Horror fans are a group that are kicked around a lot by a Hollywood system that shuffles out crap remakes, crap PG-13 horror, and straight to DVD crap. We see lots and lots of bad movies and keep going back to them. We’re gluttons for punishment. So it’s no surprise that Uwe Boll’s Seed ended up on my desk. Now, I’m not a hater like a lot of people out there. In fact, I like a few of his movies and loved Postal. Before starting this film up, I came up with a few possible tag lines, depending how it turned out. Uwe Boll’s Seed Hard to Swallow. Boll’s Seed Bitter. Uwe Boll’s Sweet Seed. You get the idea. What did it end up being? A little bit bitter with a pleasantly sweet finish.
Seed follows the story of Detective Matt Bishop, a cop who investigated the grizzly Max Seed killings that rattled the town of Sufferton. A lot of cops are killed during the arrest of Seed, a large, silent killer who took pleasure in watching animals suffer and various living organisms starve and decompose. Seed is sentenced to death but survives a few rounds in a malfunctioning electric chair. According to law, he should be let go; instead, the Warden orders him buried alive. When Seed claws his way out, he wants blood.
We get to see somewhere around 14 kills in this film, so the body count is pretty good. Some of them are quick and in the darkness, so we don’t see much. At least a few people are killed off screen and then their bodies are found – I’d say another 4 or 5. Newspaper articles also imply that Seed kills some 50 others, or more.
Most of my notepad was filled up with the ills. The movie infamously starts with footage of real animal cruelty, which I don’t care for (I like animals more than people, generally) though Seed’s watching of these events actually does serve a purpose and later in the film; we see a connection, so it’s not totally extraneous. There are some bloody electrocutions, a cut off head, a pick axe and a power drill to some heads, a few people, including a baby, starving to death and decomposing. A fingernail is torn off while digging out of the coffin, there is a gunshot to the head, a pipe rammed through a body, some slashings, and one person even gets part of his face bitten off. Then he seems to get his face eaten until he dies. Natch! Most of this, while violent and bloody, isn’t anything new. A lot of it is very fast and in the dark, so I wasn’t too pumped. But then Max Seed tortures a random woman with a hatchet/hammer combo tool. He starts with slow, agonizing taps. Things escalate until he goes to town on the head, bashing it from all angles in a long, effective, single take scene. The CGI gets a little iffy here and some jumpy camera towards the end isn’t great, but overall the scene is very effective, connects us to the animal torture from the beginning, illustrates the violence Seed is capable, and is more than enough to make a lot of people squirm. Way better than anything in a Hostel flick. Lots of blood, too. This scene stays in your mind a long time, as does the ending.
I’m a bit disappointed, Uwe. Not only was there no nudity, but there were barely any women. Nothing going on in pants town tonight.
Hm. Don’t fuck with weirdo psychos. Always execute bad guys with guns and don’t leave it to chance. Never trust a homicidal maniac. Always lock your doors and be careful when you answer it. Cops are fairly incompetent at most things and will be captured, killed, sawed into pieces, and thrown in your shower. Pretty normal stuff.
Is it possible to be disappointed in an Uwe Boll flick? I was expecting more, actually. But ultimately it was not disappointing. It could have been a lot better though. There film has a pretty slow start – we’re about 20 or 30 minutes in before Seed ever really does something. When the police arrive to arrest Seed, it’s a pretty cool set up in near total darkness with only flashlights lighting the area, with some scattered ambient light. It reminded me of a Resident Evil video game, back when it was scary as shit. There are a few effective surprise scares, but this isn’t a movie to make you jump out of your seat. The beginning also had a weak hand to hand fight scene and lacked a “visual tension.” The music was ok, but the editing and pacing were a touch off and that really took something away. By the last 45 minutes of the movie, though, most of those wrongs had been righted and the film did some unexpected things. The look of the film is really good. Nice cinematography overall. The camera movements are confident and competent to say the least. Seed seems to take place in the 1970s, judging by the cars and attire and mustaches. In a way, this was like Uwe Boll’s The Devil’s Rejects a la Rob Zombie. I’m starting to believe that Boll is far more intelligent than virtually everyone gives him credit for. The film, while not great, when viewed as a 1970s era slasher or an homage to one, makes a lot of sense. Whether this was intentional or not, I can’t say, but I believe it was. Seed himself goes the silent, masked route, with no dialog. There are shades of Halloween mixed in one or two scenes, and it works in helping to illustrate his disconnect from society, if not humanity altogether.
Like I said, the film is not perfect, but it does manage to be better than the average straight to DVD release. Within this character, and within Boll, there is a chance at a really killer flick. It’s just not there yet. This movie is worth a rental, though if you buy it you get a free video game, so that’s righteous. I must mention that this film has been voted into the bottom 100 on IMDB, though I can assure that most of the people voting have not seen the film. It just came out very recently and all of Boll’s films have been voted down. He is not deserving of the hate. It is strange to me. All in all, a good effort with a slow start, some cool scenes, and a very solid last act. I was surprised at how it ended and have to admit to it being awesome and unexpected. That being said, this is a film for horror fans, not regular movie goers. People who have been burned on shitty horror for a long time will probably watch this, and like myself, think “Hey, not that bad. The end was cool.” Though, as I sit here, I keep going back and forth over what to rate it and how good or bad it was. There were some stale parts at the beginning, like I keep stressing. But when you view the film as a window into what kinds of cruelty men are capable of, it really steps above itself and other similar movies. Message wise, it’s several steps above Hostel. You can read a lot into this and when the movie decides to do something drastic or heartless, it does so without remorse and without turning the camera. As I think about it, I’m starting to appreciate it more and more. Despite a few missteps, the climax of the film and its overall willingness to depict a trio of fairly intense scenes make it worth while and a step up from Boll’s previous horror flicks, and most recent straight to DVD releases. Has the world frozen over? Two Boll flicks in a row that make you think? That deliver messages effectively? I never hated Boll, I never loved Boll, but I’ll be damned if I’m not starting to respect the hell out of him. I say check Seed out- I’ll definitely watch it again at some point; probably soon. Now, haiku:
Uwe Boll Directs
Trolls continue the flame war
Seed is worth a look
What are your thoughts on Boll? Will you give Seed a chance?