The critics won’t have Uwe Boll to kick around anymore.
The German filmmaker, who once played Adolph Hitler in an action comedy film called Blubberella, is best known for adapting video games like House of the Dead, BloodRayne and Dungeon Siege into movies. He’s never had an easy ride with reviewers—the San Francisco Chronicle’s Peter Hartlaub called Alone in the Dark, “a film so mind-blowingly horrible that it teeters on the edge of cinematic immortality.”—and earned the nickname The Raging Boll after challenging his worst critics a “put up or shut up” boxing match.
He knocked out each of his four opponents, landing a blow for anyone who has ever suffered a bad review.
Now he’s done. The release of Rampage: President Down is his swan song, the final film he will direct he says, in part, because his politically charged movies have “no impact.”
“Rampage 3 will be watched on Netflix, DVD or iTunes or whatever,” he says. “They’ll say, ‘That wonderful movie! I liked it blah, blah, blah,’ then watch Avengers. With streaming everywhere there is just a big wave of movies flooding around and you have no impact.”
“The market is dead,” he adds, “you don’t make any money anymore on movies because the DVD and Blu Ray market worldwide has dropped eighty percent in the last three years. That is the real reason; I just cannot afford to make movies.”
“I can’t go back to student filmmaking because I have made so many movies in my life, and I can’t make cheaper and cheaper movies at my age. It’s a shame. I would be happy to make movies but it is just not financially profitable.”
Boll says he’s been self-financing his films for over a decade.
“I never had people giving me money,” he says. “I’ve been using my money since 2005 and if I hadn’t made the stupid video game based movies I would never have amalgamated the capital so I could say, ‘Let’s make the Darfur movie.’ I don’t need a Ferrari, I don’t need a yacht. I invested in my own movies and I lost money.”
He may have gone in the hole on films like Attack on Darfur and Assault on Wall Street—“It’s way better than Wall Street 2 by Oliver Stone,” he boasts. “It’s better researched, it’s better written, it’s better, but it doesn’t have Michael Douglas.”—but he’s proud of their grit and realism.
“My movies are concrete,” he says, “talking with the real names about the real issues. It’s not Jason Bourne or any b******t movie where they make stuff up. My movies are real.”
With Rampage: President Down hitting iTunes Boll will now spend his time attending to his film distribution business and his Vancouver restaurant Bauhaus (which the food critics love, by the way). As for his critics he hopes they’ll take time to watch his movies.
“Now when I don’t make any more movies,” he says, “maybe they’ll find the time to actually watch the movies, starting with Postal in 2005, the movies of the last ten years. They will see they were a lot of very interesting movies and a lot of movies that I think made sense and said a point about things. They deserve to be discussed bigger than they were.”