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An evening with Uwe Boll

32:19: A government SWAT team on a rescue mission bursts needlessly through the museum’s glass ceiling on zip lines. Glass explodes everywhere.

Justin: I bet they’ve always wanted to do that.

David: Well done guys. Now everyone you were trying to save has been sliced to pieces with broken window.

For some reason, the SWAT team’s body armour is modelled around pumped-up male musculature, making them the most homoerotic bunch of action heroes in cinema history. Brilliantly, the women wear the same armour.

40:05: Slater has met up with an old government pal to find out if the monsters have a weakness. He is given a lengthy techno-babble explanation of their physiology, their powers and the various chemicals and elements they are succeptible to. He is then presented with specially adapted bullets which can harm them.

David: So what you really mean is that their secret weakness is guns?

47:00: Slater’s apartment is invaded by zombies and monsters. The lights once again start flickering to herald the beasties’ arrival. Boll has filled Slater's place with several hundred table lamps to emphasise this effect.

David: Why does he have so many lamps?

James: So that they can go on and off when monsters attack.

Another SWAT team bursts in and suddenly everything goes mental. An industrial metal soundtrack kicks in and we get a ridiculously stylised gun battle. Machine gun fire lights up the place like a strobe light.

David: What the hell is going on?

James: It’s like Aliens if Aliens had been set in a rave.

But for all its OTT nature, the fight is actually pretty well done. Directorially, it’s leagues ahead of its equivalent in House Of The Dead.

1:19:00: After much more monster killing and a cool shot of a SWAT member with her head split in two, Slater, Reid and government agent Stephen Dorff have found a secret underground lab. The lab in turn leads to the huge subterranean cave the monsters came from. Dorff has a great plan for sealing them off, but unfortunately ends up Doing It Wrong.

He sets up a remote mine at the cave entrance and runs back through the lab and down the escape tunnel with the other two, but finding that the interference from the lab makes his detonator useless, decides to go back to the cave and trigger the bomb manually.

David: Hey, I’ve got an idea. Why not just put the bomb in the f*cking tunnel where it would have done the same job but your detonator would have worked?

But of course, such logic-defying contrivance is often needed if an action movie character is going to get a dramatic martyr’s death. And to round things off beautifully, Dorff’s bomb proves so powerful that it launches a jet of flame straight down the tunnel and right up out of the ground. Even if he’d got it right first time he would have killed everyone instantly. Good planning, trained military operative guy.

1:25:42: Slater and Reid find themselves in the morning light of the now-evacuated city. Slater gives us an ominous voice-over as some nice shots of the empty cityscape drift by.

Then we suddenly get a monster POV shot as one of the fiends rips down the street and attacks them both. We were told earlier that direct sunlight kills these things, but whatever. The credits roll and Max Wanko appears once again.

James: That was actually pretty good. Compared to your usual Hollywood horror film it was well up to standard.

David: Yeah, as silly as it was at times, you can see how he’s really developed as a director. It wasn’t bad at all. And I’d much rather watch that than a Paul Anderson Resident Evil movie.

Conclusions

Leave Uwe Boll alone. He is, quite frankly, fantastic. House Of The Dead and Bloodrayne may be incompetent tosh, but they're brilliantly incompetent tosh. Not since the days of Ed Wood have we been blessed with a director able to make such utterly bad films with such endearingly dedicated passion. And rarely ever have we been blessed with a director able to make films that are so unashamedly fun, even if it is for all the wrong reasons.

Really, were you genuinely so attached to the House Of The Dead arcade game that a schlocky b-movie sharing its title is offensive to you? Did you enjoy the Bloodrayne games to the point where you're now immensely protective of the character? It's possible, but we doubt it. And as for Alone In The Dark, it may bear hardly any resemblance whatsoever to the games it's based on, but if more people dared to drop the elitist gamer snobbery and break away from the internet hater pack, they'd realise that it's actually no worse than the vast majority of what Hollywood puts out every year.

Yes, we doubt that Boll's ever going to win an Oscar, and we know that he'll probably never be the right man to faithfully adapt Metal Gear or Bioshock to the big screen, but from the evidence of what we've watched, he does make damn entertaining movies. So let's stop hating him just because it's traditional, shall we? Let's start taking ourselves a little less seriously and start enjoying what he does, because what he does is remarkably easy to enjoy. Now roll on Far Cry and Postal.

8 comments

  • Chiropteran - October 15, 2008 3:02 p.m.

    I hesitate to make a comparison with Ed Wood. I mean, Ed sincerely believed he was good. Hmmm. Does Uwe believe the same thing, even though he hates videogames?
  • hooterscpufantasm - July 20, 2009 8:58 p.m.

    @Kaeda I played the fourth one and it sucked majorly. actually, I think that one was called Alone in the Dark, but it was just a crappy attempt to revamp the original series which was actually enjoyable if old. So yes, the *new* Alone in the Dark was a horrible game. But not the actual old but fun original game. Yeah.
  • midgiemelendez - April 6, 2009 1:53 a.m.

    fourth, yayyyyyy!!!!! woopdedooo!!!!! kind of a month late huh
  • kibblesnbits1053 - February 11, 2009 5:38 a.m.

    Does anyone else realize that the fish picture from Alone in the Dark looks ALOT like 3:09 here - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qmG4kYsrq0s ?
  • secondshooter - January 27, 2009 8:55 p.m.

    Oh, Chiropteran, Dr. Boll think he's the greatest director to ever grace the Earth. He thinks that he is the only real genius and everyone in Hollywood are "retards."
  • edwharton - August 7, 2009 8:19 p.m.

    I did see Alone in the dark for two reasons Slater and Dorff, two completely competant actors, who we make famous for pretending to be make-believe people and it was a standard tinsel-town popcorn movie, a mindless diversion and nothing more. You are right GR, for the most part some gamers are elitest bastards and should lighten up.
  • Kaeda - May 3, 2009 10:42 p.m.

    In all fairness, Alone in the Dark was a bad *game*.
  • Darkwun - May 1, 2009 11:43 a.m.

    this is my all time fave GR feature! though no mention of kristanna gettin her tits out? the filsm only redeeming feature!

Showing 1-8 of 8 comments

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