If you polled movie critics and audiences about who is worst director currently working in film, the odds are that Uwe Boll would pop up on most lists.
However, he wouldn't even rank in my top 10 or even my bottom 10, if you will. Unless it was one listing my favorite bad filmmakers. ...
For those who are unfamiliar with Boll's work, the 42-year-old filmmaker had already released several features in Europe before making his U.S. debut in 2003 with "House of the Dead."
Since then, he's followed up with a handful of movies that, like "House of the Dead," were also based on video-game properties.
To be honest, I usually laugh out loud at his silly and usually awful features. For me, he's become a modern-day Ed Wood, a director who's so clueless about his terrible filmmaking that it's amusing.
Here are even a few of my favorite "highlights" from his rather unique movie canon:
• "Alone in the Dark" (2005): In one scene, actress Tara Reid who is playing a scientist! can clearly be seen reading from a script that's sitting in front of her.
• "BloodRayne" (2005): Boll and his camera crews get so close to the actors and extras during action scenes that you can see they're using "stunt" weapons that feature blunted and rounded edges.
• "House of the Dead" (2003): Slumming German actor Jurgen Prochnow, playing a ship's captain named Kirk, delivers the infamous "Scarface" line "Say hello to my little friend!" with a straight face as he mows down some zombies.
• "In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale" (2007): Speaking of slumming, Ray Liotta wears a wardrobe Liberace would have rejected as an evil wizard in this action-faction. And Burt Reynolds has never worn a worse toupee in his career.
• BOLL-ED OVER?
By the way, things have gotten so bad for Boll that he's releasing his latest movie, "Postal," himself.
Still, many theater chains are refusing to carry the film, a bad-taste comic thriller that apparently satirizes religious cults and Sept. 11 hijackers.
(At this point, no Utah movie houses are even planning to show the new film.)
Undeterred, Boll has already wrapped production on two more films: an "original" Vietnam War thriller titled "Tunnel Rats," and "Far Cry," another film that based on a video game.
And he has at least three more in development, which includes a "BloodRayne" sequel. We'll see if they even make it to theaters.
• BAD IS GOOD. REALLY!
You may think I'm kidding about my "praise" for Boll, but I'm not.
I would much rather sit through one of his films than one that was directed by say, Raja Gosnell ("Yours, Mine and Ours"), Dennis Dugan ("I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry") or any number of similar hacks.Frankly, a simply mediocre comedy or drama is considerably more painful than an outright awful one. And they're usually the most difficult reviews to write, especially when you have no particular enthusiasm or venom for a film.