Arguably one of the greatest things about cinema is that for all the classics, epics and outright genre defining spectacles that audiences have been and have yet to be treated to, there will always be a place for the less than perfect efforts. Cult cinema has been alive and well since the inception of filmmaking itself - and although some of these efforts are met with nothing but ridicule and derision upon their release, their existence still plays an important role in movie-making.
Of all the filmmakers who reside outside the periphery of successful mainstream cinema, German director Uwe Boll is one of the most notorious. With films like Assault on Wall Street, Blubberella, BloodRayne: The Third Reich and the video game adaption of Alone in the Dark, Boll’s films have never been what anyone would call blockbusters. However, they have always managed to achieve just enough attention to keep the volatile filmmaker relevant in his own bizarre way.
While some would even argue that Uwe Boll is the Ed Wood of his day, his time as a filmmaker has apparently come to an end (again.) Metro is reporting that the 51-year-old director has made his most recent effort, Rampage: President Down, his last film. Listing a host of reasons as to why he is finally saying goodbye to the life of a movie director, Boll has admitted that the main reason for his retirement is that he has been self-financing his work all these years and can no longer afford to make the films he wants to make:
“The market is dead, you don’t make any money anymore on movies because the DVD and Blu-ray market worldwide has dropped 80 per cent in the last three years. That is the real reason; I just cannot afford to make movies.”
“I never had people giving me money. 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.”
Boll also pointed out that his films have always maintained a realism that sets them apart from typical Hollywood fare. The aforementioned Assault on Wall Street for example, was a film that he felt stood particularly high above its competitors:
“It’s way better than Wall Street 2 by Oliver Stone. It’s better researched, it’s better written, it’s better, but it doesn’t have Michael Douglas. It’s not Jason Bourne or any bulls— movie where they make stuff up. My movies are real.”
Those who have followed Boll’s career to date will know that he is known for his outspoken antics. In 2006, the director challenged his critics to a boxing match where he proceeded to pound four of his detractors in a row into submission. And last year, Boll released an expletive laden video in which he also announced he was finished with filmmaking, venting his rage on everything from comic book movies, to the current state of Hollywood and its stars – whom he argued, are only interested in money. His demeanor has continuously danced a line between raving lunatic and someone with some surprisingly accurate points.
Boll’s title as the World’s Worst Director might seem deserved to some, but there is something worthwhile about having a filmmaker like him around. Yes, he can be crass and self-important, but if nothing else, he’s a reminder that filmmaking should always be about taking risks. Boll’s risks may not have paid off financially or critically, but no one can ever say that he didn’t do exactly what he wanted right from the get-go. That in itself is something special in a line of work as challenging as his.