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 GutierrezLucy Liu, Michael Chiklis, Carla Gugino, James D'Arcy, Samaire Armstrong, Paul Cassell, Robert Forster, Zach Gilford, Ashley Hinson, Margo HarshmanSebastian GutierrezCarsten H.W. Lorenz, Greg ShapiroIDP Distribution