Published on June 21st, 2008 | by simeon0
Uwe Boll lifts the lid on SEED
I got the chance to talk to Director Uwe Boll about his new film “SEED,” an original tale of revenge. I want to thank Uwe for taking the time away from filming his next film “Tunnel Rats” to speak with us. Uwe is also donanting 2.5% of the films profits to P.E.T.A.
What is the background and setting of the film, and how did you decide to do a film on capital punishment?
Uwe: After reading a book on the history of capital punishment, I was compelled to make a film on the subject. The death penalty provided the perfect theme and setting for a horror movie. A horror movie so extreme and based on facts that most die hard horror fans will have a problem watching it.
Many know you as the “Video Game Director” but recently your new projects have moved towards original works. How do you go about selecting your projects, and will audiences continue to see a mix of original films and game related films in the future?
Uwe: The film POSTAL is loosely based on the video game. I am presently filming a movie in Africa called TUNNEL RATS and am producing the game TUNNEL RATS for PC and XBOX 360.
I’m starting to get more involved in the scripts that I produce. All my German and U.S. movies ( SANCTIMONY, BLACKWOODS, & HEART OF AMERICA), involved scripts that I wrote or created. They were projects that reflected my own creativity and provided a kind of personal stamp. The film SEED gave me an opportunity to get back to creating my own vision.
SEED is said to be a very violent and graphic film. How do you feel the violence in the film will compare to otherfilms in the horror genre, and is it difficult to find a balance
between dramatic tension and violence without goingto far in one direction.
Uwe: SEED is an extremely dark and dramatic piece. You will feel sick after watching the film.
I had heard that the film is set in the 70’s. How did the decision to set the film in this era arise and what advantages or disadvantages did this present to you as a filmmaker?
Uwe: Setting a film in the 1970’s is more expensive than presenting a story in present day. There were cases during the 70’s , when the electric chair malfunctioned and people survived their execution. Though their hearts continued to function, these individuals ended up brain dead. This brutality inspired and gave birth to our protagonist & serial killer, Max Seed.
After digging himself out of the grave, he’s able to seek vengeance and embark on a bloody killing spree.
The Hospital locale where you did some of the filming is said to have a very interesting reputation by the locales. What can you tell the readers about the locale, how you came to film there, and any bizarre things that may have happened while on location?
Uwe: We filmed in annactive mental hospital called Riverview. There were instances where you could hear patients running around. While filming in the basement at night, there were some strange nightmarish events that occurred. Certain crew
members claimed they could hear voices of deceased patients. Though Riverview has a reputation of being extremely haunted, I do not adhere to such beliefs.
The film looks to have a very strong cast, what qualities did you find in the leads that made them perfect for their characters?
Uwe: Michael Pare has played numerous cops throughout his career, but his portrayal in SEED is in my opinion his best performance. Andrew Jackson, Michael Eklund and Ralph Moller ( Gladiator) as doctor, executioner and warden were perfect.
Will Sanderson as Seed and Jodelle Ferland (girl in SILENT HILL) were both very good and intense.
Jodelle told me she had nightmares after the movie was shot. Will Sanderson has since stepped away from the film industry to complete his medical studies. Perhaps Will’s slashing and body cutting experiences as Seed have inspired him to pursue a new career.
What were some of your favorite parts of the film and do you have a favorite scene? If so, what can you tell the readers about it?
Uwe: We shot the execution in real time to demonstrate the gruesome reality of this procedure. We filmed secretly in a basement in
Europe over a period of months to reveal actual maggots eating decayed flesh.
We constructed human and animal bodies with rotting meat and applied worms and maggots. It took three months for the hungry critters to consume 80 kilos ( 178 lbs. ) of meat. The mess was disgusting and the stench was horrific.No one has shown anything like this on film before. The creators of SAW and HOSTEL use ketchup and silicon, we chose actual flesh.
I wanted to make a statement with SEED. At the beginning of the film, I used extreme animal abuse footage that was given to us by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).
I wanted to show the world how fucked up humans are as a species. If humans were extinct and only animals inhabited Earth, our planet would survive. The PETA footage demonstrates that humans are not intrinsically good. People kill mercilessly, without emotion, for sport, profit and other forms of self indulgence.
I’m a big supporter of PETA. You can find numerous links to PETA on my websites. I personally have two wonderful dogs. When we filmed BLOODRAYNE in Romania, we saved six dogs and provided food for thousands of dogs a month.
After you watch the opening of SEED, your world will be permanently altered.
During your appearances at the Vancouver Charity Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Supernatural, Horror & Adventure Convention, Timeless Destinations in 2006, you showed a segment of the film that was shot with natural lighting sources only. The clip had a very eerie quality to it, but I suspect that filming with natural light must have had some real challenges. Can you share with the readers how the decision to use natural lighting came about and the challenges it presented?
Uwe: It’s not easy to get everything into focus if you have only flashlights as a source of light. I wanted to keep the film gritty and realistic.
I have noted that I see much growth in your films since you did “House of the Dead”. In what ways do you feel you have grown as a filmmaker?
Uwe: I’m used to working with big stars and large setups on a grand scale. We had over 1000 people on set at one time during the filming of IN THE NAME OF THE KING. In the last two years I’ve become more focused on what really matters on film; the characters and their story arc.
SEED is bound to have it’s share of people who are put off by the amount of violence in the film, yet the average
person is surrounded by violent images every time they turn in the television.
Do you feel that fantasy films such as yours offer an escape from the horrors of the real world? As a side note, I am more concerned about what is happening overseas in reality than anything that I see in film, yet most people seem to fixate on film violence, being bad.
Uwe: Seed represents what Nietzsche and Schopenhauer wrote about in their philosophical teachings. Seed is pure Nihilism.
It is better to die than to live. The day you were born, is the first day of a slow death. It can take 80 years to kill you with cancer or at 5 years of age you are hit by a bus. Either way you die; it doesn’t matter. In the end it is all over. If our nature is bad, then we are better off dead.
The people Seed is killing are not bad, but they deserve to die because they are alive. The world would be better off without humans. The death penalty is an act of murder. A state that has the death penalty is no better than a serial killer. In fact it is worse, because it is deliberate and cognizant.
In many cases a serial killer is clinically ill, a sociopath or disturbed. With a state execution, it is planned. We claim to be civilized and yet we implement the the death penalty.
As a species we are too willing to engage in war, or commit ruthless acts of violence. State executions are acts of barbarism.
Final question, what are some recent horror films you have enjoyed, and which ones are on your “to watch” list?
Uwe: SAW 3 was great. I’m really looking forward to seeing 28 WEEKS LATER.