Now that Uwe Boll has announced his retirement from filmmaking, people who enjoy bad movies will have to find another director to rip apart during fun movie nights of riffing and drinking. The group that is probably the happiest is the video game crowd, since the man responsible for defiling some of the most beloved cult games in cinematic form has finally called it quits.
In honor of the director who could very well be this generation's Ed Wood, here are the five best worst aspects of Uwe Boll's many notorious movies based on video games.
5. Amazingly Bad Action Scenes
- Movie: House Of The Dead, Alone In The Dark and In The Name Of The King: A Dungeon Siege Tale
- Year of Release: 2003, 2005, 2007
- Rotten Tomatoes Score: 4%, 1%, 4%
Great action scenes take a lot of hard work to film, but that's not the case when Uwe Boll sits on the director's chair. Thanks to his direction and style, Boll's action scenes became some of the most laughably bad examples of onscreen combat ever seen.
House Of The Dead featured outdated slow-motion rotating camera angles straight out of The Matrix movies, while Alone In The Dark showed its biggest gunfight in complete darkness that was interrupted by random flashes of gunfire. The laziest Boll action scene to date comes from In The Name Of The King. Here, the climactic duel between the rival mages played by Ray Liotta and John Rhys-Davies is composed of mind-controlled floating swords going at it. In a fantasy movie with warring armies, a duel between floating swords was definitely the best choice for a climax.
4. Celebrities On Autopilot
- Movie: Bloodrayne and In The Name Of The King: A Dungeon Siege Tale, In The Name Of The King 2: Two Worlds
- Year of Release: 2005, 2007, 2011
- Rotten Tomatoes Score: 4%, 4%, 3.10/10 on IMDB
When Boll gets a decent budget, he spends it wisely by hiring big named stars to headline his movies. The thing is, he never figured out how to direct these talents properly, resulting in some of the most lifeless and painfully hilarious performances from otherwise respectable names. Seeing these established people not give a crap is something that has to be seen to be believed.
Bloodrayne featured Meatloaf, Michael Madsen, Michelle Rodriguez and even Sir Ben Kingsley playing their supporting roles with as little effort as possible, while In The Name Of The King headlined Jason Statham doing his best as a character literally named "Farmer." Supporting Farmer in the same movie were Ray Liotta, John Rhys-Davies and Ron Perlman at their campy best, while the sequel (In The Name Of The King 2: Two Worlds) starred an emotionless time travelling Dolph Lundgren floating through scenes.
The best casting choice Boll ever made came from the first In The Name Of The King, where Burt Reynolds played a king who is also Farmer's father. King Burt Reynolds was as awesome as the previous sentence implied.
3. Death By Pixels
- Movie: House Of The Dead
- Year of Release: 2003
- Rotten Tomatoes Score: 4%
Most of Boll's video game based movies have been accused of being unfaithful adaptations, but House Of The Dead at least had the effort to stay loyal to its source material. Boll's House Of The Dead adaptation was so loyal to the games that it spliced actual footage from the arcade games into the movie. Given how the movie's zombies ate their victims, the added gameplay was both jarring and unnecessary.
Even weirder was Boll's choice to recreate the character's Game Over screens from the games for his movie adaptation - complete with a spinning camera and a red screen fading into the shot. Translating a video game to the big screen is a tough task that even Warcraft director Duncan Jones had difficulty with, but Boll's decision to add pixelated scenes directly lifted from the games is one of the best examples of what not to do in a video game adaptation.
2. Heil Uwe
- Movie: Blubberella
- Year of Release: 2011
- IMDB Score: 2.5/10
As if his movies weren't bad enough, Uwe Boll parodied some of his own video game movies and re-released these special editions on DVD. While House Of The Dead: The Funny Version got a sarcastic audio commentary, Bloodrayne: The Third Reich was remade into Blubberella. The parody directed by Boll replaced the game's signature occult Nazis and vampires with predictable fat jokes, blackface and nonsensical humor. The best way to describe the nonsensical humor is Uwe Boll's cameo as Adolf Hitler.
Blubberella lacks any semblance of cohesion or humor, and the addition of Hitler as a supporting character does little to aid the situation. Blubberella (the overweight parody of Rayne from the Bloodrayne stories) is shown to be an avid Nazi killer and despite this, Hitler is a close friend she invites into her apartment. She also dreams about dating Hitler for some reason, but this subplot never went anywhere in Blubberella.
1. Everything About 'Postal'
- Movie: Postal
- Year of Release: 2007
- Rotten Tomatoes Score: 8%
If you thought Boll dressing up as the infamous Nazi dictator was tasteless, wait til you see what Boll did in Postal. Based on equally controversial and juvenile games of the same name, Postal was the moment Boll stopped caring. Postal is also Boll's most praised video game adaptation, and it is also the only video game movie Boll made with the game's creator actively involved in the production.
Postal pushed as many buttons as it could before the end credits rolled. This is proven by its use of an abundance of toilet and racial humor, gunning down kids, a Nazi themed amusement park, rape jokes about monkeys, cults, the Taliban, phallus shaped kids' toys and an opening joke about the September 11, 2001 terror attacks. Describing Postal as both absurd and politically incorrect is an understatement, and yet its a strange guilty pleasure. What it lacks in depth and meaningful satire, Postal makes up in unapologetic irreverent humor and a surprising hint of self-awareness from a director who's convinced that he's the only genius in Hollywood.
He may have single-handedly given the modern video game movie a rocky start, but Boll was definitely a one of a kind director. The listed scenes here and more show that it takes a certain amount of skill to make bad but somewhat enjoyable movies, and no one did it better than Boll. With his retirement and the constantly improving landscape of filmmaking, it will surely be a while before audiences get someone as eccentric and oddball as Uwe Boll again.