Uwe Boll on BloodRayne: Third Reich and Still Hating Michael Bay
On top of being one of the worst-reviewed filmmakers of all time, German director Uwe Boll is many things: the possessor of a doctorate in literature, an author, an avid boxer (who has literally knocked out his critics), a recipient of the rare Razzie "Worst Career" award, an outspoken adversary of Michael Bay, a non-chewer of Stride gum (the company supported a petition for him to retire in 2008), an unwavering believer in his own "art" form. And judging from the five minutes Movieline spent with him during Tuesday's press event for BloodRayne: Third Reich -- the straight-to-DVD third film in his BloodRayne franchise -- Boll is also a current-events buff with an affinity for George Clooney movies and small, fluffy dogs.
Like all of the BloodRayne films, Third Reich is a very aggressive, testosterone-fueled action movie which I imagine was draining to shoot. How did you unwind after a long day on set?
At the casino. A lot of people lost a lot of money. Not me but the stunt guys lost a lot of money. They got thrown out of the casino at one point too.
Why were they thrown out?
Because they got drunk and got a little too aggressive and the casino guys threw them out. I think they might have thrown them down a flight of stairs too. I'm not sure. It's Eastern Europe so there are a lot of mafia guys -- they run the casinos. We played in a tournament there though and there was no problem. The casino owner was a very nice guy.
But you weren't included in that group of troublemakers?
No. I had to work on this movie from time to time, you know. [Laughs] A lot of time you're done with the shoot early in the morning so you just go back to the hotel and you're dead. We were doing nighttime shoots in the winter. It was not fun. I'd go to the casino on a day off sometimes.
What did you play mostly?
Poker. Texas hold'em.
The release date of Third Reich is coincidental considering your well-publicized feud with Michael Bay. Postal was released a few weeks after the original Transformers movie and now once again, another one of your films is being released a few weeks after another Transformers film. Does your rivalry with Bay still stand?
Totally! Today though, I talked to another interviewer who said, "I just watched both movies [Transformers: Dark of the Moon and BloodRayne: Third Reich] back to back and I like BloodRayne 3 more." It is nice to go against him again. Look, I just don't like the Michael Bay movies and I'm sure I won't like the new Transformers movie.
What about them bothers you?
I think there is a very combative, patriotic thing behind the Michael Bay movies which is what I hated in Pearl Harbor and other movies like this. It's just, for me, over the top. I like more cynical movies, like Three Kings for example, which was about the Iraq war, with George Clooney. Or Men Who Stare At Goats. Stuff like this. When you have a subject like this -- military, wars, even robots with Transformers -- I think in the Michael Bay movies, everything comes with this point of view that I just didn't like.
Would you still like to settle your frustrations with Michael Bay in the ring?
Yes! No problem! The thing is, in Bay's movies, it comes across as [the U.S.A.] is always right. As a European, you get sensitive. You get like, "No, you're not always right. You were wrong with the Iraq war. You were wrong in Afghanistan. You are wrong now bombing Libya. It's just wrong." In Syria, the guy killed everybody and we do nothing. In Libya, Qaddafi killed 20 people in the last 10 years and we're bombing him. It's absurd.
I guess Europe has a slightly longer learning curve though.
No, I think America is grown up and it's a very democratic country. I like America but the point is, I just don't think [America] can be the war police. The Team America movie was great because it made fun of it. We have to get away from [the mindset] of thinking, "We can fix other country's problems." Especially when your own country has its problems. The other thing I don't get is the whole money issue. It never matters when it comes to war. It's stupid. North Afghanistan is under German control and the whole discussion is, like, "Why the fuck do we pay this? We will never make a difference in Afghanistan and as soon as we leave, the Taliban will take over." It's just too expensive and I think 90 percent of the people, if they were making the decision, they would say, "Exactly. Just forget it."
Getting back to BloodRayne -- I heard that you encountered a few accidents while filming the second film. Did anything like that happen on the third?
We didn't really have any of those this time. Last time we had the station exploding. Not for the third. It was cold. I had to take care of Natassia [Malthe]'s dog.
Yes. She has a mini, fluffy dog. Sophie is her name. She was like drooling and shivering the whole time. It was so cold that she wanted to sit on my lap so everybody thought that I am a fucking gay guy, sitting in the director chair with my fluffy dog. Everybody looked at me like, [raises eyebrows]. But I like dogs, so from that point of view, it was OK.
One last question, what is your favorite film scene of all time?
This is tough to say -- there are so many. I love the scene in Deer Hunter where they play Russian roulette. I love, love that scene. So great. I love that scene in Goodfellas where Joe Pesci stabs the guy in the bar with the pen like [acts out the stabbing scene in dramatic fashion over the conference table]. I cannot say that that is definitely the greatest film scene of all time but that is a good one. Oh wait, no, maybe my favorite is the Daniel Day-Lewis scene in There Will Be Blood where he kills the guy at the bowling thing at the end of the movie and tells him, "You say you are not believing in God before" -- like it's his revenge to the guy who made him come to church before. That's the best.