Uwe Boll is widely regarded as the boogie-man of cinema.
Uwe is famous for taking video games and cinematically making them cry into rape-kits. It all started with ‘House of the Dead’, a high-concept arcade game about shooting zombies in the face. Boll acquired the rights to base a movie on the game, but forgot to ask the internet exactly how much of it he had permission to fuck: (Apparently exactly none of it).
What Uwe failed to realize was that fans of computer games tend to be more vocal in disapproval than people who know the touch of a woman, and that the internet could multiply their anger in units measured in only in Chris Browns.
Ever since Microsoft developed keyboards that can be used with flippers and an angry erection, the internet has become the loudspeaker for a demographic of people who think Donkey-Kong has a hymen.
There is apparently no rage like a nerd’s rage and the fall out from ‘House of the Dead’ was so viciously personal, you’d think Boll had filmed himself putting his asshole over the mouths of each of his critics while they slept.
It could have all ended there, like an episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit episode entitled; Mysterious German fingerbangs game about impossible-chainsaw monsters, but then the internet caught him buying ‘Alone in the Dark’ a drink and telling it, its hair looked pretty.
By the time Bloodrayne arrived, the basement dwelling Uwe-haters had assembled themselves into some sort of unwashed Voltron, dedicated to impotently demanding he stop rubbing his dick and balls all over the sanctity of ‘not very good in the first place, video games’. The common complaint in his game-to-movie-translations was that he took horrible liberties in their plots. It somehow slipped past Bloodrayne fans that a game in which a fuckable-dracula collects coins and does almost three karate moves at Nazi wolfmen, probably doesn’t translate well into a two hour movie staring a very confused Ben Kingsley.
Plots in any game other than Skyrim exist only to utilize the ‘skip’ button on a controller or to give you a well timed moment to take a mid-Halo dump. I am from an old school perspective on video games where finding a rich, engaging plot in your game about murdering aliens in the face, is like a lapdancer telling you about her five year old son who loves dinosaurs. It’s cute, but you wish it would stop crying.
The video-game thing unfairly tarnishes Boll’s career, long before he started making movies about somersaulting vampires and Tara Reid: Ghost Scientist, he was producing movies not based on something that gives you 30,000 points for exploding a gorilla.
By 2002 he had already made nine movies, independently financed by German Tax loopholes and old timey witchery. Blackwoods & Heart of America are two of his earliest, and largely unseen movies, but both stand out as thought provoking and intelligent.
The entertainment industry is much like highschool. You can be a well liked, respected captain of the chess club, right up until the moment you shit your pants in gym-class. No matter what your previous or future achievements might be, from that moment on your reputation is as tarnished as that trampoline.
Boll however, was undaunted by his critics. Knowing full well that the seventh law of thermodynamics dictates that if someone talks smack about Christian Slater fighting space poltergeists, chances are, they are both wrong and completely punchable. In response to a petition to stop him from making any more movies, Uwe openly challenged his critics to a boxing match with the promise that if someone beat him, he’d retire.
Sadly, there is far more written about Boll’s terrible movies than there is about him being absolutely good at boxing. The results were as predictable as any battle between a crying ball of pussy and an unkillable crazy person who made three Bloodrayne movies.
Uwe left victorious but vowed never to make video game movies again since his inbox can only take so many whiny messages that read like the instruction manual for a menstrual belt.
Uwe Boll is an unfairly labeled monster. He is an intelligent man with a passion for movies, who got caught up in a shit-storm created by people who’s lives are dependent on accurate big screen versions of DIGDUG.
Boll has since moved past the game-to-movie adaptations and pursued a more personal direction of political and satirical pieces that usually sit poorly with the 30 million people who paid to see The Last Mimzy.
I got the chance to interview the man during his publicity drive for his new movie Assault on Wallstreet. Since i have a Masters degree in ‘Blubberella’ and a PHD in knowing exactly what the fuck a Dungeon Siege is, I was ideally suited to interview him both hard and drunk.
I genuinely love and respect his movies and was well aware that if I pissed him off, I could end up with an ass shaped like an angry German foot.
I caught up with Uwe at his house in Vancouver. Since no one at Cinema Sauce would pay my phone bill, I Skyped the fuck out of him. This in itself was hilarious since it turned out neither Uwe or I understand the intimate sorcery involved with web-conferencing and the first five minutes of the interview descended into us both shouting clumsily at our laptops, like foreplay between long distance truckers.
I cut Uwe some slack because of the time difference between Edinburgh and Canada. Since I was calling him exactly 8 hours into his future, I probably sounded very futuristic, and explaining Skype would be like handing a raygun to a caveman. It would be fun, but ultimately everything was going to smell like burnt hair.
FRED: Hi Mr Boll. Thanks for giving me the opportunity to interview you. I should take this opportunity to point out that I’m both drunk and not much of a journalist. In fact, in terms of journalistic professionalism, I’d be quicker traveling back in time and punching Joseph Pulitzer’s mother in the face.
FRED: Can I just say, I’m a huge fan of your movies and I’m not even being sarcastic.
BOLL: (laughs) Thanks. Hold on a second. Do I have to use my computer to open up the Skype thing? Can you see me?
FRED: I can’t really help you. As far as I’m concerned, this Skype thing is powered by wizards.
BOLL: Hold on. Give me a second. Ok. Got you. Right, hello. Let’s do this.
FRED: Awesome. I just spent the entire weekend watching ALL your movies on NETFLIX. Hilariously, after watching three movies about a back flipping Dracula with nice tits, NETFLIX ‘suggested’ I might enjoy ‘Failure to Launch’, which if you haven’t seen is a movie that could be summarised ‘Sarah Jessica Parker is a cunt’. So fuck NETFILX. If you were going to recommend a movie or a director to a fan, what would it be?
BOLL: You mean movies I like that aren’t my movies……other guys’ movies?
FRED: Yeah. Movies that aren’t yours.
BOLL: Ah ok. Well I’m a little older than you so I grew up in the 80s, so I LOVE Goodfellas, The Godfather, Apocalypse Now, Deerhunter. Raging Bull, stuff like this. The old Oliver Stone movies. I loved JFK, the more political movies but I also love the 50s/60s kind of movies with John Ford, William Wells, Orson Wells, Stanley Kubrick. Those ones, for me, were more influential and in the last few years…..um. Well for me, I just don’t think there are that many good movies out.
FRED: Clearly you missed ‘Maid of Honor’
BOLL: Right. Well, I should say I liked The Hangover. Comedies like that. Say, Superbad and things like that which are funny, totally entertaining and not completely fucked up.
For me, right now, the only genius thing is Family Guy. Have you seen it?
FRED: Oh yeah.
BOLL: You see that’s what I tried to do with my movie Postal. To have similar humor in a REAL movie. Where there are no holds barred. Where it is very dirty, very racist, very everything. And this is what my personal taste is and we dont really get that anymore in movies.
Oh, I enjoyed ‘There Will Be Blood’…….um but. Well, there are a lot of movies you can WATCH, there are a lot of GOOD movies you can watch, but there are no GREAT movies any more.
FRED: Somewhere, Paul Blart: Mall Cop demands a recount.
BOLL: Right. Yeah. I started my first movie Sanctuary in 1999. I think i made like maybe 15 movies in 12 years.
FRED: Holy shit.
BOLL: Then I got a family.
FRED: Your own or someone else’s?
BOLL: My own, here in Vancouver and you see I have more and more connections to Vancouver. When I made movies it was like half Germany, half Vancouver, but now it shifts more and more to Vancouver where my son goes to school.
FRED: Aw that’s pretty awesome.
BOLL: Yeah. Oh, The French Connection. You asked what movies I liked. I liked the more gritty 80s stuff like the French Connection.
FRED: POPEYE DOYLE AS FUCK. Actually, now you mention ‘gritty 80s movies’ can I ask a personal question? Have you seen Tango & Cash?
BOLL: Yah. TANGO AND CASH. For me, that is a perfect example of a perfect movie.
FRED: You’re fucking right!
BOLL: (laughs) um. How old is that movie now? 15 years?
FRED: It’s ageless. It can’t be measured in years, only in inches of how little fuck it gave.
BOLL: Yah. Also that Lethal Weapon. The first one. I mean, Lethal weapon, Tango and Cash, they were really entertaining movies. Days before it was just one fucking superhero movie after another fucking superhero movie. They come out every week……..I read how the Avengers is such a good movie. Such a great movie? I just watched it on video on demand and I couldn’t watch it. It was so fucking boring. (Laughing) It’s all talking, like that one scene when they’re all just talking…….like here’s a scene in a movie about unstoppable superheros, lets have Thor TALK to Ironman and then, like we could have Ironman go TALK to that other guy. You know what else has people talking at each other? SOAP OPERAS.
I mean, that’s an example of why I find movies so unwatchable these days. I went to New York to promote Assault on Wall Street movie and on the airplane, they’re playing that fucking movie. Oh fuck and now the Hobbit. I can’t get over the fucking Hobbit. I think the Hobbit is a disaster. It’s like super-boring. I’d watch Gordon Ramsay’s kitchen Nightmares before I’d watch the Hobbit again.
FRED: But it’s four hours of Midgets singing. Someone clearly worked out there is a specific demographic for that.
BOLL: (laughing) I know. I mean, like 2 hours into that movie they cut to 30 minutes of talking to that Gollum guy about the ring. The Hobbit talks to him for like half an hour about a ring and it takes a lot of nerves as a director and a lot of idiotic fans to pull, after 2 hours of nothing, like a 30 minute dialogue scene with a goblin in a cave. I mean, you have to be sitting there going OH MY GOD WHEN WILL IT EVER END? That movie was really boring. Look at Jack Reacher with Tom Cruise.
FRED: I’d rather not.
BOLL: No, it’s an entertaining movie, but at the very end, you don’t even know why that guy shot everybody. You know the guy at the start, the random shooting? It never really nails it down as to why he shot those innocent people. It gives you nothing and then the guy eats his own fingers. It’s completely absurd. In fact it’s ridiculously absurd and stuff like this is just pissing me off more and more.
FRED: OK, then let’s make a better movie. Let’s make the perfect movie, no holds barred. Who do you cast? I don’t want to influence your answer but I’m throwing Nicholas Cage, ALF and Gary Busey in for consideration.
BOLL: A perfect cast? Oh are you talking like in an Expendables way? You see, take the Expendables……or rather take Tango and Cash and compare it to The Expendables and you see exactly what happened to cinema in the last 15 to 16 years.
You have all these action stars up on screen and the only interesting bit is when somebody is making a joke. I guess I would love to work with great actors, but only ones who it would be fun to work with. You know? Like someone who’d enjoy working with me and, well, you see people say things like ‘Oh dont work with Bruce Willis. He’s all pissed off’ or ‘Don’t work with Jim Carrey, he’s an asshole’, so I guess it’s about reputation. There are some actors who have a good reputation, who I’d love to work with like Kurt Russell.
FRED: OH FUCK YES.
BOLL: (laughs) and even Mel Gibson (laughs) even if he is….um….wait. ok. I LOVE Apocalypto, that’s like one of my favorite movies in years. I think Mel Gibson is a great actor and a great director, I mean maybe he is a lunatic and an alcoholic but I never heard anyone say that he is an asshole on set. He’s a team player, everyone says on set he has no ‘attitude’ so he would definitely be on my list but definitely NOT Nicholas Cage, because I know him. He shot here with my production friend on Wicker Man and he’s completely an asshole.
FRED: NOOOOOOO. Maybe it was just Travolta wearing his face.
BOLL: Yeah, he like demands something like two billion in perks to spend per movie, so yeah. He seems an idiot. But I love Dominic Purcell, who I just worked with. Great actor. Super nice guy. Right, so…..um Gary Busey? (Laughs) well we all know he is all sorts of completely crazy, so…..no.
FRED: Have you ever considered directing a porno? Seriously, do you know how awesome it would be if Uwe Boll made a porn movie? People would kill to see that. We all love porn and you are absolutely the right man to bring an exciting new edge to the story of pizza delivery and ass hammering.
BOLL: Porn? Well yes of course. You remember the movie Baise Moi. Really good movie, French gangster film but it also has some very hardcore sex scenes and I remember sitting there in the theatre thinking “You know? There is probably a really big market for this.” I mean, what would the world be like if porno movies were actually ‘good movies’ (laughs) like a good story with people you care about on screen and THEN THEY FUCK (laughs) you would then have a totally new dimension on the porn genre.
FRED: No one has needed to make porn, harder than you.
BOLL: But I’m not a porn director. I dont think I could make porn but a movie where sex could actually happen, for real, I could do that.
FRED: Bloodrayne 4: Kurt Russell, Gary Busey, spitroast sexy dracula?
BOLL: No. Next question.
FRED: Since my only perceptions of Germany are based on ‘Allo Allo’ and everyone Captain America punched, how does Germany’s entertainment media differ from every not-German place on the planet? Did you guys have a German version of Knightrider or the A-Team? What’s German cinema like?
BOLL: Well of course we had the Knightrider and the A-Team, but they were in German. They weren’t our shows. You see the biggest difference is that films/entertainment in Germany is completely subsidized. You see for every 100 German films made, only 10 have any audience, the other 90 are made for arthouse and have tax payers money rammed up their ass (laughs) so they can’t really make the movies they really want to make. I was always such an outsider in German cinema because I make genre-movies and they hate me and did everything in their power to keep me out of the business. So from this point of view I hate the German system but love the American system even though it’s full of idiots and frauds and people steal and everything, BUT at the same time, America chewed out all the great movies. The movies I really like.
FRED: I have to ask the old question about your critics. I think you get such an unfair rep from movie audiences, the internet, even other directors. Shit, Michael Bay even weighed in on exactly how crap he thinks you are and he made Transformers, Revenge of the Fallen. Seriously, I watched all three of those fucking movies and I still have no idea what the hell I watched. I watch three Bloodrayne movies and you better fucking believe I know I watched six hours of tightly orchestrated vampire flipping.
BOLL: I think I am at a disadvantage because I am something Hollywood hates…….I’M A GERMAN. Seriously, you know the only Germans they accept are ones who suck up to them like Roland Emmerich and Wolfgang Peters, you know? Look at the movies they do, like the most patriotic movies ever made. Day After Tomorrow or Airforce One.
FRED: GET OFF MY PLANE.
BOLL: (laughs) Super American Hero, patriotic shit basically. By German Directors.
I’m more of an Anti-America director. More political…….. politically incorrect. So I criticise them and this, together with the video game……um, geeks. They hate me, they went off at me, they tried to destroy me at one point. They were my biggest problem and basically after Bloodrayne, I was basically FUCK YOU. If they can’t see the difference between Bloodrayne and House of the Dead and the games they were based on, then fuck them. And also, they compare my films to the best of the genre…..seriously, how about you compare Bloodrayne to Electra and I think Bloodrayne is better than Electra.
FRED: Absolutely. Fuck Electra. That movie was just a director’s awkward apology to his father.
BOLL: It was the same problem with Bloodrayne 2, that they went so over the top trashing them that they lost perspective in comparison. I mean look at the Golden Compass. I mean, fuck. I think In the Name of The King is better than the Hobbit.
FRED: I will agree, but not just because I’m drunk. Fuck the Hobbit. Give me Jason Strathan zip-lining into a Orc’s crotch any day.
BOLL: YES. I think it’s way more enjoyable watching Jason do that. They really do need to be fairer on me.
FRED: Ok, plans for the future? What are you up to next?
BOLL: More movies, thats my plan for the future. I make movies. I sell the movies. I exist for that. You see, I make the movies myself, it’s my business. I built it on the movies I made, the connections. I have distribution rights in over 100 countries and I built this all up with the 30 odd films I made. I have a whole army behind me you could say, and this is very good.
FRED: (laughs) Who doesn’t like a passionate German with an army behind him?
BOLL: This is why I still exist. I do love making movies, but with every new movie I try to make them more personal, like with Rampage, Auschwitz, Assault on Wallstreet.
FRED: I have to say I loved ‘Rampage’ and I loved that everyone was so surprised that it turned out to be an actually good movie, like finding a vagina on Gary Busey.
BOLL: Yah. I do always try to surprise people. To be a little bit different. I write them myself and I hope to make my movies more personal and more radical like that and the audience will go with me. If I sell as many Rampages and Assault On Wall Street DVDs as I did with Bloodraynes then I will absolutely keep doing what I’m doing. For me, making movies is a simple question…….is the movie I am going to make a movie that I would actually want to see……and so far…..Fuck yes.
FRED: You know what kind of movie people like to see? TIME TRAVELLING POLICEMAN MOVIES! I dont want to be presumptious enough to suggest a genre for you to get into, but if there is one absolute in the cinema universe, it’s that people fucking love Timecops.
BOLL: (laughs) Well, I kinda did it already with In the Name of The King 2. With him travelling back in time for whatever reason and he was a military guy. But it’s always an interesting idea, like a guy travels through time and is ‘WHAT THE FUCK?’. I like that.
FRED: I’ll end this interview on a high that only a shared love of crime-fighting-in-the-past can bring. It’s been a genuine pleasure Mr Boll. Please never stop doing what you do.
BOLL: My pleasure. Anytime.
And with that, Uwe returned to his life of passionate film making and shitting on the dreams of computer game fans. I came away from the interview, confidently assured that Boll is not only a smart, funny and honest guy, but someone who actually cares about cinema.
Movies are a subjective media and can not hope to please everyone who watches them. More and more movies are made to demographics; coldly designed to appeal to an unfussy mass audience. Successful movies aren’t made for the individual since a $10 dollar profit will barely cover the cost of Megan Fox’s anal bleaching.
Uwe makes movies for the individual. It just happens to be that the individual in question is exactly Uwe Boll. This isn’t a bad thing, since anyone who loves movies can relate to his passion and come away from three Bloodrayne movies unquestionably entertained.
We’ll leave you with the trailer to the aforementioned Assault on Wall Street starring Dominic Purcell.