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Director Uwe Boll is angry.
And not just frustrated the way a filmmaker with over 30 credits — including the video game adaptation Bloodrayne, social drama Darfur, and grindhouse riff Blubberella — with nary a critically praised film in the bunch might be. He’s Network-level, I’m-mad-as-hell-and-I’m-not-going-to-take-it-anymore infuriated. He has a laundry list of complaints: NSA snooping, Duck Dynasty, loose gun laws, the potential cover-up of Osama bin Laden‘s death, Honey Boo Boo — name it, and it’s likely infuriating Boll.
His solution: Vent in the form of a movie. A sequel, actually. And it’s going to be offense. Really, really, really offensive.
On Aug. 28, Boll began a campaign to crowdfund Postal 2, a follow-up to his 2007 video game adaptation. As Boll puts it, the original Postal, part social satire, part bloodbath action movie, was not cheap to make, nor did it earn enough money to recoup its costs. But the shock-and-awe-style perversion — from the mauling down of children with a machine gun to the controversial opening sequence, two Al Qaeda terrorists comically bantering before flying into the World Trade Center — connected with a niche audience.
Talking to The Hollywood Reporter, Boll says he saw these rabid fans with his own eyes. As he traveled the road with his other films, people would ask him to autograph their Postal DVDs. The director suggests that the movie only lost money because they couldn’t sell the cult movie’s cable rights.
“TV was very, let’s say, ‘careful’ not to show it,” Boll says.
Instead of watering down his original vision for the sequel, Boll is opting to put the film’s fate in the hands of the fans. He believes the time is right for Postal 2, that Hollywood has followed him into the trenches of “disgusting” humor with movies like The Hangover and series like Family Guy, and subject matter that was once considered taboo for comedy is now the norm. Are Boll’s crazy ideas for Postal 2 — which, according to his campaign video, include Postal Guy (actor Zack Ward) caring for 10 “retard children” and “raping Heidi Klum” — worse than anything played for humor on Fox’s Dads?
Whether the stars will align for Postal 2 may come down to whether there are even stars to align. With his 60-day campaign half over, Boll has raised only one-tenth of his proposed $500,000 budget. Add that to the pile of reasons to be angry.
“A lot of the Postal fans don’t have the maximum amount of money,” Boll tells THR, trying to understand why he’s not seeing better results on Kickstarter. “They can’t send $100 over. 90 percent of the Postal fans are illegal movie downloaders who never pay to watch a movie.” Boll says he’s waiting for promotional support from folks like Ward; Vince Desi, CEO of Running with Scissors, the game developer behind Postal; and actor Larry Thomas, whom Boll insists “wants to [reprise his role] as Osama bin Laden.” Even if the cast and crew do shoot videos encouraging fans to donate, he’s not optimistic.
Boll admits he could scale down the movie and invest his own money, but to ensure Postal 2 is as insane as it can be, the filmmaker needs the full, fan-supported $500,000. “The problem with a Postal movie is you need a lot of actors. You have a lot of sets, you have a lot of action, and it’s not cheap,” Boll says. “I don’t want to limit Postal. I don’t want to write it down where everything takes place in Dr. Drew‘s rehab center. I don’t want it to just be a reality parody.” Oh yeah, Dr. Drew is in the movie too.
Insulting anybody and everybody requires that grand scale, which costs more money than the average indie. Boll describes his opening sequence: SEAL Team Six crashes their helicopter in Islamabad, they storm into a nearby house, and they put a bullet in the wrong guy’s head. “The best soldiers on Earth cannot land a helicopter!” Boll screams. “This is where Vince Desi was completely flipping out at me. ‘Don’t insult the Navy SEALs!’ ” Boll envisions it with cheap CGI — the worst that he could afford — just for comedic effect.
Boll says he’s beyond “race, religion and nations,” and his provocateur approach is all an effort to stir up comfortable audiences. In his video updates, he’s joked about being “pro-gay but not in favor of blacks,” a statement that caused a few donors to pull out. “People didn’t get it, that it was a joke or that there was more to the joke — the things they have to think about,” he says.
But can Postal 2 really impact its core audience of young gamers known for their abuse of racial and homophobic slurs? Boll seems to believe the sequel will have a confrontational effect. “We are far away from what it should be, but I think this anarchistic comedy is helping — through insults, through jokes — to open their minds,” he says. “Getting their moral status approved or reversed.” Boll says shooter games are brainwashing kids into supporting the U.S. as the world police. He says debating hot topics like the N-word are signs of reverse racism. He says he makes movies in a world that can overtalk problems and never solve them. Postal 2 is the answer to all that.
But Boll’s sales pitch is hard to swallow. He admits that he exaggerates his deranged sense of humor in his campaign to hook potential donors, and yet at the same time, knows that might be what turns people away. As he finishes up postproduction on In the Name of the King 3 — the third chapter in his direct-to-DVD medieval action franchise — this is the personal project he’s throwing everything at. This is the one he believes people will support.
“What fans can make happen is what no studio, no channel, no big company would ever support,” he says. ” ‘This will not get filmed,’ they say. And we can say, ‘Yes it will.’ “
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