RAMPAGE Mini-Review [Fantastic Fest ’09]

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Written and Directed by Uwe Boll

Without question RAMPAGE is the best film Dr. Uwe Boll has ever made.  However, and this is an elephantine however, that statement still needs qualification.  RAMPAGE is fascinating for both its successes and its failures, but ultimately the movie is still a failure; albeit the best failure Uwe Boll has ever been involved with.

The reason it fails is not because it was made with a piggy bank budget or because it featured washed up actors playing villainous dark wizards or sophisticated anthropologists.  No, RAMPAGE fails because it’s about a guy who creates a suit of armor and goes on a killing spree in his home town.  And that is all it is about.  There’s no higher agenda, no important examination of what it means to be directionless in life, of the kind of motivations that fuel people who go postal.  No, RAMPAGE is about a middle class white kid whose parents care about him, who has a job, who has a best friend, and who just decides to up and slaughter dozens of and dozens of men and women because he can.

And what’s so frustrating about that is that Uwe Boll actually brushes shoulders with a higher meaning.  At first it might seem like he’s not only shaping a worthwhile character, but that he’s showing a creativity behind the camera that he’s never exhibited.  For example, when Brendan Fletcher (who does a fine job with what he’s given) first starts his killing spree, we don’t actually see the carnage.  Instead of relishing in it, Boll reverses the camera, giving the viewer a reverse first-person perspective locked on the Fletcher’s face as we hear the muffled screams and gunfires he would be hearing from inside his armor-plated helmet.

It seems like it should be a clever bit of commentary on what the audience typically sees in a movie like RAMPAGE.  By denying the gory shots, Boll has upped the emotional ante considerably, but it doesn’t matter, because all of that is accidental.  It doesn’t take long before Boll is showing us the full-on carnage, forcing the viewer to take a bath in it, practically begging for us to root for the now-severely unlikeable Fletcher as he kills masses and masses of undeserving people.  And what’s even sadder than that plot is the fact that there are people just like Fletcher in the world who are going to look at RAMPAGE and think that it speaks to them, that it’s playing out their angsty fantasy, when really all it is doing is putting another dump-truck full of dead bodies on the screen for no higher purpose than a body count and a controversial (lack of a) message.

Horror 2008, a Retrospective: Part 5, News & Events

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Not necessairly the most important headlines of 2008 (yes, the writer’s strike ended), rather the, “Oh, I remember that” variety.  Note there is no chronological order to the listing of these events, the majority of which are derived from the creation/cessation of various production houses with the potential to shape the horror flow for the next few years.

Part 1: January to March.
Part 2: April to June.
Part 3: July to September.
Part 4: October to December.
Part 5: Events.
Part 6: Awards. (coming)

Last Week in Horror: November 23rd to the 30th

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Theatrical Trailers and Clips

Studio News and Attachments


Indie, Foreign and Random News

Non-Theatrical Trailers and Clips

Uwe Boll’s Plan to Save Hollywood: Lose the cokeheads, bullshit breakfast, lunch and dinner.

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Uwe Boll must never have received word that I am his biggest fan, as I conversely never received the raving email sent from cinema’s ousted tyrant to various sources around the web.  1UP received the manifesto, however, and they’ve done us all the favor of publishing much of the boxer’s insight into the industry aptly titled “The Film market — or THERE IS NO MONEY IN MOVIES.”  Oh, yes, Boll is going there and judging from the “essay’s” inconsistent capitalization kicking off in the title and never stopping, I’d say he started the evening early.

I’ll leave the full repost at 1UP, but of course I’ve got to cherry pick a few favorites.  First up, with all the numbers that Boll bandies about in his rant, I am flabbergasted that the one computer game he hasn’t adapted is Math Blaster.  I don’t know where he got his numbers, so I’ll just assume he knows what he is talking about.  I cannot imagine a reason not to.

Second, Boll poetically questions, “Why not Pirates putting for 10 years in jail?” This may be the crown jewel of the piece.  Not because it offers any particular illumination as to THERE IS NO MONEY IN MOVIES, but because I imagine that Uwe Boll is genuinely wondering why not put pirates in jail for 10 years.  He phrases it so coyly, as if testing the waters on a first date to see what we’d let him get away with.

Third, the money shot quote that solves all of Hollywood’s problems:

Last Week in Horror: 04/6 – 04/13

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Last week one of my most anticipated horror properties, the wonderful HACK/SLASH, finally got a writer, albeit an unproven. Sam Rami and Rob Tapert pulled a Dimension Extreme/After Dark Films and created release arm Ghost House Underground. FRIDAY THE 13TH cast some machete fodder. Oh, and, PROM NIGHT made over $9 million dollars on its opening day. That sound you hear? Blood boiling in the collective vein of horror fans everywhere.

And deserving a mention all its own on the front page. Uwe Boll has another video up (!!!!!), this time signing off with the pleasantry,

“If you write me, don’t write me with some, like, bullshit nicknames out of the internet. Write me with your name and address so I can track you down and rip you apart. Thank you.”

Be still my quivering heart. Be still!

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