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MOVIES | MOVIE REVIEW

Tale's two halves don't add up to a whole lot

January 06, 2006|John Anderson | Special to The Times

The only thing left unsliced is the ham in "BloodRayne," yet another video game adaptation by German genre specialist Uwe Boll and a movie with more fading -- or faded -- talent than an Italian basketball team. Star Kristanna Loken does a lot for a leather bustier but very little for the Rayne of the title, a dhampir -- half vampire, half human -- who thirsts for the blood of the undead. A sip here, a slurp there. The next thing you know, you're a Veg-O-Matic with hips.

Judging by the movies, 18th century Romania must have had more ghouls running around than Washington has lobbyists, and they're coming out of the wormy woodwork in "BloodRayne." Ben Kingsley -- looking frighteningly like Geraldine Fitzgerald in "Arthur" -- is Kagan, king of the vamps, and his daughter, as it turns out, is Rayne. Michael Madsen, apparently having decided he was doing way too much legitimate work in "Kill Bill Vol. 2," is Vladimir, a debauched buccaneer who leads something called Brimstone, a society that specializes in hunting down the undead, dispatching them via various impalings, decapitations and a little pyromania. There isn't much more of a story. In fact, there isn't any story. Luckily, Loken is there to provide something to stare at, vacantly.

There is a story, perhaps, in Romar Entertainment, the indie outfit distributing "BloodRayne" to about 2,000 theaters. Somehow, Romar pulled together this considerable cast and crew, the most unlikely member of whom is Guinevere Turner, who wrote the script, such as it is. Turner, who has penned screenplays for "American Psycho," cable's "The L Word" and the indie hit "Go Fish," contributes such lines to "BloodRayne" as "If they want a fight, a fight they will get," and "Keep your friends close and your enemies closer." Apparently, back in vampire-ridden 18th century Romania, they could quote Michael Corleone.

*

'BloodRayne'

MPAA rating: R for strong bloody violence, some sexuality and nudity

A Romar Entertainment release. Director Uwe Boll. Producers Shawn Williamson, Dan Clarke. Executive producer Wolfgang Herold. Screenplay by Guinevere Turner. Director of photography Mathias Neuman. Running time: 1 hour, 34 minutes.

In general release.

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