Uwe Boll: Is He Just Misunderstood?

Brian D. Crecente at the Rocky Mountain News takes a rather in-depth look at that oddly persistant game-adapting cineaste, Uwe Boll. Reading the article, it occurred to me: If this guy sucks so much, how is he still around? While I am the first to admit that talentless hacks comprise a good deal of the popular charts of any medium, the ones who stick around actually sell. Boll's first video game movie, House of the Dead, made back its budget--barely--but his next film Alone in the Dark made back just under a third of its budget, and his most recent release BloodRayne has made just under 6% back so far. And yet the man's shooting schedule is absolutely booked solid, with In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale releasing later this year, and Far Cry, Postal, and Fear Effect in the works. In fact, he is apparently so busy that he had to turn down the Metal Gear Solid script he was recently offered. So what's the deal here?

Could he be merely misunderstood?

An hour on the phone with Boll can leave you thinking that perhaps you were wrong after all, perhaps his movies - even those that cast Tara Reid as an archaeologist or tell the story of zombies hanging out at a rave - aren't that bad, just misunderstood.

"He's very personable, very honest," [IGN's Chris] Carle said. "He's quick to laugh, he's a fun guy to hang out with."

[Jim] Schramm, whose company distributed BloodRayne, said he was so charmed by Boll that he ended up putting some of his own money into promoting the film.

"He is so serious about making sure his investors are taken care of, that his actors are taken care of...he's more interested in that than anything at all," he said.

Word has gotten out, Schramm says, that Boll is a good guy to work for.

Similar positive comments were also heard from Vince Desi, founder of Postal creator Running With Scissors, and Jeremy Snook of Dungeon Siege developer Gas Powered Games. "Passion goes a long way for us," admitted Snook.

So maybe he's not so much misunderstood as he is some kind of internal marketing wizard. And in an industry where, like so many others, it's all about who you know, that might mean we'll be seeing films from Dr. Boll for a long time to come.