Rise: Blood Hunter (R)

Horror 94 June 1, 2007
By Brian Miller
Go figure why the studio didn't screen this yawner in advance of opening, when its vampire-slaying heroine (Lucy Liu) is an alt-weekly journalist at our sister publication, L.A. Weekly. For that reason alone, plus Liu parading topless in discreet shadows, R:BH might've earned a few kind words. Liu's cover story on the Goth scene takes her to a coven -- brood? pack? posse? gaggle? -- of vampires led by a metrosexual Brit (James D'Arcy); in short order she's killed, raped, and reanimated from the dead -- apparently not a condition covered by the company health plan. Collapsible purse-sized crossbow in hand, she takes revenge alongside a tough cop (Michael Chiklis, talk about imaginative casting) whose daughter also got chomped. Unfortunately, all of this takes place in an L.A. that's apparently never seen Buffy. R:BH is played unrelentingly straight, and if you can't be stylish (see those Kate Beckinsale Underworld movies), you'd better be funny about the two-sides-of-the-same-coin vampire movie conventions. Without Joss Whedon to help her, Liu comes across as just another stiff waving a wooden stake.
Sebastian Gutierrez Lucy Liu, Michael Chiklis, Carla Gugino, James D'Arcy, Samaire Armstrong, Paul Cassell, Robert Forster, Zach Gilford, Ashley Hinson, Margo Harshman Sebastian Gutierrez Carsten H.W. Lorenz, Greg Shapiro IDP Distribution

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