Oddly, and sadly, enough, I found myself musing a few days ago as to what happened to Dr. Uwe Boll. A thoroughly untalented, yet determined filmmaker, Boll has earned a special status as the Ed Wood of our times with his almost unbelievably shitty body of videogame movies, all financed through some odd Ponzi scheme where somebody is either making or laundering money with these things despite none of them even remotely approaching profitability in terms of DVDs sold or box office receipts. While I know tax laws changed a few years back to close some rather glaring loopholes, I figured a little thing like that wouldn’t stop Uwe from getting the job done, and indeed, he’s continued making movies. But after the BloodRayne theatrical distribution debacle (Long story short: They distributed the film through Billy Zane’s company and shipped a lot of prints to theaters that didn’t even book the film), I feared Boll might be finished in US theaters and doomed to do God’s work direct-to-DVD.
Now, I feel like a fool for ever doubting the guy. He’s just made a deal with Freestyle Releasing to give his next three films, including the “long-awaited” In The Name Of The King: A Dungeon Siege Tale (which was originally slated to come out through Zane’s company as well), a wide theatrical release here in America. Not only is that film the priority, but it’s got at least $20 million in Prints & Advertising commitment in writing. Best of all is this quote about the movie from Freestyle president Marke Borde: “Freestyle is really getting behind this picture. It’s a pretty big picture and it plays great. I don’t chase movies based on video games and any pre-awareness that those franchises might have with an audience. I chase movies that are good.”
I’m sure he probably believes this on some level just as mass murderers believe in what they’re doing and by “it plays great”, he means that the reels did line up in the projector and display picture and sound understandably enough to watch the film, but we all know that the natural laws of the world in which we inhabit make it physically impossible to apply the word “good” to a Boll movie. Nonetheless, Freestyle views this as their “tentpole” picture, and to prove it, they’ve committed to 2,500 screens on the competitive release date of…
January 18, 2008.
Don’t think this is the last you’ve heard of this hate, either. They plan to promote it at Comic-Con and whatever other genre events they can. You’re also going to probably hear about the rest of the Boll-shit on the way, namely Postal, which will hit first on Sept. 28 on about 500 screens with the plan to “grow from there based on box office.” Best press release ever. The final film in this trilogy of terror is Seed, which stars Boll-favorite Michael Pare (he also stars in BloodRayne II: Deliverance, which is done and on deck). While I’m helplessly drawn to the madness of Boll’s films, I truly would love to see his story, even if in documentary form, onscreen some day. In a time when talented independent directors struggle to get financing for legitimate films, Boll routinely works with tens of millions of dollars, seemingly on demand, and no amount of failure stops him from getting his films in theaters and released worldwide. If that’s not a compelling story, I don’t know what is.
Oh, just in case you think Freestyle is putting all of their big-budget eggs in Boll’s basket, they’ve also just committed to a late August wide release for the fromage-heavy Korean fantasy/action trainwreck known as D-War. God bless them.