It’s hard to describe filmmaker Uwe Boll without using words like “notorious” or “infamous”, when really he’s more enigmatic than that.
Boll’s mostly known for his film adaptations of video games that featured popular trends. He made a name for himself with House of the Dead, an action-packed guilty pleasure with lots of bullet time inspired zombie battles. His reputation of schlock continued with Alone in the Dark, BloodRayne, In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale, and Postal.
As much flack as these films have received and even though it was once considered “cool” to pile on Uwe Boll, the filmmaker is almost having the last laugh. His work has, at least, stuck around to be referenced, which in turn has made them memorable. In the Name of The King and BloodRayne have spawned sequels – he must be doing something right.
However, there’s a darker, more confrontational side to Boll’s filmmaking. Heart of America and Assault on Wall Street – films he’s particularly proud of – are about relevant issues that make fearful headlines. He’s a bit of an unconventional pick to voice concerns considering how mindless his action sequences can be, but he obviously feels the need to address cultural difficulties and project his emotion through the medium. The same can be said for the third chapter in his Rampage series, Rampage: President Down.
When I asked Boll if he’s more inclined to write a script after observing trauma and how the public reacts to escalating terrorism, he replied, “In my movies, I like to show how bad reality is. I want the audience to be upset about the situations I show. The audience should want to change the bank system after watching Assault on Wall Street. I want the audience to try and change the world for the better after watching Rampage: President Down.”
The seething demeanour continues when I ask about what entices him the most about the Rampage series. “It is the harshest and darkest reflection about domestic terrorism and the fucked-up world we are living it.” Even though we’re speaking through e-mail, his answers sound as if they could be rants spoken by Rampage’s leading anarchist Bill Williamson, which is fitting since Boll co-wrote President Down’s screenplay with actor Brendan Fletcher.
“Brendan [Fletcher] was perfect as Bill Williamson because he is sympathetic, honest, and fits the innocent facade hiding the biggest mass murderer in US history.” This is evident during Fletcher’s self-reflections in the film, but we see him crack during numerous video blog entires. Considering how intense these sessions are, I was curious to know how Boll rehearsed and shot these vlogs. “We walk through the text and keep shooting until it’s right – roughly five to ten takes per video clip.”
As I stated in my review, Rampage: President Down is a somewhat refreshing departure for a movie goer like me who mainly knew the filmmaker for his escapist shoot-em-ups. Considering this third chapter is Boll’s final film, the movie makes for a solid career ender. When I ask him if he’s seen growth in his filmmaking career, he gives a proud yet understandably defensive answer. “Of course. The reviewers either never followed my movies carefully or were never interested. With Heart of America, Postal, Tunnelrats, Auschwitz, Darfur, Assault on Wall Street and the Rampage series, I have made very good movies.”
Rampage: President Down is now available on VOD and iTunes! Read my review.
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Addison Wylie: @AddisonWylie