Uwe Boll Defends His Movies
House of the Dead (2003)
Critical reaction: Boll's first major release — an adaptation of the zombie videogame House of the Dead — turned a healthy profit, but made many critics sick. ''To properly convey the jaw-dropping shoddiness of this videogame-based 'horror' 'movie,' one must approach what scientists call Absolute Stupid,'' wrote EW's Scott Brown, ''a state previously thought to exist only under highly controlled laboratory conditions or at the highest levels of government.''
Boll's defense: ''Yeah, it is stupid. But what were they expecting from House of the Dead? I came very close to a videogame in the filmmaking process, and I got toasted for it. The funny thing is, a lot of times, years later, people say, 'Oh, I liked that.' This is the same guy who bashed it to the ground five years ago and never corrected his opinion.''
Alone in the Dark (2005)
Critical reaction: Another videogame adaptation, this monster movie starred Christian Slater as a detective who specializes in supernatural activity and Tara Reid as an archaeologist (yes, you read that right). EW's Scott Brown gave the movie an F, claiming ''the film on your teeth after a three-day drunk possesses more cinematic value.''
Boll's defense: ''Okay, Alone in the Dark was not good, I agree. But what was Elektra? What was Daredevil? Critics go so over-the-top. If you compare Alone in the Dark with Aliens or Terminator, it sucks. But if you compare it to Resident Evil, it can keep up.''
Critical reaction: For BloodRayne, Boll assembled a star-studded cast that included Michael Madsen, Sir Ben Kingsley, Meat Loaf, and Terminator 3 star Kristanna Loken, who played the titular demi-vampire, or ''dhampir'' (yes, it's an actual word. Look it up!). Critics remained unimpressed. ''As you might expect from any movie that begins with the promise of a 'special appearance by Billy Zane' and features Meat Loaf Aday decked out in a Spinal Tap wig and writhing around with naked women, BloodRayne is ghastly-bad,'' wrote EW's Gregory Kirschling.
Boll's defense: ''I think BloodRayne is a good vampire movie. Very bloody. Very sexy. I was more influenced by the old Christopher Lee-Dracula movies. I said, 'We need a castle, we need an evil guy, we need bloodsucking on screen, we need f---ing on screen, we need tits and blood and gore.' It made a lot of money on DVD. If you like blood and guts, BloodRayne is better than Underworld. Kate Beckinsale would never show her breasts like Kristanna Loken.''
In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale (2007)
Critical reaction: Boll's swords-and-sorcery saga had the good fortune to star Jason Statham, Ray Liotta, Claire Forlani, and Ron Perlman and the bad fortune to be hated by pretty much every critic who saw it. Variety scribe Joe Leydon wrote, ''A plodding patchwork of derivative fantasy-adventure, medieval production design, risible dialogue, unimpressive CGI trickery and haphazardly edited action sequences, In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale suggests what might have resulted if, somewhere between Bride of the Monster and Plan 9 From Outer Space, Ed Wood had miraculously obtained better actors and a bigger budget and attempted to film The Lord of the Rings.''
Boll's defense: ''When you always get compared to the best of the best of course you look bad. Of course it is not Lord of the Rings. Why did nobody compare it to The Golden Compass? I hope people agree with what I just said and see these movies more in the right context.''
BloodRayne: Deliverance (2007)
Critical reaction: Natassia Malthe played the dhampir Rayne in this Old West-set, straight-to-video sequel. Jon Condit of the website dreadcentral.com claimed the result ''has pretty much the same problems as its predecessor but on a lower budget with even less action, gore, and boobage.''
Boll's defense: ''I cannot say this was a great movie. It was a good movie commercially. This was something I had to do to get the cash flow going. But I think people know what they're getting and nobody is really disappointed about it.''
Critical reaction: Boll's berserk comedy attempted to mine humor from the events of 9/11 and featured a scene in which a live cat's butt is used as a gun silencer. Also? A playing-himself Verne Troyer gets gang-raped by monkeys. Also, also? A playing-himself Uwe Boll pokes fun at his notorious rep by admitting his films are financed with Nazi gold. Many reviews were harsh, with the Chicago Sun-Times describing it as ''dumb'' and ''inane.'' On the other hand, the San Francisco Chronicle's Peter Hartlaub suggested that ''if this movie had been made by an unknown young director, a lot of critics would still be panning the movie for its inconsistencies — but many others would be praising his courage.''
Boll's defense: ''The humor in Postal is not always, let's say, hitting the target. But some scenes are the best in comedy I saw in the last 15 years.''
1968 Tunnel Rats (2008)
Critical reaction: Variety actually praised Boll's Vietnam War movie: ''Aptly tense and discomfiting, pic doesn't provide easy ammo for Boll haters.'' The Razzies were less kind, gifting Boll his third Worst Director nomination for the German's combined work on Tunnel Rats, In The Name of the King, and Postal.
Boll's defense: ''When people write about me, it's just 'the guy who did House of the Dead' or 'Let's go for the Razzie [angle].' But there are movies like this that are based more on reality. And they are good.''
Critical reaction: Boll's Edward Furlong-starring prison drama went mostly unnoticed by both mainstream critics and the public at large. But the website Jolly Good Show rated it as a career high (''Gripping and, in places, downright disturbing. It's hard to believe that this came from Uwe Boll, the director of Alone in the Dark and Bloodrayne''), as does the director himself...
Boll's defense: ''Stoic was based on a murder case in a German prison. The actors had to sleep in the jail cell. They couldn't leave the set, to get that feeling of [being] locked up in a small jail cell. Edward Furlong is really good. I think it's a really strong movie.''
Critical reaction: Brendan Fletcher goes on a killing spree in Boll's thriller. Variety writer Peter Debruge took aim at both the actor (''frustratingly one-dimensional'') and the film as a whole (''vile'').
Boll's defense: ''It's a super-hard, ruthless, cynical movie. But it hit a nerve. A lot of people really like that movie because in a way it is what you had with Clockwork Orange. You don't find the good people in that movie. You search for the heart. But there is no heart. It's a completely heartless movie.''
Critical reaction: This Billy Zane-starring tale of genocide in Africa was another film that attracted little in the way of critical attention. However, the website Cool Awesome Movies published a glowing review: ''This is vintage Uwe Boll: brutal and uncompromising.... Believe me, this is not for the squeamish and weak of stomach; I guarantee you'll be truly disgusted by what you see in a way a film rarely manages to invoke, at least in me. One thing is for sure: it won't leave you indifferent.''
Boll's defense: ''In Sudan, 350,000 people were killed over a time period of seven years. I felt it's good to make a movie about this. This is stuff that a lot of times gets completely ignored when people write about me.''
Critical reaction: Boll provoked an Internet brouhaha last year when he released the teaser trailer for Auschwitz, a film that documents a day in the life at the concentration camp and which he made at the same time as two other World War II-set films, BloodRayne 3 and Blubberella. ''Boll, you are a jerk,'' wrote one YouTube commenter after viewing the clip, in which the director himself played an SS soldier guarding a gas chamber. According to Boll, German critics were polarized by the film after he showed it in Berlin earlier this year, with one scribe claiming the movie ''closes the gap in between Schindler's List and Shoah,'' while another described it as ''the biggest piece of s--- ever.''
Boll's defense: ''Critics go so over-the-top. Auschwitz is not the biggest piece of s--- ever. I've watched thousands of movies in my life, especially cheap video stuff I get for free. I know what s--- is. This was one of the projects I really wanted to do, like the Darfur movie. Nobody would ever finance a movie like this. We had the trains, the costumes. So I spent this extra few hundred thousand to make that movie.''
Critical reaction: Boll inspired more negative Internet commentary with the trailer for Blubberella, a comedy about an overweight superhero starring Lindsay Hollister from Get Smart. ''If you are going to have a plus sized star, at least make her something positive,'' wrote MovieBlog.com editor Rodney Brazeau.
Boll's defense: ''The trailer went out and people were flipping out on it and said, like, 'Ah, it's only fat jokes.' But it's not true. It's not a movie fat people will feel embarrassed to watch. Because she kicks a--!''