BloodRayne: The Third Reich is the third film in Uwe Boll’s BloodRayne franchise. I will refer to it hereafter simply as BloodRayne III.
Rayne is back, and this time she is fighting Nazis. Why? Good question. Maybe she ran out of vampires to fight…
The use of Nazism and the Holocaust as a trope in a horror B-movie is, of course, always a questionable choice. It almost always comes across as gimmicky and attention-seeking and can often smack of bad taste. This is one reason (of many) why I did not enjoy The Strain. That said, The Strain and BloodRayne III are two entirely different beasts: whatever you may think about The Strain, at least its creators tried to do something intelligent and meaningful, while Uwe Boll… …well, let’s just say that BloodRayne III is a very bad film and that it reaches its bad taste climax in a nightmare scene in which Rayne is dreaming about Hitler as a vampire.
As I said, the whole plot feels awkward and arbitrary as Rayne’s motivation remains entirely unclear. She fights Nazis, yes, but we don’t really know why except for them being the bad guys. Why a vampire hunter should take a break from hunting vampires for a bit and hunt Nazis instead is not explained. Far worse: the real plot kicks in when Rayne needs to stop an apocalyptic event which would and could not have happened but for her involvement and her own mistakes. If she had kept to hunting vampires instead of hunting Nazis, probably none of the dangers in this film would have come into existence. Which means that she is fighting to avert a danger she has caused herself through her fighting – and that just does not make for a really convincing story.
Another problem with the plot is that there is no really logical system behind who is a vampire and who is a damphir, and who becomes what when who is biting whom.
We are also never told what precisely the relationship is between Commandant Brand and Lieutenant Jaeger, and why Jaeger should care so much about Brand’s fate. We are told they are friends, but apparently they have known each other for only 3 years and the fact that Brand is SS while Jaeger is a Wehrmacht officer makes it highly unlikely that any cordial relationship should have developed between them in that time.
As for the acting, it is quite atrocious; several steps beneath the first two films in the BloodRayne franchise. BloodRayne III looks mostly like a play put on by your local amateur dramatic society. Even marathon actor Clint Howard is hamming it up here as the ridiculously named Dr Mangler, snarling and grunting his way through this film.
The low quality of acting unfortunately once again extends to the lead, Natassia Malthe, who replaced Kristina Loken for both of the original BloodRayne’s straight-to-video sequels and whose acting has not improved since she blundered her way through BloodRayne II: Deliverance.
Maybe that’s the reason why Uwe Boll punishes her by making her wear an old-fashioned 1930s leather motorcyclist’s cap, complete with ear-flaps, for parts of the film. Not once, by the way, do we see her actually on a motorcycle. Malthe may be an attractive woman, but very few women could pull off that look, and she is not one of them. So, in these scenes, instead of a sexy, fearsome warrioress, we have before us a woman that looks more like the proverbial village idiot.
There are notable exceptions amongst this mass of lay thespians. Steffen Mennekes stands out from the crowd by doing an excellent job as Lieutenant Jaeger, and Brendan Fletcher and Michael Paré are certainly trying their best.
None of the actors is helped much by the script, however, which contains some of the worst dialogue I have ever witnessed in a film. This is writer Michael Nachoff’s first ever script, and it more than shows. Of course, with Uwe Boll we cannot be sure some of these horrible lines actually were in the script. Maybe he introduced them on a whim or told the actors to improvise, as he had allegedly done on the set of the first BloodRayne.
The first film contained a sex scene entirely gratuitous and pointless. Boll tops this in BloodRayne III by making that two gratuitous sex scenes, both completely incomprehensible from a plot point of view.
I am struggling to find something positive to say about this film. As in the first film, the fight scenes are not too bad, I guess. But they are certainly nothing to shout about, either.
The first two films in the franchise at least looked like someone was trying to produce an interesting film and thus these films deserved some meagre points for effort. BloodRayne III is just undeniably a very bad film with no redeeming features at all.
This is barely a 1.5 out of 10 – avoid at all cost!