'Rise' On The Sci Fi Channel

Here I am loving the new site, and while I waited for it to come online, I ended up watching a movie with Lucy Liu, Michael Chiklis, Nick Lachey and Marilyn Manson. It was written by Sebastian Gutierrez (Snakes on a Plane, Gothika) and was produced by Aubrey Henderson, (30 Days of Night, The Grudge) and Nathan Kahane (The Strangers, 30 Days of Night, The Grudge).

I'm not saying this is a must-see line up of credits, but you'd think that with this series of credits that I went out to the movie theater or rented something, but I didn't. I stayed home and watched Rise: Blood Hunter Saturday night on The Sci-Fi Channel and it wasn't the usual hokey flick they run on Saturday nights.

The movie I believe went straight to DVD in 2007 but made it's way to Sci-Fi Channel for a pleasant surprise.

It's a standard revenge type movie where Liu plays a woman (Sadie Blake) who's attacked and (they thought) killed by vampires, but somehow through her own sheer will to survive, becomes a vampire herself. She does not like who or what she is and goes on the standard vendetta of revenge to hunt down the vampires that did this to her.

As Lucy's character becomes aware of her new existence, she has an instinctual awareness of her innate abilities and unique needs. (They either glossed over the idea of how she learns that she needs to feed, or quietly pushed her instinct growth.) In order to achieve her goals, she needs to exist long enough to accomplish her task. Her first feeding can stretch your gore meter to the limit if you are a bit squeamish as she doesn't know to go for the jugular yet, so get ready for that aspect. Along the way she joins forces with Michael Chiklis who plays a cop (Clyde Rawlins) on his own vendetta looking for the murderers of his daughter, who was also killed by the same group of vampires. Small world, huh?

The movie reminded me a bit of Blade with Wesley "I don't pay my taxes" Snipes and the instant cult classic, The Crow with the late Brandon Lee.

As the movie progresses, the viewer encounters actors that look familiar. I didn't recognize Chiklis at first, I thought it was an actor that looked like him... OK, so I'm not that bright sometimes. Then you come across a young thug who isn't in the movie long that looks familiar and yes, it's Nick Lachey. And there's a bar tender we see for a few scenes that just nags at your subconscious. I had to look it up, and it's Marilyn Manson.

As I mentioned, there's no shortage of bloody gore and if it weren't TV, you'd be treated to some interesting visuals but one unique detail I think I noticed is I don't believe anyone ever mentioned the word vampire. I could be wrong, but I don't remember hearing it.

There's nothing spectacular about the movie, but the cast brings enough depth to the characters existence that makes this movie entertaining enough to watch from your couch and not regret it or groan in pain from the over-cheesy factor you usually get from Sci-Fi Saturday nights.

The movie is also known as Rise, the title I first referenced is the DVD title, but at this point I have to wonder what is up with Liu's career if she's headed down the fantasy genre of direct to DVD movies. I checked and she's productively employed, so maybe this was a favor or just something fun considering the rest of the cast wasn't exactly unknowns either.

I sometimes don't want to give out stars, so I give it a "I won't not recommend it" rating but I'm not sure I would rush out and buy the DVD tomorrow... wait, why would I? It's on TV!

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