Stoic and Rampage Prove That Uwe Boll Can Make Good Films

When one hears the name Uwe Boll images of pissed off fan boys and videogame movies often come to mind. Boll is a controversial and outspoken director who operates as an independent outside the studio system and has made a name for himself with the series of videogame related films.

His films have received critical lambasting from legions of online filmgoers who have dubbed the director the worst director of all time.

Never one to not respond to his detractors Boll has lashed out against those who engage in net bashing or blasting him and his films without seeing them simply based on reputation.

Boll has spoken out about politics, the studio system, and how mainstream films with budgets 10 times what he has to work with produce the same product over and over would little regards to innovation, story, or creativity.

Over the years, I had the chance to meet and interview Uwe Boll many times and I found him to be a very likable and hard-working individual who has received some very harsh criticism. While some of it is warranted others I believe have gone too far as while his films were not cinematic masterpieces, I have seen major studio films that were worse than anything he has created and yet nobody called for those directors to stop making films.

A few years back Boll released a movie called “1968: Tunnel Rats”, which was a gritty and at times brutal look at the tunnel warfare system of the Vietnam War. While the film did not have a large budget or A-list talent in the cast, it overcame some of its shortcomings by telling a moving and compelling tale of the horrors of war.
In the last couple of years Boll has focused more on dramatic films that he is written and directed himself. Two such films are “Stoic” and “Rampage”, which are both available via Netflix streaming content.
I added the films of the curiosity as after seeing many of his earlier films I was curious to see what direction Bolls new work was going.

“Stoic” stars Edward Furlong this a dark and claustrophobic prison drama based on actual events. The film told largely through flashback details a hazing ritual that goes horribly out of hand and the extent that prisoners are willing to take to cover up their actions and involvement.

The film is brutal and unflinching as much of the film takes place in a single room with the four primary characters. As difficult as it was to watch, I could not take my eyes off the film and when it ended the images and story stayed with me.

“Rampage” is the story of her brutal killing spree that is engineered by young man who simply snaps when he is unable to find his place in the modern world. At first I expected the film to be nothing more than mindless bloodbath when in reality it was a compelling character driven film that while unflinching in its brutality also carried haunting messages and images that stayed with you after the film.

Both films currently have an aggregate score on IMDB of 8/10. High marks indeed for a community that regularly score his films 1 to 2/10 and have constantly filled the comment forms with unending hate toward the director and scorn for his projects.

Boll who earned his doctorate in Germany, studies politics, the criminal justice system, and world events, and is never one to shy away from voicing his opinions on various topics related to them.
With films in the works about Auschwitz, the boxer Max Schmeling, and a recent film about Darfur one has to wonder if Boll has found his niche with independent drama and action films.

It was a bit of a surprise when I noticed that Boll had a third “Bloodrayne” film and a sequel to in the name of the “King” in the works as I wondered why he would return to the videogame genre when it seems that now he is finally starting to get some respect with his films.

I believe the answer may lie in finance. Boll relies heavily upon investors were looking to gain a tax break and a return on their investment through helping finances films. While many of the films do little if any box office in the United States, they do well in Europe, DVD, and other markets throughout the world.

While films such as “Stoic” and “Rampage” may be where his true passions lay, Boll like many studio directors has to do a commercial film in order to get his other projects financed.

I would encourage those with an open mind to view “Stoic” and “Rampage” as not only are they solid and entertaining films but prove that Boll can make good movies and that he is truly not the worst director of all time but rather a filmmaker who improves with each subsequent project and has made considerable progress since “House of the Dead”.