- Being a second sequel to the little-loved 2005 videogame adaptation BloodRayne
- Ineptly roping World War II, Hitler, and the Nazis into the BloodRayne mythology
- Continuing the preternaturally persistent, prolific film career of the unsinkable Uwe Boll
- Awkwardly inserting a softcore lesbian sex scene that’s gratuitous and unnecessary even by the lenient standards of a second sequel to a Uwe Boll-directed videogame adaptation
Defenders: Director Uwe Boll (of course) and writer Michael C. Nachoff
Tone of commentary: In inimitable Uwe Boll fashion, the commentary is simultaneously bewilderingly proud, intermittently insulting, and unapologetically sleazy. It’s also surprisingly free of acrimony, even though Boll only used two-thirds of Nachoff’s screenplay in the film, offhandedly explaining that, for example, a bar scene Nachoff wrote was cut because “[the actors] couldn’t pull it off. They couldn’t do the physically action. They were not good enough both to do this, and the dialogue sucked.” (Other Nachoff-written scenes that didn’t make it into the final film include a German soldier masturbating before being coldly dispatched by the heroine, and a shot of a woman pulling a gun out of her vagina.)
The ever-agreeable Nachoff not only doesn’t object, but agrees it’s good the scene was cut. In fact, Nachoff tends to agree with everything Boll says. When Boll insisted on a lesbian sex scene in a bordello, Nachoff initially resisted, reasoning, “She’s on a revenge kick through Eastern Europe on the Eastern front killing Nazis. She’s not going to stop and have sex in a bordello.” Then he conceded: “It just kind of fits into the story.” Duh! What revenge kick through Nazi Germany is complete without bordello sex?
In spite of claiming everyone liked Nachoff’s script and that he’s happy with the overall film, Boll clearly sees it as a fast-paced gore-and-boob delivery system, and he happily cut anything that got in the way of that mission. In particular, he cut anything that was at all costly or complicated, or involved people yammering away when skulls could be bashed open and boobs could be ogled. As Boll puts it, “One of the biggest sales aspects is, ‘Yes, we go for it! We do full nudity and whatever, yeah!’” This distinguishes Boll’s films from their higher-budgeted, less-shitty peers. Boll says of his squeamish competitors, “Kate Beckinsale would never be acting naked in Underworld,” and while Milla Jovovich is “not so picky” in the Resident Evil franchise, “she is not doing nudity.”
What went wrong: What didn’t go wrong, in spite of Boll’s conviction that The Third Reich is both a good film and the best of the trilogy? Boll concedes early on that he wasn’t initially overjoyed with the film:
When I shot it, based on various reasons, there, I was not 100 percent happy. I was not really happy with [stars] Natassia Malthe and here, Brendan Fletcher. They actually hooked up during the production and were like Brangelina acting, basically, you know. Like, these two were flipping out, acting like they were the new dream couple of Hollywood, which they are of course not. So I think this was pissing everybody off.
Even more distressingly, not everyone was with Boll’s pro-nudity agenda, including the entire country of Croatia, where the film was shot:
In Croatia it’s not easy to find girls or whatever, who play naked or nudity in a way. It’s a very Catholic state, and so it was not easy. The girls were not really so pretty, basically, a lot who are running around in the bordello, not so pretty. Then Malthe was, on the day, really nervous, and said, “I don’t want to do it. I don’t want to do it.” And before that, she said she had no problem in doing it, and then she had a problem doing it.
Though he admits he initially tried to lure Kristanna Loken, the star of the first film, back into the franchise, nudity was at the core of his decision to cast Malthe. Boll classily concedes, “I made an offer to Natassia Malthe. I said, ‘I need you full-on nude. I need you in sex scenes in the movie, or I don’t give you the part, you don’t do it.’” The headaches didn’t end with finally convincing Malthe to stand by her commitment to nudity. On directing the sex scene, Boll fumes, “I really had to yell around ‘Kiss her! Kiss her!’ And then nothing happened, and it took forever until we got the two a little heated up, because [co-star] Davorka had problems with it also.” Boll laid down the law with his screenwriter as well: “In BloodRayne 2, there was basically no sex. So I told you from the beginning on it, if you going to write that script, write some sex scenes then, because this is what people really liked from the first one. That Kristanna Loken was not prude or whatever.”
Elsewhere, Boll bitches that American filmmakers and actors are constantly worried about covering their ass against lawsuits if logos or the names of real people are used without permission. (Clint Howard, specifically, was concerned about actually playing Josef Mengele, rather than a Mengele-like doctor.) Boll contrasts this with the more lenient ways of his European counterparts, boasting, “In Europe, you can be in McDonald’s restaurant, drinking Coca-Cola, and you say, ‘My name is George Bush,’ like, and you don’t have to clear anything up.” The sycophantic Nachoff agrees. After all, why wouldn’t an image-conscious corporation like McDonald’s or Coca-Cola want to be involved with a Nazi-themed sex-and-gore-saturated Uwe Boll movie?
Boll further explains how he cavalierly endangered a crewmember’s health. At 3 in the morning in a bar, Boll dared a makeup artist to drink a moldy, 20-year-old bottle of vinaigrette for 50 Euros. (Even Boll’s bar bets are low-budget.) The next day, the poor woman’s eyes turned red. Funny postscript: She spent 2,000 Euros at a hospital in Paris because the incident made her so violently ill. She ended up spending her entire salary for the film on medical bills. Boll says he felt bad for her, so he bought her a beer when he ran into her at a film festival. But he defends his actions: “The reality is, we do all kinds of these strange things during a shoot, always.”
Comments on the cast: Boll doesn’t limit his insults to the cast of the new movie. He complains that on the first BloodRayne, the food was bad, the hotels were shitty, and worst of all, there was “a drunken Michael Madsen on the set always.” Even more randomly, he insists, BloodRayne co-star Michelle Rodriguez “could never do an accent without making of fool out of herself.”
Boll delivers some weirdly mixed praise when he mentions that co-star Michael Paré “started big with Streets On Fire [sic], The Philadelphia Experiment,” but then he “didn’t made it” and “went a little down the drain” before rallying with a string of masterful, universally lauded turns in Uwe Boll movies. Nachoff mentions with some bewilderment and irritation that Pare attempted a German accent in Boll’s superhero spoof Blubberella, but puzzlingly did not do so in BloodRayne: The Third Reich, even though he was playing a German Nazi. Then Nachoff again reassures himself that the film is “one of those international movies where you have to suspend disbelief and everyone talks in a different accent, even though they’re all supposed to be German.”
As an aside, Boll was disappointed that Willam Belli, a cross-dressing actor Boll cast as the comic relief in Blubberella, was insufficiently macho for the role they cast him in: “If you would put him for more than 20 seconds in a shot, you would see he was more woman as a man. You would see it, and I told him, ‘Use your fee for an operation.’”
Inevitable dash of pretension: Boll refers to both of the preceding BloodRayne movies as “classical.” He also says he intended to make them into a trilogy “from the beginning on,” which somehow doesn’t stop him from adding that he wants to make a fourth one.
Boll wanted a scene to have an Inglourious Basterds feel, but had to rein it in: “For this, you need, like really, really, really good actors. What they are not.” But he favorably compares his film to Quentin Tarantino’s: “We deliver the gore and the sex in 80 minutes what they deliver in three hours.” (He’s selling himself short; BloodRayne 3 is actually only about 72 minutes long.)
Commentary in a nutshell: Of his hilarious bet with the makeup artist, Boll delivers a quip that could apply to his crew and to audience members alike: “Never bet with Uwe Boll. You lose no matter what.”