“POSTAL”: Uwe Boll’s Citizen Kane
As the end credits of the film began to roll and the directors name appeared on screen the entire room came to their feet and began to applaud. Several audience members approached the director, who was sitting, very inconspicuously, in the back of the screening room, to shake his hand, to thank and congratulate him on the film. That director: Uwe Boll. The film: “Postal”. Adapted from a video game it barely resembles “Postal” is comedy that is indiscriminately offensive, boldly inappropriate, gross, and lewd. But, hey, it’s also really funny too.
Playing out something like a 90 minute live-action episode of “South Park”, the film takes place in the fictional town of Paradise. Zack Ward, as “Dude”, is out of work, living in a trailer and married to a morbidly obese woman that the entire town seems to get a ride on. His Uncle Dave (Dave Foley) is a new age cult leader running a commune on the outskirts of Paradise and who owes the IRS. They hatch a plot to steal the first shipments of a hot new toy, the “Krotchy” doll (a stuffed scrotum with the voice of Verne Troyer). They don’t realize that they’re also in direct competition with a group of al-Qaida terrorists, led by Osama Bin Laden himself, who have secretly sewn vials of avian flu into all the toys.
“Postal”, like “South Park”, is also a very sharp political satire wrapped up in great low-comedy. Boll takes aim at everything from religious fanaticism, to political corruption, and pseudo-intellectualism. Boll even makes a cameo as the owner of the Lil’ Germany theme park and makes a little fun of himself. Of course, this is all played out with some remarkably funny and extreme slapstick violence. It’d be giving away too much, but I’ll just tease you with this: During the scene in Lil’ Germany about 200 kids holding stuffed Krotchy dolls are machine gunned down by terrorists and Uwe Boll pays Verne Troyer in Nazi gold before he is raped by a roomful of cross-dressing chimpanzees. The whole movie is so completely batshit crazy that even the creator of the video game “Postal” makes a cameo in which he screams, “Uwe Boll, what the fuck have you done to my game?”
Boll is also certainly courting controversy with a few scenes in this film (ok, maybe with the whole film). This is especially true the opening scene which takes place in the cockpit of a plane on 9/11. It’s so politically incorrect and in such bad taste it might make even John Waters blush. Still,“Postal” is really like some of the very best violent satiric comedy that we’re used to seeing come out places like Troma. Actually, come to think of it, “Troma” would be the best way to describe what “Postal” is. It’s a $15 million dollar Troma film.
It makes me wonder, and hope, that perhaps the last few years we haven’t been seeing the real Uwe Boll. Maybe the guy has been somewhat out of his element as a writer-director, and should have been making comedies like this the whole time. You can’t be an incompetent director and make a movie work as well as a comedy as this does. You have to know what you’re doing and it’s clear Boll does. He has the talent for this kind of material. You have to know how to play an audience, you have to have to know how to make the energy of the film flow and work right. A film that’s as over-the-edge as this is, that’s full of slapstick and sight gags, and that wants to be shocking and funny can wear out and exhaust an audience very quickly. In an incompetent directors hand, a movie like “Postal” would fall flat, it would be boring and stale 20 minutes in. But you don’t find yourself looking at your watch during “Postal” because it is so sharply paced and written and so well handled by Boll and his great cast. Good work, Mr. Boll!
And now…Mr. Boll and Krotchy: