside, we can still hear Father Oily Chipmunk Head screwing a prostitute. See, it's funny because preachers don't normally frequent prostitutes. And he's dressed like a preacher. So people think he is one. Only he's not.
Please, please kill me.
Is it wise for Rayne to recruit a team of vampire hunters to her cause with threats of physical violence? I can think of few better ways to ensure that they'll have no loyalty to her at all, and will in fact betray her at the earliest opportunity. Never mind that none of these guys have any experience battling the supernatural, don't believe in vampires, and may not have even fired a gun in their lives.
Later at camp, Rowsdower delivers a box full of silver bullets and cloves of garlic. Rayne starts rubbing the bullets down in garlic (that's supposed to help?) and tells Father Oily Chipmunk Head to give them a blessing. Idiot, he's not a real preacher. He bluffs his way through it anyway, and Rayne has her dramatic troop-rallying speech. She wraps up by giving them all Brimstone necklaces (because they're all such firm believers in the cause). I wonder where she got three extra necklaces. Does Brimstone have some kind of mail-order catalog?
"We fight together. We die together." Rayne vows. Did Uwe Boll just rip off Bad Boys 2? That's just awesome. Bad Boys for life!
There's something else that's a little amusing to think about, if you've seen the first Bloodrayne film. Rayne goes on for a couple of minutes about how she's sworn to protect the innocent, and how the vampires must be exterminated because they've forsaken God. Yet at the end of Bloodrayne, Uwe Boll goes to great lengths to painstakingly flash back to each and every violent moment she experienced in the movie (which takes about four minutes, no joke), and to show her smiling darkly as she assumes the throne of the powerful vampire lord she'd just killed. If you listen to the director's commentary, he explains that he's trying to build up the notion that Rayne has become a sort of antihero, now lusting after violence and power. And here in the sequel, Boll puts forward a characterization of Rayne that's totally inconsistent with the motives he worked so hard to establish in the first movie. Since when did Rayne give a damn about destroying evil in the name of God?
Father Oily Chipmunk Head takes his necklace and says "Yeaaaaah!" like "Yeaaaah I could pawn this for two, maybe three dollars!" Then they all start loading their guns with silver bullets, leaving unasked the very pertinent question of where one buys a box full of garlic and silver bullets on such short notice in the Wild West.
Back in Deliverance, a woman begs Mayor Nutless to do something about Billy, but he says there's nothing to be done as long as Billy has their children hostage. But it's here that the Mayor hatches an ingenious plan! "He's gonna wait. When the railroad comes through..." (That makes nine mentions of the railroad so far. I've been counting.) "...he'll take as many lives as he can...to feed his bloodlust! However, if someone were to tell him the railroad is no longer traveling through our fair village, he would leave!" Why don't you tell him that someone burned down the train station in town? According to this movie's logic, that prevents the railroad from coming into town already, doesn't it? Although I'm guessing he knows that someone burned down one of the largest buildings in town already, so if he was going to leave, he would have. Anyway, the mayor offers to "parley with him" when the time is right.
The desperate woman thinks that plan roundly sucks and storms off. Flounder abandons his previous seat across the table of the mayor and goes back to his normal seat right next to him so that they both face the camera. A potato salad could come up with better framing for these shots. Flounder says that with all due respect, there's no way in hell Billy will believe that load of horseshit.
The mayor stands resolute on his extremely lousy plan. "Though I be only a mayor of a small town in the west, I do believe I know something of the nature of people and...those that are not, but...take their appearance." Being the mayor of a town gives you insight into the vampiric mind?
"It's a bad ideaaaa!" Flounder sing-songs. Alright, Fatso, opinion duly noted, okay? Shut the hell up!
Rayne's posse rides back into town, past another one of those strategically-placed wood fires. Someone must come out every hour to keep those going! They try to do one of those moments from Tombstone where the heroes do a slow-motion stroll down the main street while the movie's theme swells to a crescendo, but the music is laughably bad, the scene is barely lit, and it's sadly obvious that Uwe Boll couldn't afford a steadicam, because the whole scene is filmed by handheld while someone walks backwards just ahead of the actors and tries to keep them all in the frame. The camera wobbles drunkenly around and struggles to stay in focus because of the poor lighting and because the road surface is uneven, muddy, and full of puddles. Even by Polish Steadicam standards, this is really pathetic.
The gang stand in the middle of the town while the assembled townsfolk watch huddled through the saloon windows. The clock tower strikes midnight, and the movie makes sure we hear every slow chime, giving us close-ups of the heroes' eyes shifting left and right, then close-ups of their hands shifting nervously to their guns, and then because Boll can't think of anything else interesting to shoot to convey tension, goes back to their eyes. After the twelfth chime, absolutely nothing happens. Finally Rowsdower just starts calling Billy out...and nothing happens. It's almost like Boll forgot to put the vampire cowboy actors on the call list for this day of shooting. Finally Father Oily Chipmunk Head just gets bored and starts shooting kerosene lanterns to set the town on fire. Hey Preacher, people still live here, you know.
Finally someone takes a shot at the group and misses completely, despite having all the time in the world to aim at a group of four tightly-packed people who aren't moving. So much for vampiric super-senses. The posse scatters for cover and fires back, and every time they kill a vampire they make the sound of a pig squealing. Because when you shoot a vampire, he squeals like a pig. Rayne doesn't even bother with cover, blasting a swath through any vampire sombitch who gets in her way, even killing one cowboy by underhand-tossing one of her swords into his abdomen in a phenomenal self-homage to the scene in Alone in the Dark where Stephen Dorff does the exact same thing with a knife!
Rowsdower circles around back of another building where another vampire leaps out to ambush him, seems to forget what he's doing, and then stands there waiting a full three seconds for Zap to thwack him in the face with his rifle. A shot to the heart and the sound of a dying pig later, and that's that. Rayne kicks in the door to someone's house, beats up another vampire (who can make piggy noises without even opening his mouth), and searches the place for clues.
Outside, it's suddenly started raining heavily. Father Oily Chipmunk Head asks the horny idiot why they call him Slimebag. "They call me Slimebag?" he asks. Sadly, this is the funniest joke in the movie: a character who doesn't know what his own name is. The vampires are now making pig noises while simply moving around, and I mean literal "oink-oink SQUEEEE!" noises, not the kind of multi-layered, digitally-masked pig noises you sometimes hear in other monster flicks, I mean stock pig noises. This really is Deliverance.
Back in the saloon, the desperate waitress has seen enough. "I'm going out there!" she says. Why??? The mayor (not really the best person to be talking about stupid ideas), manages to disabuse her of this suicidal notion.
Rayne kills her way to another room where she hears the sound of children crying and opens the door. This triggers a Rube Goldberg-style trap that drops a huge stone pillar, counterweighting the town's children into the air by a complex array of nooses. Rayne desperately hangs onto the rope to keep the kids from hanging while Billy watches, lounging in a nearby chair. This would be really scary if the kids weren't standing on stools with slackened ropes around their necks while making all these gagging noises. Although one kid on the far right is putting on a good show of dangling and swaying around.
"Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha." Billy says. You can actually see the punctuation marks between each "Ha" when he laughs. "You seem to have your hands...full!" he gloats in a Transylvanian accent. Yes, that's Billy the Kid: famous outlaw. She struggles mightily under the stone's weight. Gosh, if only she had some kind of bladed weapon that could cut a rope...
Flounder, despite not being able to see any of this, suddenly agrees with the waitress' plan and tries to rally the troops to go out there and fight Billy's men. Nobody moves, even when he calls them cowards, so he throws down his bowler hat and his nerd glasses and gets ready to man up. The mayor is inspired by this sudden display of testicular fortitude and tosses Flounder a rifle because newspaper reporters are crack shots with a long-iron.
Billy continues to taunt Rayne instead of just shooting her by feeding on one of the hanging kids as she looks on helplessly. Rayne couldn't possibly let go of the rope, kill Billy, and then free the children. That would be cheating. Rayne tries the "pick on someone your own size" ploy, but when you're an ancient vampire schoolyard taunts don't have much impact. Billy tries to lure her to the dark side by offering to let her in on the child buffet, but she shouts "You don't wanna fuck with me, Billy!" Think of how different Return of the Jedi would have been if Luke's response to the Emperor was "You don't wanna fuck with me, Palpatine!"
Scumbag and Father Oily Chipmunk Head wander straight into an ambush in a stable, covered by a half-dozen men behind them on the second floor. And it's a well-planned ambush point, too. They've even set up a freaking Gatling gun covering the inside of the stable. And here I was saying those cowboys were dumb. They could have installed the gatling gun to cover the entire main street of the town, but they chose to put it in the stables on the off-chance a couple of people might wander inside on accident. "Jesus titty-fuck Christ!" the Preacher yells in surprise.
Back at the buffet: "Your men are dead," Billy teases, "Dees town, my pantry ees olmozt dry. But...in a few days...de railroad will come (that's ten times!) opening the rest of the country to my grasp! I shall beget an army! And it shall spread along dees train tracks like de blood in de iron veins of dees land until nothink stands before my will!
All right, I've kept quiet until now. But why is the railroad all that necessary to Billy's plan? He wants to raise an army of vampires because a railroad will supply a steady stream of victims, right? So what's stopping him just riding into Chicago or New York City where there are already millions of people available? Why is Billy so fixated on bringing the mountain to Mohammed? You've already established that Billy is an ancient vampire of the old world. Couldn't he have raised his army in Europe? Pssst...I hear there are already a lot of people there! Billy is thinking way too small if he wants to build an army a trainload at a time.
Back in the stables, Father Oily Chipmunk Head and Sleazebag are sharing what Uwe Boll considers to be a real Butch & Sundance moment as they find themselves surrounded and facing certain death. Scumbag stuffs a cigarette into his oily mouth and the Preacher eats a saltine cracker (it's funny because he's not really a preacher), and they turn around shooting. They put up a valiant fight but the Gatling guns chews them to shreds (yayyyy!). The entire scene takes place in extreme slow motion so we can see them get jackhammered with a dozen squibs and dead guys can slowly hit the ground going "nooOOOOoooOOOoo!" Rowsdower enters the scene and starts picking them off with his rifle, allowing the wounded Preacher to escape with a pair of vampires hot on his heels.
They shoot him in the back again before the mayor comes stomping down the stairs with a gun in hand and a swagger in his step. Oh it's on like Donkey Kong! The mayor plugs one of the two vampires behind the Preacher and bellows "You are no longer welcome in Deliverance!"
So the other guy shoots him. Dumbass.
Flounder loses whatever nerve he had left and bolts back into the saloon begging for help fighting the big scary men, and the only person who volunteers is the shaky waitress. The men of Deliverance now officially rank behind the French in terms of courage! The preacher handles the vampire by himself by stabbing him with a knife hidden in his crucifix, gurgling blood all over the place with that weird, weaselly shit-eating grin on his face. But it doesn't matter because a third vampire just walks up and shoots him in the heart. Then, about thirty seconds too late, the waitress in the saloon comes barging out the door and cuts loose with both barrels of a shotgun. Remind me again why Rayne and the others busted their asses to save this town of chickenshit cowards?
Should their non-silver bullets be harming the vampires anyway?
Rayne finally remembers that she has swords and (shocker!) uses them to cut the children free. Billy parries with a pair of knives and starts kicking her ass, doing weird stuff like humping her against the wall. Billy punts her outside (where it's stopped raining) and starts slapping her around where the rest of the town can watch. Flounder's on the hotel steps with everyone else from Deliverance with rifles in hand, and at no point do they lift a finger to help. Billy knocks Rayne out and steps forward to address the townsfolk (who don't shoot him about four hundred times), giving the usual "where is your God now" villain speech. Rayne makes a gut check and stands up, calling him out for one more round, this time with both swords in hand! Billy obliges and they clash, his knives snapping off at the hilt.
Gulp! Billy goes "fuck it" and just pulls his guns to prove what they say about bringing swords to a gunfight. "Big speech, small guns," Rayne taunts him, "compensating for something?" You'd think after a few thousand years Rayne would work on her villain bantering skills. That didn't even make much sense anyway. Billy just shrugs and thumbs the hammers back on his guns. "I'm sick of your half-breed mouth! Goodbye!"
If I were writing the script, Billy's line would have been "big dick, small dick, I'm the guy with the guns."
But just when Rayne is about to get shot...
Rowsdower attacks with a Gatling gun!
That's gotta hurt, eh? I don't care how good your healing factor is!
Rayne breaks the end off a (modern) shovel and rams the wood into Billy's heart. As if Boll cared about staying true to vampire myth up to this point. So far it hasn't mattered if you hit a vampire with a silver bullet or not, slashed him with an ordinary steel sword, or kicked it in the face. In this movie they all seem as mortal as normal people. The silver and garlic haven't factored into this movie at all!
The freed children rush out into the waiting arms of their parents. In one puzzling moment, a child informs her mother "Mommy, Sally didn't make it!" which really serves to undercut the sense of victory around here.
We return to Deliverance sometime later in daylight. Flounder proudly walks with Rowsdower down the road, wearing a sheriff's badge and still gushing about what a great story he's got for the paper. Be sure to look for a modern American flag hanging at one of the buildings with fifty stars on it. They approach Rayne who looks to be heading out of town and ask what's up. "Riding out to Tombstone," she says. "Heard they got themselves some trouble with some vampires by the name of the Clanton gang!"
Oh just bite me, Uwe. The Clantons were not vampires, and Wyatt Earp does not need Bloodrayne's help, okay? You can't just take iconic stories of American history and make one side vampires and think there's a movie in it. It's bad enough we had a story where Emilio Estevez played Billy the Kid, and you think we'll sit still when you turn Tombstone (one of my favorite movies, by the way) into a vampire slaying epic?
Okay, make the Clantons werewolves and we'll talk.
Rayne rides away, declining further backup. As the movie rolls to a close, Rowsdower sighs and walks off into the sunset with his arm around Flounder, leaving us with this immortal dialogue that I think sums this movie up nicely;
"Life is like a penis. When it's hard, you get screwed. When it's soft, you can't beat it."
That's almost lyrical. It's almost in haiku form!
Life's like a penis.
When it's hard, you get screwed. When
soft, you can't beat it.
Ah...right you are, Zap Rowsdower. Right you are.