‘Rise: Blood Hunter’ is…well, Lucy Liu is Awesome (review)

Sadie (Lucy Liu) is a reporter who decides it would be a swell idea to explore the sketchy neighborhood where a series of killings occurred, all by herself. (Though in her defense, no one knows they were committed by vampires.) Here’s my paraphrase of the scene when Sadie is on the phone with her colleague, who promised to come with her and bails while she’s driving over there:

Colleague: “So I’m totally not coming with you to the murder house after all.”

Sadie: “Well, I’m already on my way over there, so definitely no reason I shouldn’t go alone.”

Colleague: “Seems legit.”

Sadie: “I’ll be right back…”

To complete this mess, she clunks around in extremely impractical sandals, calling “Hello?” for no particular reason. So it’s no surprise when she wakes up dead in a morgue. Undead, whatever. In a wave of remorse and anger about being turned, she wages war on the creatures who spawned her, especially the head vampire, Bishop:

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If you’ve seen James Darcy play Anthony Perkins in Hitchcock, you can’t un-see it

You get a pretty clear picture of the movie if you combine the self-loathing vampire-hunting of Blade mixed with the roaring rampages of revenge in Kill Bill and The Crow; make sure to add gratuitous nudity while subtracting gratuitous shots of feet and a few IQ points. Seriously, Sadie gets knocked unconscious an inordinate amount of times (I lost count at 3), and she’s gotta be getting concussions like nobody’s business.

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The face of a woman too confounded by head injuries to notice she’s a vampire yet

The movie is quite a bit longer than it needs to be. The vampires aren’t even that hard to kill, so the runtime is padded with Sadie’s cop buddy, played by Ernie Hudson–sorry, Michael Chiklis. Liu brightens up the place, but she’s wasted in that she doesn’t get to do anything super cool and action-ish. I do appreciate the scene when she picks up a call girl and kisses her; but sadly, it’s part of a trap, and her heterosexuality is firmly established when she expresses a wish for a boyfriend who cooks.

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I had difficulty finding a picture of that scene without nudity, which I’d prefer to avoid, so pretend Calista Flockhart is a different white lady
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The director’s girlfriend–ahem, Carla Gugino, as Eve. She’s a lotta awesome–Gugino, not Eve.

The plot is totally derivative, but if you’re a sucker (ha-HA, see what I did there?) for Lucy Liu, who rarely gets starring roles, you may enjoy it. It’s made by Ghost House Pictures, it’s pretty painless, and it’s fairly entertaining.

Published by GhoulieJoe

I wuvs the horror movies and like to write snarky reviews about them. I also included some pretentious as hell microfiction (don't worry, it's at the bottom).

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