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  Publicity Stills of "Rise Blood Hunter"
(Courtesy from GV)

Genre: Thriller/Horror
Director: Sebastian Gutierrez
Cast: Lucy Liu, Michael Chiklis, Carla Gugino, James D'Arcy
RunTime: 1 hr 40 mins
Released By: GV
Rating: M18
Official Website: www.sonypictures.com/movies/rise

Opening Day: 19 July 2007

Synopsis :

Sadie (LUCY LIU) is an investigative reporter who has stumbled upon an underground cult that is attracting the young hipsters of Los Angeles. When these kids start disappearing then turning up dead, she wants to understand why. In the midst of her investigation, she herself falls prey to the mastermind behind all the gruesome murders and nothing is the same again.

When Sadie awakes in the dark, pushing her way out into the light, she discovers she’s not alive, but she’s not dead either. As she traipses through the seedy underbelly of downtown Los Angeles, her senses are reeling-- she must feed to quench her thirst and blood is the nourishment she needs. How can she kill innocent people to satisfy her craving? Why is she alive when she should be dead?

Movie Review:

I'll cut straight to the point. This is such a bad movie it turned out to be unintentionally funny. Instead of a horror thriller, you get a juvenile sex comedy, where almost every girl in the movie can't wait to shed their clothes, and almost everyone spout lines of dialogue that is as uninspiring as reading the ingredients printed on a cereal box.

Written and directed by Sebastian Gutierrez, Rise: Blood Hunter tried so hard to be a new age vampire movie, with its conscientious attempts in not mentioning the word "Vampire" (you're not wrong if you think of it as a movie about zombies), and tries to be hip in not having its undead beings possess fangs. This makes for a lack of that elegance, and instead, you get a bloody mess, all puns fully intended. Clearly with a lack of direction, this movie spends a number of scenes just having characters walk around aimlessly along dark narrow corridors, in weak attempts to tout itself as relying on atmospherics to deliver the chills.

And the number of references the story adapted from others, will make you go "hmm, haven't I seen this before"? It doesn't try too hard to mask obvious cliches, and all you get is a clumsy amalgamation of movies from similar genres.

Lucy Liu plays Sadie Blake, an investigative reporter from LA Weekly whose article on the underground goth scene sees her being trapped and violated by those beings who want to protect their anonymity. While they thought she's left for dead, Fate sees that she gets resurrected, as the same undead being, now lusting for revenge. Sounds like a storyline straight out of The Crow, or even Kill Bill Volume II in the way she busts herself out from confinement.

And it gets cheesier as she follows their style in her crusade against those who did her in, except that it's less violent and less flashy compared to the two afore mentioned movies. Picking up tips and tricks from Marvel's Elektra and Blade, she too has a mentor who teaches her the ways to some hokey voodoo magic with her weapon of choice, a crossbow which shoots toothpick thin wooden stakes. Sadie Blake has one mission, and she doesn't mind dishing out collateral damage to help keep herself alive, so much so that you do not know whether to root for her, or condemn her for her weak will.

And unlike the other movies which made it fun following the hunter, Rise: Blood Hunter had to throw Michael Chiklis into the fray as a detective (what else?), and totally relegated his role that it became no more interesting than Lucy Liu's body double for her nude bits. And Chikils is not the only fine actor given nothing to do, as the late Mako unfortunately has this stinker in his filmography as his last starring role. The villains are probably the weakest you've seen (even Ghost Rider's had more bite), with absolutely zero powers except for pseudo-immortality - no super strength, no super speed, just plenty of hot air and an ultra high libido. Copious amount of thick red blood add colour to scenes

With a death scene lifted from Goldfinger (replace gold with blood), you just wonder if there's any original thought that went into the movie. Filled with bad acting, poorly shot action scenes, cringe-worthy dialogue and failed moments of suspense coming across as ideas running out, do yourself a favour and watch something else in this crowded summer season instead.

Movie Rating:

(Plays like a weak straight to video production, watch it at your own peril!)

Review by Stefan Shih


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