RISE: BLOOD HUNTER
(Unrated and Undead)
MOVIE: ***1/2 (out of 5)
DVD EXPERIENCE: * (out of 5)
Lucy Liu as SADIE BLAKE
Michael Chiklis as CLYDE RAWLINS
James D’Arcy as BISHOP
Carla Gugino as EVE
Directed by: Sebastian Guiterrez
Studio: Ghost House
BY KEVIN CARR
In time for the Halloween season, Sam Raimi’s Ghost House pictures is releasing “Rise: Blood Hunter.” The film follows a reporter named Sadie Blake (Lucy Liu) who gets a little too close to a story she’s writing about the underground goth movement. She stumbles onto a real nest of vampires who feed on her and leave her for dead. However, Sadie recovers to be undead herself and makes it her mission to kill the head vampire who made her what she is today.
“Rise: Blood Hunter” has one of those enviable ensemble casts (including Lucy Liu, Michael Chiklis, Carla Gugino and Robert Forster) the likes of which you don’t see in a direct-to-DVD movie outside of a Uwe Boll film. However, unlike most Uwe Boll films, “Rise: Blood Hunter” is actually surprisingly good.
In fact, the only real sour point to the films – aside from a running time that is a bit too long – is James D’Arcy as the villain vampire. He’s got a little too much modern teen vampire angst for my tastes. However, it’s not him that you should watch this movie for. It’s Lucy Liu, who is undeniably sexy in the role of a reluctant vampire bent on revenge.
As an erotic thriller, “Rise: Blood Hunter” works. It also works as a decent modern vampire movie. It kicks off the shroud of Anne Rice while retaining the sensual qualities of the creatures. There’s a welcomed nude scene with Liu, which is always fun to watch, and not one with Michael Chiklis (which is a great relief).
“Rise: Blood Hunter” is far from perfect, but it’s better than most direct-to-video horror you’ll find out there. Heck, it’s better than some of the theatrical releases we’ve seen this year, like “Blood and Chocolate” and “Captivity.” Actually, I’m somewhat surprised that it didn’t receive a theatrical release.