Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Rise: Blood Hunter, Lucy Liu is Extraordinary as a Vampire seeking.....well...Blood!

I first saw Rise: Blood Hunter (2007) on the Syfy channel, and was very impressed.  Little did I know at the time, the 93 minute version which knocked my socks off was not the uncut version. I purchased the DVD, which contains the 122 minute (uncut) version.  This version is in my top 10 vampire films of all time.  Lucy Liu (Cypher and Kill Bill) and Michael Chiklis (The Shield) are both phenomenal.
The plot:  Liu plays Sadie Blake, an investigative reporter, searching for a missing teen-aged girl.  She gets too close to the truth, and the horror begins. The truth?  A gang/cult of vampires are foraging through Los Angeles.  Blake is a good reporter, and as she pieces the facts together regarding the teen's demise, she is abducted by the vampires and "turned" in a very erotic scene featuring Eve (Carla Gugino) and Ethan.  Unfortunately for those two seemingly suave and sexy vampires, Sadie spends her vampire days not feasting on runaway teens, but murdering vampires in this cult.  Armed with a mini-crossbow, she is very effective in exacting the ultimate revenge.  Her crusade is momentarily complicated by Michael Chiklis, who is the dad of that missing runaway she was originally investigating.  They form an unholy alliance in order to wipe out these bloodsuckers.
One of the most uncomfortable aspects of this movie is watching Sadie, after being turned, gradually lose her human soul.  In one scene, her family believes she is dead (I guess they were right), she visits her mother who is sleeping in her home.  Sadie looks upon her mother lovingly, with sadness.  Later, Sadie visits her again, this time she looks as if she wants to drain her mother of her blood.
The performances are terrific from top to bottom.  The horror, blood and eroticism are rampant for all 122 minutes.  Sadie's transformation into a vampire is dramatic, especially as her hunger grows for human blood. As she repels, not only the aggression of the vampire cult, she must also deal with Eve's carnal attraction to her. We the viewer are absolutely drawn in to the plight of Liu and Chiklis.  See this film!

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