Written and directed by Sebastian Gutierrez and starring Lucy Liu and Michael Chiklis, Rise was Gutierrez’s third time at bat as a director. Despite the talented cast and taut storyline, Rise on it’s release got a pretty poor reception. It received a 33% from Rotten Tomatoes and a 5.0 on IMDb.
Lucy Lui plays Sadie Blake a reporter who specializes in doing undercover work and showing the ‘underbelly’ of society.
She gets a tip from a colleague who works as a computer ‘Hacker’ and he has traced a reference to a Goth Vampire Cult that is meeting in Korea Town.
Sadie decides to follow up the lead. When she reaches the address of the meeting place, it is deserted except for the blood that adorns the floors and walls.
She is knocked unconscious by Bishop’s servant Poe (Mako in his last live action role) and taken to the leader of the vampires Bishop (James D’Arcy) who questions Sadie and then with the help of Eve (Carla Gugino) rapes, tortures and murders her.
She wakes up in a drawer in the morgue. She realizes pretty quickly that she is now a member of the un-dead. She leaves the hospital and eventually finds her way to Arturo (Julio Oscar Mechoso) who is also a vampire.
Sadie explains that she wants to kill Bishop and Arturo agrees to help, it appears that he and Bishop are in some sort of power struggle.
While tracking Bishop down, Sadie gets arrested by cop Clyde Rawlins (Michael Chiklis). Rawlins lost his daughter to Bishop and his life has been all but destroyed by this event.
Sadie finally convinces Clyde to help her take Bishop down. Clyde agrees and the two work together.
I enjoyed this film a lot. There were areas that were a bit vague or not explained very well, but the sheer speed of the film and its action made up for this.
I liked Lucy Lui’s character as well as Michael Chiklis’s. I also like the ‘Egyptian’ looking small knife that the vampires used to cut their victims. It made me think of the Ankh symbol used by the Egyptian vampire Miriam (Catherine Deneuve) in The Hunger (1983).
I love good vampire films and to me this jumped into the ‘top twenty list’ of my favourites. It is worth a watch just to see Mako in his last action role.
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