Whether you love, hate or have never heard of filmmaker Uwe Boll, cinema’s so-called King of Trash, you may be wondering why he’s so mad at you today.
The B.C.-based German filmmaker and Vancouver restaurateur lashed out at his fans in two obscenity-laden video rants posted to YouTube on Sunday, in response to the failed crowdfunding campaign for his film Rampage 3: No Mercy. Declaring crowdfunding to be “absolutely dead,” he adds that “I have enough money to play golf till I’m dead,” then uses a Hollywood Reporter issue to denounce the film industry and stars such as George Clooney and Angelina Jolie for “laughing” about the filmgoing public.
(Be advised: The videos contain offensive language, a staggering total of 28 F-bombs and a suggestion to “kill the rich.”)
It isn’t the first time Mr. Boll, renowned for schlocky video-game adaptations like BloodRayne and Postal, has courted controversy with obscenities and confrontational publicity stunts. Here are five things to know about him.
1. He made his fortune with tax loopholes
Using filmmaking tax incentives in his native Germany, Mr. Boll has made a career of producing Z-grade movies that still made money for his investors despite being critical and box-office bombs. (Strategies like this have a long pedigree in Canada, where federal tax incentives in the 1970s and 1980s created a booming industry in B-movies and international co-productions.) Several of Mr. Boll’s films, including Postal and the In the Name of the King series, were made in British Columbia, while others were made in Croatia and Romania.
In 2005, however, Germany closed its tax loopholes, dramatically reducing his available sources of financing.
2. Crowdfunding hasn’t paid off
Late last year, Mr. Boll tried to finance Rampage 3 with an Indiegogo campaign, which, in two months, raised only $6,375 (U.S.) of a sought-after $100,000. His second campaign, on Kickstarter, sought €50,000 ($70,000 Canadian), but by Monday morning had made only around €23,000 ($32,000).
3. He made a movie about Darfur and thinks it’s really good
One of Mr. Boll’s YouTube videos includes a long digression on Darfur, a 2009 feature about Western journalists reporting on the Sudanese conflict. He singles out George Clooney for making a “weak documentary” about the conflict – a reference to the 2006 TV special A Journey to Darfur – saying his film could have done more to stop violence in the country. (At one point, Mr. Boll refers erroneously to the “president of Darfur” still being in power today, a likely reference to Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir.)
4. He once challenged critics to fight him
In 2006, Mr. Boll issued a challenge to fight his toughest film critics in a boxing match. Four film critics took on Mr. Boll in a Vancouver boxing ring at an event billed as “Raging Boll” and sponsored by an online gambling site. One of the critics, Chris Alexander of Toronto-based Rue Morgue magazine, came prepared with a packet of fake blood in his mouth to unnerve Mr. Boll in the fight. Mr. Boll won each bout in a knockout.
5. His fans once challenged him to quit
In a 2008 interview with the website Fear.net, Mr. Boll said he’d quit filmmaking if an online petition urging him to retire reached a million signatures. Over four years, the petition gathered just under 400,000 signatures, and spurred the creation of several pro-Boll petitions.
With reports from Associated Press and Globe staff