Hoping, perhaps, but not really surprised that he didn't get it. Though his predilection for ranting in the press may have created the image that Boll is, to put it gently, somewhat out of touch with reality, he's well aware of his reputation as a filmmaker. "Especially in America, I'm totally wrong recognized. I'm recognized as a guy who only makes movies to make money, who makes primitive videogame-based movies. I'm used to dealing with it with humor. This is the way I deal with it." Boll may use humor to keep from "digesting" the bad reviews that he receives, but he's still genuinely hurt that he can't seem to get a fair shake from audiences or critics. "I learned a lot about filmmaking in the past 10 years, I've made a lot of movies, I've made a lot of bigger movies with huge CGI, with big stars and everything, and I think a lot of people are not really looking to the movies anymore, they're only looking into my person," he says.
He's even thought about releasing a movie under a pseudonym so that audiences wouldn't walk into it with any preconceived notions about the film's quality, but he figures that's just asking for even more trouble. "The big problem, of course, is that if you make a movie where you have like 250 people on set, everybody has digital cameras, somebody will leak it. If you shoot a movie with 10 people in a studio and you can close it down, then it's a chance. But I don't think that I get away with it if I make a bigger movie or an action movie or whatever. I think somebody from the crew, or the extras will say, 'Oh, by the way, I know who's the director,' and then I think they'll even trash me harder. They'll say that I tried to hide myself."
He's probably right. Uwe Boll is the director audiences love to hate, after all. Seeing the glee with which people declare their disdain for him and his work - googling the phrase "I hate Uwe Boll" turns up a truly alarming number of hits - it seems unlikely that he's ever going to be able to rid himself of his image as the worst director ever, no matter what kind of movies he decides to make. And he knows it.
Nevertheless, Boll soldiers on, determined to tell his stories to a world that doesn't necessarily want to hear them. And while his enthusiasm for moviemaking is palpable, so too is his bitterness at the reception he's received from critics and the press. He seems genuinely nonplussed as to where his career and his ability to connect with viewers started to go awry. "When I started as a filmmaker in 1991 in Germany, I did all different movies, all different genres, and I didn't get such bad reviews for it." It's easy to point to his choice of subject matter as a prime reason for his lack of credibility as a filmmaker; videogames aren't exactly known for making smooth transitions to the silver screen, no matter who's behind the camera. Though Boll thinks source material like FarCry is perfect fodder for a popcorn romp, his most recent projects are a bit more thought provoking.
Stoic, due out next year and starring Edward Furlong, is based on the true story of three men, charged with minor crimes, who brutally attack another prisoner in a German jail for 12 hours until he hangs himself. The recently-released Tunnel Rats, of which Boll is particularly proud for its attention to detail - "we went on a 10-day bootcamp with South African mercenaries, the helicopter we had is a real Vietnam helicopter" - is a Vietnam film also based on true-life events.