Rather than discuss a particular movie made from a video game, I will dissect some of the works of a particular filmmaker, well known to the gaming crowd as quite possibly the Worst Director Ever. This man’s movies are single-handedly responsible for the stereotype that gaming movies are not worth the price of the film they are imprinted upon, and caused me pain when I tried to remember them for the purposes of this blog. I speak, of course, of the “director” and amateur boxer Uwe Boll.
His movies are of the bad-bad type, as opposed to the bad-good type. The bad-good type movies are the ones that are actually enjoyable, if only by making fun of the movie itself. Examples of these movies might be The League of Extraordinary Gentleman and, to be more germane, Mortal Kombat: Annihilation. The bad-bad movies are the ones that are so horrible that anyone watching just sits there in stony silence, contemplating how he could better spend an hour and a half of his life by doing something productive, such as applying thumbscrews to himself or bashing himself over and over in the head with a hammer. Luckily, however, it appears that no one ever went to see his three game-to-movie adaptations. BloodRayne, House of the Dead, and of course Alone in the Dark combined to make less than 12.5 million dollars on their respective opening weekends despite a combined budget of 57 million dollars. That means that for every dollar spent making these wastes of film, twenty cents were earned as profit. That sounds like a solid business investment to me!
How Uwe Boll continues to get financing for his movies was a mystery to me until I did a little research. It turns out that in Germany, money invested by corporations into German-owned movies can be written off 100% as a tax deduction. If the movie loses money, the investor gets a tax writeoff. I believe that a new clause should be written into this law stating that said law should apply only to filmmakers not named Uwe Boll.
You might be wondering why I (and the rest of the world) am so critical of Boll’s “movies.” You are obviously fortunate enough to be unfamiliar with this director. His movies are slightly better produced than the average Vanderbilt’s student film, despite a budget literally a million times larger. The atrocious acting, to be fair, isn’t entirely his fault, but the bizarre cinematography and terrible overall directing are, to quote the San Francisco Chronicle, “So mind-blowingly horrible that it teeters on the edge of cinematic immortality.” You can watch the movies as many times as you want (although anything higher than 0 is inadvisable) and still not understand Alone in the Dark’s unfathomable plotlines.
I’d better be careful with my criticism of Uwe, however. Tired of all the negative press, Boll challenged his critics to enter with him into a boxing ring. Five critics took up the challenge, and five critics were beaten absolutely senseless. If you don’t hear from me again, well, look for my body in a shady boxing ring somewhere.
P.S. In case for whatever reason you still don’t believe that any movies could be as bad as Uwe Boll’s, here are the Metacritic scores for each movie. A Metacritic score is the average score drawn from some forty or fifty sources such as websites and newspapers.
BloodRayne: 18/100 (that’s almost one out of five stars!)
House of the Dead: 15/100
Alone in the Dark: 9/100