Game Over, Uwe Boll

Uwe Boll.jpg

In a small, cold film studio in early 2016, the man known by the Internet as the “worst director in the world” was doing what he does, well, worst.

“O.K., one more time,” said Uwe Boll (his first name is pronounced “OO-vah”), feeding lines to one of the actors in the absence of a script. “Straight in the lens: ‘. . . has been killed. By the law . . . er . . . the law enforcement? Has been shot by law enforcement.’ Yes. O.K., do it. Ready, and . . . Action!”

“This is the worst-looking set,” assistant director Michael Pohorly admitted between takes. “The budget on this set was . . . nothing. Twenty dollars for a lick of paint? It’s a $20 set.”

Ridge Studios, a former bingoplex in suburban Maple Ridge, Vancouver, had recently accommodated shoots for the Hallmark Channel specials Family for Christmas and Angel of Christmas, a 2016 Kindergarten Cop sequel, and the family comedy-drama series Date My Dad. This time last year it was home to Rampage: President Down, the 30th and, for now, final film by Boll. After a failed attempt to crowdfund the film, Boll uploaded a video to YouTube titled “Fuck You All,” in which he abruptly announced his retirement from filmmaking.

At the time of writing, the video has more than 1.6 million views on YouTube. Some commentators have suggested, not unreasonably, that it’s Boll’s best work.

On Boll’s set, in the video village, a harried script supervisor searched the 20-page treatment, which was more like a hodgepodge of miscellaneous dialogue ideas, in no discernible order, with no page or scene numbers or character designations. It was largely ignored, in any case.

The actors ad-libbed their lines with varying levels of conviction. One actor, playing a news anchor and addressing the camera directly, improvised a breaking-news broadcast, speaking gravely but vaguely of “terror attacks from ISIS again today” and “various leads and suspects.” At one point, she faltered mid-sentence: “Sadly, these stories seem to be occurring in a”—a pause, an awkward casting around for words—“all-too-common occurrence.” The take would make it into the final cut.

“Fuck you!” improvised another actor, playing an F.B.I. agent. “Fuck you! You fucking cock . . . fucker! No! No! Fuck you! FUCK YOU! STUPID FUCKING LITTLE GIRL! FUCK! FUCK!”

“As a script supervisor, it is indeed extremely disturbing,” the script supervisor told me. “There’s no script to actually supervise.”

Read the full story at Vanity Fair.

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