Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Movie Review - Rise: Blood Hunter

Rise: Blood Hunter has been rated R by the Motion Picture Association of America.

Rise: Blood Hunter is an intriguing attempt at blending many of the elements of Film Noir with a somewhat different take on the traditional Monster Movie.

Lucy Liu stars as Sadie Blake, a young reporter who finds her entire existence turned upside down after an encounter with a mysterious couple known as Eve and Bishop. Sadie had been gradually putting together the pieces of a very disturbing puzzle. A handful of high school and college students had dropped off the grid after becoming involved in local raves and secret parties in abandoned buildings.

The last thing Sadie clearly remembers is that a very attractive man and woman seemed very concerned about what she was learning. After that, everything quickly became a blur. There were several days and nights where she almost believed herself to be in a drug induced stupor. Just a few hours ago, Sadie awoke and found herself on a slab in a morgue.

The girl has this vague recollection of the man and woman questioning her. Then tormenting her for what seemed like hours on end. Touching her – Kissing her – Forcing her to have sex with them – Biting at her skin.

Were they drinking her blood?

Were they forcing her to drink theirs?

During the forty-eight hours that follow her reawakening, Sadie discovers that she no longer seems to be human. While hiding out in a homeless shelter, the young woman feels the need for nourishment but normal food tastes almost sickening. Then she realizes that some of the individuals around her seem to have an almost appetizing scent about them. They're old or they're sick. She can smell it on them. Some recently awakened instinct is telling her that it would be very easy to prey upon them. That she'd be doing society a favor by culling the herd.

It would appear that Sadie Blake has become the very thing she was investigating.


In the entertainment industry, there's a joke which declares that a talented story editor exists in the same sort of mystical shadow universe as a skillful corset and brazier designer. As long as he or she do their jobs correctly, no one really bothers to think about the need for them.

The fact that the audience is presented with ample opportunity to enjoy Lucy Liu, Cameron Richardson and Carla Gugino in their birthday suits, would seem to point to the fact that no one should be concerned about the need for a skillful bra maker. What comes across as the major problem, in this production, is the complete absence of a competent script editor.

The horror and suspense elements are quite good.

The various nods to Film Noir are never overplayed.

The subtle moments of humor do a proper job of lightening the mood when that is most needed.

But then this motion picture goes drastically overboard in its handful of jarring attempts at the overt sort of belly laughs that are generally found in the modern day “slob comedy”. These three to five minute vignettes are completely unnecessary. They have almost nothing to do with the plot of the movie. All they succeed in doing is bringing a speeding train to an unexpected dead stop.

While Rise: Blood Hunter is still an enjoyable piece of entertainment, this is most certainly an instance where less would have felt like more. The suspense and the erotica have been woven together so delightfully. Then everything suddenly comes to a screeching halt as the lame attempts at overt comedy blunder across the screen.

What should have been a top notch B Movie Erotic Thriller has been cheapened by the production company's desire to play to the “something for everyone” mentality. In my opinion, that's the real crime of the story.

Travis Clemmons