Some of you may (or may not have) heard of Uwe Boll. If the name doesn’t ring a bell, then his movies certainly do (especially if you’re a gamer). He has directed or produced alot of movies based on video games, and as most of you already know, the whole video game to movie translation doesn’t work out so well most of the time. To his credit (or discredit), he has directed or produced the following movies:
He has directed many other films, but these campy (but still big-budget) films are his best known works. Uwe paid a surprise visit to the Penny Arcade Expo in Seattle on Friday evening, and he was met with an angry crowd, who jeered him as his fielded questions before previewing his new film, Postal.
Postal is based on the controvertial 10-year-old franchise by Running with Scissors games, in which a deadbeat from a trailer park goes on a shooting spree that’s filled with macabre and sick humor. Regardless of its qualifications in taste, Postal has been a cult classic video game, and has fueled policital debates about video game censorship.
The Postal movie is also controvertial, although it is loaded with dry satire. One clip in the movie shows two Arabic men in a cockpit of a commercial jetliner debating about how they will be exhaulted and receive 99 virgins for their martyrdom. When they can’t agree on how many virgins they will each receive, they call Osama bin Ladin on the cell phone for confirmation.
Other scenes in the movie depict a full-blown attack at the DMV, but the workers are oblivious as they are protected by bullet-proof glass. Those in line pick through scrable through dead corpses to find a ticket with a shorter number in line. The movie ends with the Postal Dude surrounded by terrorists, cheerleaders, rednecks, and just about every other stereotype in the book all aiming firearms at our anti-hero.
At the end of the preview, Mr. Boll fielded questions, and I was surprised at how mis-behaved the audience was. Some even rushed the microphone, fuming with so much anger that they could barely scream out their displeasure. “That is the most racist, pig-headed thing I have ever seen. How could you… Argh…” screamed one young woman before she was taken from the microphone.
Many others mockingly praised Uwe for “having the balls” to show up. I can understand how some people may not like his films, but so much that they scorn him at this level? Alot of those in the audience were teenagers, so it seemed they were just getting in on the feeding frenzy rather than having formed their own opinion on the subject.
One person asked “Given your obvious lack of taste, how is it that people keep giving you money?” The director answered that House of the Dead, for example, cost 7 million to make, and made over 60 million dollars worldwide. Regardless of the quality of the movie, his movies make the studios very happy. He added that he really didn’t like the script, but it was the only one that Sega approved, and when you license a video game franchise then the game studio has the final say.
Some even commented that he should feel scared because the audience was likely to rush the stage. Many of the comments that the audience members were broadcasting into the microphone would get a person arrested if said on the street.
One person wanted his $13 back from rentind Bloodrayne and House of the Dead. Obviously he was mimicking the South Park episode when Stan tried to get his money back from Mel Gibson after watching “The Passion of the Christ”. Uwe tertly replied that the young man should take his complaint up with Blockbuster.
Another asked what was the deal with the “Alone in the Dark” movie, as it seemed to have no similarity with the prior video games. Mr. Boll replied that Atari was supposed to release “Alone in the Dark 5” at the same time of the movie (which also had a similar plot), but fell behind schedule and the movie was released before the video game was completed. So, it appears that the movie had nothing to do with the previous franchise, but it was supposed to.
After the last few questions were answered, Mr. Boll strolled off the stage, and I quickly ran up to him and shook his hand with genuine respect. Regardless of what others in the audience seemed to think, I feel Uwe Bolls deserved a lot more respect than he received at PAX 2007.