Know what’s worse than a Uwe Boll movie? A sequel to a Uwe Boll movie. Worse than that? A second sequel to a Uwe Boll movie.
Bloodrayne’s trek through time finally brings the movie audiences up to the video game, The Third Reich a World War II jaunt with vampire Nazis, clipped running time, plenty of nudity for the sake of nudity, and the commercial breaks already edited in.
It’s too easy to pick on Uwe Boll sometimes, Internet forums blossoming over their shared hatred for the German-born director, his schlocky, shoddy adaptations enough to fuel the rage of gamers everywhere. Is it deserved? Yes. Absolutely.
Look at Third Reich, a film that sits comfortably at 72-minutes without the end credits, and excising the drab, sluggish opening which takes five more minutes to slog through, it’s near the hour marker. In that time, Boll exploits his lead actress for some lesbian sex action, hetero sex action, massage sex action, and brothel sex action because the rest of the sex action wasn’t enough.
Rayne (Natassia Malthe) fights just to fight, a battle with two vampires outside of a bar… well, just sort of there. Her species brethren hop out in front of her, neither Nazis nor super vampires like herself, and engage in a sword fight. Surely Rayne, with fangs, holstered death blades, skin tight leather cleavage outfit and all, is a far better blood sucking target than a bar full of civilians, right?
Boll’s typical, random camera shaking style sort of represents how he directs his actors, unable to even squeeze less than a shot of two breasts in a corset from the capable Clint Howard. Cleavage in this movie is less exaggerated, and that’s saying something.
There is a narrative here, something about the Nazis trying to super-charge Hitler with Rayne’s blood, the German soldiers unable to track her down at her hideout, a castle the size of Croatia where this location shoot took place. The whole thing is nothing more than a set up to a feeble climax and miserable action movie final quip from Rayne.
Of course, this happens seconds after Rayne is hammered from behind against the confines of her prison truck. Her lover (who doesn’t come across as anything more than a guy copping a feel) decides mere seconds before the planned ambush is the right time to make a move. And wouldn’t you know it, he’s quick enough while doing his thing that Rayne is back in full costume when the explosions knock the truck for a loop. That’s a good thing since the snow made it look awfully cold to slash vampire Nazis in the nude.
Saving a buck is important, so Boll dives into this one digitally… and cheaply. Third Reich is wholly unremarkable, so utterly bland and drab to look at, it’s amazing the editing was completed. Angles allow marginal room for high-fidelity detail, the camera rarely anywhere near the realm of close-up; that, or it’s shaking so wildly it’s as if Boll is having some type of seizure while he spouts off directions.
Whatever the camera was, it’s certainly capable of keeping black levels at bay, richly presented and typically consistent. A few minor edits during the incomprehensible action scenes flatline a bit in their depth, kicks and punches so wildly strewn about catching those lapses is only for those who stopped paying attention to the movie itself. Oh, that’s everyone. Maybe those moments are more annoying than first considered.
Contrast has a little more zip behind it, at times a little too much bleaching objects on screen from view, which in some circles may be considered a positive. Noise doesn’t generally impede, the low light stuff relatively clean for low budget shlock, the image free of general imperfections related to digital.
The best stuff are the random, typically repeated exteriors of Nazi structures, the definition here a cut above anything else. Bricks are crisply defined, debris scattered about consistently visible, and the shots usually short enough that it barely matters. The desaturated, bland, almost color voided palette doesn’t add much (especially style) either, leaving this a serviceable, untampered AVC encode of boring material.
Balance is blown out of proportion here, Third Reich beginning with an overzealous explosion and gun fight that is about six decibels higher than the dialogue. Every shoot-out to follow will carry the same characteristics, the bass excessive and the cheap, low budget pops from the typical slate of WWII guns an ear drum assault.
Adjusting for the inflated DTS-HD mix is means you’re in the clear, the surrounds consistent in their usage. Being away from the action for a few seconds means the weapons keep firing, splitting the stereos wide and the surrounds far. Explosions sound a little more controlled too, bass tight, although still a bit too much for the weaker end of the mix. Fidelity is fine despite the budgetary constraints, no expense spared to bring this mess home aurally.
A making-of begins as a riff on Uwe Boll, and in all honesty making him appear a little creepy. The rest is typical behind the scenes fluff for 28-minutes, better though than the usual congratulatory mainstream featurettes shoved onto the big budget stuff. There’s a separate interview with writer Michael Nachof that lasts six minutes, explaining immediately that this movie has nothing to do with the game. Maybe that was the first mistake.