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“Not quite the wholesale disaster this might seem…”

This will only make sense, or be in any way entertaining, if you’ve seen Bloodrayne 3: The Third Reich: because it’s basically the same film, with a really fat chick (Hollister) replacing Natassia Malthe. And when I say, “the same film,” I mean the same storyline, same actors playing the same roles, and same scenes in the same locations. Really, I suspect this must have been made at the same time, with Boll simply swapping out Hollister for Malthe every other take. As there, the heroine is a half-human, half-vampire, who finds herself involved in a Nazi plan to take the powers of vampirism and turn them to their own ends. Except here, it is, of course, a spoof – and one so extremely broad, the makers of those Epic Movie flicks would have been cringing on occasion. Fat jokes, gay jokes, Nazi jokes… No easy target is left unstoned, paved with deliberate anachronisms like Segways and Internet dating.

And yet, even if it took us two sessions to get through this, I can’t bring myself to hate it, not least because of Hollister, who goes at things with gusto. It’s clear this is an actress who does not get to play the lead often, least of all in an action flick (though for obvious reasons, the action can kindly be described as “limited”). Even if this is a parody of one, both her and Boll deserve credit for breaking down one of the taboos seen everywhere in body conscious Hollywood. There are moments here which are just surreal, such as a dream sequence where Blubberella plays a game of Risk with Hitler (played by the director!) and Fletcher in blackface. WTF? No, really: WTF? There’s also a lengthy scene parodying Precious, which is unsurprising, considering it’s about the only other film I can think of where a morbidly obese woman is the heroine.

I probably have a higher opinion of Boll than most people: when he avoids making video-game films, the results can be really good [Darfur and Rampage both kick ass]. However, comedy really isn’t his forte, and too much of this ends up missing its mark, most often through being over-played in one way or another. Rather than a shot-for-shot remake of a film that wasn’t exactly a huge success, Boll and co. might have been better off with a broader spoof of superhero films, which would have given them a bigger palette for their unsubtle satire. That said, I will admit that I did laugh, and laugh out loud, more often than I expected, and it’s a hell of a lot better than Boll’s last attempt at “offense humour,” Postal.

Dir: Uwe Boll
Star: Lindsay Hollister, Brendan Fletcher, Michael Pare, William Belli

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