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PAX: Uwe Boll On Politics, Postal, And Fan Backlash

Infamous movie director Uwe Boll was a special guest at PAX this year, and fielded incredibly heated questions from the audience on topics ranging from the new movie Postal, to criticisms of his work, to what he finds funny in a script, and though he was

Brandon Sheffield, Contributor

August 24, 2007

4 Min Read

After the Penny Arcade Q&A at PAX, writer Jerry Holkins said, "As you may have heard, we couldn’t get Jack Thompson to come out, but there are other villains in this world, and we have one – Uwe Boll!" With that, Uwe Boll took the stage and spoke about his movie Postal, showing a clip before opening the floor up to a very antagonistic Q&A. "I got some kind of funny ideas like shooting children or flying a plane into the World Trade Center, and these sorts of things are pretty funny to me," said Boll, before mentioning that Rob Schneider and David Cross passed on the movie because it was 'too hardcore' for them. “The question is how many Will Ferrell ice skating movies do you want to see?" he continued, on the subject of independent film. "How many times will Ben Stiller get married at the end of the movie?" Regarding Postal he said, “My perspective is Bush is a criminal, and he should have been sitting in jail since 5 years ago. We showed the movie in NYC and a man came up to me who said his father died in the World Trade Center attack. He said this movie was necessary to do, so I think Postal is a funny movie, but maybe also the only fictional movie that’s a bit like South Park in reality, that goes and puts the finger in the wound. " The rest of his time at PAX took the form of a Q&A, with various attendees grabbing the mic. You've gotten a lot of flack for your movies, and people have been vocal about their criticisms - do you take anything from what they say? "Yes, I take some things from people. From this point of view, I think after House of the Dead I'll never put game footage in a movie for example." At this point a woman came up to the microphone, calling the trailer "racist shit" and telling Boll to "get the fuck off the stage." Other members of the audience then came forward. You have serious cojones to come up here and face your worst critics. "Thanks – but if you give the movies a chance, you’ll see they’re different movies. And by the way I did movies before House of the Dead. Different genres." How do you feel knowing Lowtax [aka Rich Kyanka, founder of famously vociferous web community SomethingAwful] has more fans than you? "Did you see Lowtax’s haunted house movie on the internet?" It was free! It was only 10 minutes. And it wasn't crap like that Postal trailer. "You think it was terrible? We showed [the trailer] to lots of other places, and people liked it. What makes me happy is that people who trashed me on websites all wrote good reviews of Postal. They gave me another chance. A lot of people don’t give me a chance, it’s your decision. I think it’s unfair." Your movies have changed my life. Websites give you lots of flack. Do you see a point where you try something different? "Yeah after a long time, this is the first movie where I wrote the script. So I figure if I should get grilled, I should get grilled for my own shit. This time I’m really responsible. So we’ll see if people like it or if they don’t. It was time to get that self-censorship out of my head." Everyone, from South Park to the Simpsons has already dealt with the World Trade Center, why do you do this now? "Why do they do it only in animation? I don’t think it’s too late, and [the movie] is not about September 11th. It’s about a postal dude who has a bad day, and everything comes about in the same day. " Why are we forced to see David Foley’s penis? "It was his decision! He said 'I’ll do that scene naked' and I couldn’t stop him!" Do you understand where gamers come from in our criticisms not liking films that stray from the game? "I know, but in House of the Dead, show me the story of House of the Dead. With Alone in the Dark 5, they were supposed to release the game with it. They made a game with the theme of that movie, but it didn’t get finished. Now we’re doing a movie sequel that has to do with the Alone in the Dark game that’s coming out." People are often unhappy when people make movies about a game or a novel – why did you start making movies based on games? "I think I did a very good movie with Heart of America about schoolboys – and if you do a great movie that’s well reviewed and it’s not sold, what can you do? I’m not a subsidized director. So with House of the Dead, the movie made money. So I get movies with games I like. I try to find games I think you would be able to make a good movie out of." Given the scope of your taste and vision, how do you get funded? "House of the Dead made 85 million dollars worldwide. Alone in the Dark sold 4 million DVDs. So far we’ve not lost much money with movies."

About the Author(s)

Brandon Sheffield


Brandon Sheffield is creative director of Necrosoft Games, former editor of Game Developer magazine and gamasutra.com, and advisor for GDC, DICE, and other conferences. He frequently participates in game charity bundles and events.

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