If you don’t know who Uwe Boll is, a Google search will enlighten you. After the obligatory IMDB, Wikipedia and Rotten Tomatoes pages, the next links go to a New York Times article, which opens, “Uwe Boll is often referred to as the worst filmmaker in the world,” the now-defunct StopUweBoll.org, an online petition against the man with over 350,000 signatures, and an unpleasant exchange of emails with Wired over their unfavourable review of Postal. If you need more, both House of the Dead and Alone in the Dark are firmly ensconced in the IMDB bottom 100.
It’s no coincidence that both these are video-game adaptations. as are most of Boll’s most critically-panned works, e.g. Bloodrayne and In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale. Hell hath no fury like a video-game geek irked, and they’re usually tech-savvy enough to shriek endlessly about their nerdrage online, to other video-game geeks. And actually getting a reaction from him puffs up their egos: he’s a lot more accessible and open about his feelings than. say. Michael Bay. Boll doesn’t seem to mind criticism, per se: in interviews, what he has railed against is hypocrisy – those who tell him to his face they like his movies, then bash it – or those who pre-judge his work. And I can see his latter point in particular: Bloodrayne made it into the IMDB bottom 100 before it was even released, thanks to the work of those I call “the Boll weevils”.
Mind you, I can see his enemies’ point too. While I enjoyed both House of the Dead and Bloodrayne more than most, I wouldn’t call either “good”, while Bloodrayne 2 is pretty close to unwatchable, and Far Cry isn’t much better, even with the godlike presence of Udo Kier. Basic rule of thumb: when Boll makes movies based on video-games, the results are likely to be uneven, and that’s putting it mildly. While those represent his bread-and-butter, his career his covered other territory too. We previously reviewed Heart of America, which is unspectacular but certainly not deserving of vitriol, and below, we look at some of Boll’s recent output, both in and outside of the genre for which he is best-known.