The Strange Case of Dr. Boll and Mr. Reddick: Going Postal
By Desmond Reddick
20 August 2007 — Is he one of the most maligned filmmakers of his generation or is he misunderstood? Is his latest film, Postal, offensive for the sake of being offensive or is it an important satirical jab in a post-9/11 society? Read on, you may be surprised to learn it's all of the above.
Uwe Boll, dirt merchant behind the cinematic piece of shit House of the Dead and slightly less offensive wastes of time Alone in the Dark and Bloodrayne, takes shot at critics, videogame fans, America, Osama bin Laden and Conservative attitudes in general in his new film.
The latest Uwe oeuvre hits a limited number of theatres in October, but I was lucky enough to see an advance screening of what he is billing as a "dark comedy." Bear with me as I attempt to put into words the audio visual orgy of retardation I just witnessed… which isn't to say I disliked the film; I actually liked it. However, I have to be sparing in my praise as I'm not sure I can recommend it without hesitation. Again, bear with me.
The opening sequence, the likes of which any interested party reading this has already seen on the Internet, can be seen as a venomous shot at the current administration's war on terror by depicting the 9/11 terrorists in the cockpit arguing over the amount of virgins they are to receive in the afterlife thanks to their martyrdom. You see, at the last second, they decide to change course and head to the Bahamas just as the passengers burst through the door causing the plane to explode into the first of the Twin Towers... accidentally. This, as you can understand, can also be seen as a cruel joke.
The rest of the film, whose plot is more tightly wound than most comedies hitting theatres these days, centers on a characters who is only named "Postal Dude" later on in the film. Postal Dude, played quite endearingly by Zack Ward (Scut Farkus in A Christmas Story) is your clichéd loser: he has no job, no spine and an obese wife who cheats on him with everybody in the trailer park. As in any comedy, he is drawn into a get-rich-quick scheme with his Uncle Dave, a hippy cult leader who is beholden to the IRS for over a million dollars. Kids in the Hall alum Dave Foley puts in the film's best performance — and only instance of full frontal nudity — as the woefully irresponsible and hilarious uncle.
What follows is a series of unnecessary, but well-appreciated, nude scenes by Uncle Dave's harem of porn stars / stripper-types, Nazi jokes, children being blown away, sex jokes both vanilla and, uhh... chocolate (you'll get it when you see it), blood-soaked gun fights and chimps gang-raping midgets.
But if — and it's a big if — you can get past all that, or you enjoy it like myself to some degree, then you are privy to some interesting and biting satire. Like a monkey throwing shit, the satire hits hard and makes a mess. Put that on your DVD case, Dr. Boll! Bush, Bin Laden, celebrity, consumerism, racial stereotypes and Boll himself are only a few of the targets mercilessly lampooned in this hilarious film. And it is hilarious, if you don't mind laughing at things that make you feel bad for laughing at them later. If you like your comedy dirty and nasty, Postal is for you.
Is it a good film? No! Don't think I'm calling this a landmark of the genre. Is it good as far as Boll films go? Yes! It's by far his best film. It doesn't look as slick as his others, but it has its own style that is consistent throughout. Of course, it benefits from the piss poor quality of his earlier films. Unfortunately, there are those who have written Boll off because of his earlier films, and there are even those who have written him off by what others have said about his films. He is very outspoken about those on IMDB who give his films one star without ever seeing them. And he's right. If you are one of the swayed masses, make your own opinion. You're going to have lots of chances to see Boll films in the future considering the three trailers they played ad nauseam before the screening. Postal might be the film to start with, too.
While his previous films may have set you against Boll, I have to say that "Soup Nazi" Larry Thomas' portrayal of Osama bin Laden, the cameo by the creator of the Postal video game and Verne Troyer gang-raped by chimpanzees (prison-style, no less) makes it worth the price of admission. This is not a good movie. If you are expecting a good movie, then you're even more of a retard than those who thought House of the Dead was good. Turn off your brain and your morals and you just might have a good gut laugh.
Further than that, even if it's not your cup of tea, we should all be grateful that films like this are being made in this post-9/11 climate where six years later we still have to watch our mouths. World Trade Center is a depressing, jingoistic snoozefest. Postal is a movie at least worth your time.