People should be familiar with Uwe Boll by now. He’s carved a niche directing films based on video games. He’s gained a reputation amongst critics and filmgoers for said films being perceived as horrible, and his heart-on-sleeve attitude (he once beat up five of his critics in a publicity stunt) only convinces more people that he is filmdom’s greatest asshole.
An e-mail sent to BollBashers.com is as good a start as any to understand the enigma that is Boll. To defend In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale he focuses his attacks on First Sunday and media conglomerates:
If you dont get out with a MAJOR company the exhibitors and the tv and radio stations are not supporting you. This is the reason that independent movies are like self fullfilling prophecies and they almost bomb all. Our competitor in USA FIRST SUNDAY with Ice Cube is a piece of shit and for NOBODY nearly so interesting as IN THE NAME OF THE KING. We have a better movie and a bigger movie with a better script, better cast and we proved in europe that our movie has the power to stay 3 weeks in the TOP TEN and that we can get at least 50% good reviews. FIRST SUNDAY is a direct to DVD title in europe but in USA Sony puts 40 mill. $ in advertising to win that weekend. And this is completly absurd. Sony will not even recoup the advertising costs with that movie. The MAJORS own the TV Stations and the Radio Stations and they use that for free advertising and so the wide audience believes at one point that FIRST SUNDAY is the movie of that weekend – and they go and buy a ticket. The biggest problems in todays market is that nobody believes anymore in word of mouth or gives a film a chance without seeing upfront all 5 seconds in TV a spot.
Now, I have no personal hatred for Uwe Boll. I’ve never seen one of his films and am only familiar with the man through certain film blogs I read. All the same, I can’t swallow his arguments for several reasons. Why go after just First Sunday? Why not go after every other film competing against In the Name of the King, like The Bucket List and Juno? He was also recently interviewed in the New York Post. That at least proves that a major newspaper has promoted him in some way.
Boll himself is a double-edged sword. Things like this give him a lot of free publicity, but the pariah act makes no sense given the multimillion-dollar budget for In the Name of the King and Boll’s managing to land names like Jason Statham and Ron Perlman. I am aware of major film companies having a competitive edge in terms of cross-promotion and advertising budgets. How is that news?
In the end, this is just Uwe Boll being Uwe Boll. I don’t know if sustained negative publicity is a good long-term strategy to build a career on, but I honestly don’t think Boll cares.
If you are curious about In the Name of the King, check out Kevin Carr’s review here. Note: He was less than impressed.