Sadie Blake (Lucy Liu) dies and comes backs to life several times in Rise—Blood Hunter, which gives this revenge tale impetus to continue perhaps longer than it needs to. At over two hours long, this film, written and directed by Sebastian Gutierrez (Snakes on A Plane), is beautifully filmed and acted at times but drags due to the drawn out story of a LA Weekly reporter who seeks revenge on her murderer, the vampire head of an underground blood-sucking cult. This handsome monster, Bishop (James D'Arcy), charms women, kidnaps them, and slits their throats with his claw-shaped necklace, stumping the entire LAPD minus Clyde Rawline (Michael Chilkis), a hard-drinking policeman who eventually teams up with Blake to hunt and destroy the vampiric ringleader.
The scenes depicting initial doses of violence, like when Blake wakes up in a metal casket at the morgue, or when she's originally killed in Bishop's bed, covered in black trash bags to avoid bloodstains, feature crisp film footage awash in blue and red, setting a semi-poetic mood. Mostly, Rise—Blood Hunter operates on the vampire tales' conflation of sex and death, taking a sexy tone throughout, especially when Sadie or her fellow vampire, Collette (Cameron Richardson), feast on blood then strip off their sullied clothing.
Blake's vengeance underpins her rebellious attitude, as she shoots her crossbow at each person she meets on the trail to Bishop. Though Rise—Blood Hunter is not a classic in the genre, it is enticing to add Lucy Liu to the list of gorgeous vampire slayers.