Monday, March 2, 2009


It’s very trendy in the horror-movie world to trash German director Uwe Boll. The hyperbole gets pretty deep, as he is routinely described as the worst director in the world, his movies as the worst ever, etc. My response to these claims is usually “If you believe that, you’ve never seen anything by Uli Lommel.” Boll is nowhere near the worst and I’ll confess to a little affection for his films. He’s never made a great movie and some real clunkers, but the majority of his work I find entertaining on some level. Also, he seems like a fairly interesting guy.

Movies like Seed make it harder to defend him.

Boll says he made it to lash out at his critics, and if they saw this movie, he certainly hit them.

Max Seed is a serial killer, already in custody when the movie starts, although his capture is shown in flashbacks. Seed is a badass guy, who has killed a boatload of people, including most of the cops sent after him. He is also something of an experimenter, and we watch long scenes of the cops watching tapes he made where he locked up a bug, a rat, a dog, a baby (!), and a young woman until they starved to death. The tape follows each of the victims from when they are locked up to the end of their post-mortem decay. The cops, and by extension us, watch all of these, although I would have just passed. Anyway, point made, Max Seed is a sick fuck.

It’s execution time, and the unknown state we are in still uses electrocution as a means of disposing of prisoners. The technician keeps telling the warden there’s something wrong with the machine. Foreboding alert! (As an aside, an electric chair is not that complex a device – part of its appeal – and the electrician who blew all your fuses when he rewired your lamp could probably fix it with ease. It’s easy to kill someone with electricity, hard not to.) The foreboding makes us harken back to a card at the beginning of the movie which informed us that it is the law that, if the state attempts to execute an inmate three times and fails, he must be turned free. (To anyone who might be reading this on death row, I hate to tell you but that’s an urban legend. They will do you till they get it right.) Anyway, they electrocute Seed three times, but due to an unexplained problem with the chair, it doesn’t quite kill him, although it is enough to fry his brain, cause his eyeballs to explode, and set his head on fire. I would think that would be sufficient power to be lethal, but no. To cover up the problem, the observers, including surviving detective Michael Pare, bury him alive. You would think that would do it.

It doesn’t. Seed digs himself out, and goes on a new murderous rampage, getting even with all those who had a hand in his near-death experience. None of this is very remarkable or coherent. It goes on like this right to the downbeat ending. I’ll try not to use hyperbole in my judgment of this, but if someone offers you the choice of watching Alone In the Dark five times or this once, pick Alone In The Dark.

I need to mention that the movie opens with a video from Peta showing real animal cruelty. Mr. Boll is himself very pro-animal rights, and it was added to prove a point, but if I knew about it in advance, I wouldn’t have watched it.

1 comment:

dreamcatcher said...

I agree, trashing Uwe Boll's work is high on the list of targets. Two words, big screen. I sat through 9, of Boll's movies, including the LA premier of Tunnel Rats and Far Cry, in 2 days at the LA Boll Film Festival, and was pleasantly surprised.

If Boll's works were released theatrically, attitudes might change for the better. DVD's can't touch em.