What the Hell Were They Thinking?!

Oh, the humanity!! Zack Ward, Chris Coppola, Jackie Tohn and Dave Foley star in Uwe Boll’s Postal.

PostalCast of Characters:
Dude – Zack Foley
Uncle Dave – Dave Foley
Richard – Chris Coppola
Faith – Jackie Tohn
Candidate Welles – J. K. Simmons
Officer John – Ralf Moeller
Verne Troyer – Himself
Osama bin Laden – Larry Thomas
Peter – David Huddleston
Paul – Seymour Cassel

Director – Uwe Boll
Screenplay – Uwe Boll & Bryan C. Knight
Based on the video game Postal by Running With Scissors
Producer – Shawn Williamson, Uwe Boll & Daniel Clarke
Rated R for extremely crude humor throughout, including strong sexuality, graphic nudity, violence, and for pervasive language and some drug use

In the town of Paradise, Arizona, a man simply known as Dude (Zack Ward) is in the midst of a life crisis. He can’t find a job to save his life, his morbidly obese wife is cheating on him, and if he had the cash to leave his dead-end town, he would. Needing a change and hopefully some money, Dude teams up with his Uncle Dave (Dave Foley), a sleazy con artist turned Doomsday cult leader. Together, with the help of Dave’s right hand man Richard (Chris Coppola), they plan to hijack a shipment of thousands of Krotchy Dolls – a rare, sought after plush toy resembling a giant scrotum (no, you did not misread that) – and sell them online, where they’re worth up to $4,000 a doll.

Unbeknownst to them, Osama bin Laden (Larry Thomas) and his team have been hiding in the Paradise since 9/11, planning on hijacking that very same shipment, but for different reasons. Hoping to outdo the catastrophe of 9/11, Osama plans to instill the dolls with the bird flu, and distribute them to all the children in America.

Something tells me even Ed Wood is laughing from his grave at this guy.

After House of the Dead, Alone in the Dark, BloodRayne, and In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale, it’s no surprise most everyone views Uwe Boll as the worst filmmaker of the 21st century. Unlike his previous films, Postal – based on the controversial video game – is a satire (I know I’m using that word rather loosely right now) so it’s Boll taking a stab at being intentionally funny for once. It’s ironic that his movies are only funny when they take themselves seriously. My guess is this is his way of agreeing with the general consensus about him, but even if you have a very self-deprecating cameo where you claim how much you hate video games (Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha! Get it?!), at this point it’s too little, too late.

So what does Boll do here? Well, like any childish brat everyone in the neighborhood hates, he pokes the bull just to piss them off more. It’s puzzling how he can’t even make a passable film of a video game with plot, so what makes him think one without a plot will be any better? There’s no rhyme or reason to the jokes; it’s just Boll and co-writer Bryan C. Knight trying to see how far they can push the envelope of bad taste. What exactly is bad taste?

  • An opening scene with hijackers debating over the number of virgins they’ll receive before crashing into the World Trade Center.
  • A full-frontal Dave Foley taking a dump.
  • Children’s toys shaped like testicles.
  • Closeups of little kids being shot in the head.
  • Verne Troyer getting raped by monkeys.
  • A morbidly obese woman getting tag teamed by two cops.

I imagine a conversation between Boll and Knight went a little something like this…

“Bryan, okay how ’bout this? We have Dave Foley take a really bad dump.”

“Oh, okay, I get it. Something like Dumb & Dumber where someone’s getting back at…”

“What? No. He’s taking a dump ’cause poop is funny.”

“Uh… that’s it?”

“No. No, you didn’t let me finish. He’ll also be naked. Fully naked. You’ll see everything.”

“Is Foley okay with this?”

“Well, I haven’t asked, but he’s years removed from News Radio and Brain Candy, so it’s safe to assume he’ll do anything to get paid these days.”

“Oh… Okay.”

“Wanna get high?”

“Dude, have you read anything that we’ve written up to this point? I’m already there.”

Now, none of the above offends me. Matt Stone and Trey Parker – the creators of South Park – have proven over the past two decades it’s possible to make jokes that push the boundaries, but also have a point and place within the story they’re telling. Boll’s just using shock for the sake of shock. I’ve heard of yelling fire in a crowded theater in regard to free speech, but Postal’s more like Boll walking into that crowded theater and setting the entire room on fire. Nothing here makes any sense, other than what I imagine to be his way of cramming everything that pissed him off one day (long lines at the welfare office and coffee shop, 9/11, President Bush, Osama, dickhead bosses, Arabs, blacks, trailer trash, Asian drivers, panhandlers, kids, fat people, etc.) into one jumbled up script.

Hey, when in doubt, just kick someone in the crotch, take a dump, flash some boobies, and have a pointless shootout for no other reason than it gives the filmmakers an excuse to blow some heads up. That seems to have been the strategy here.

I had more narrative skill than this guy when I was in 8th grade, writing a one page story about an island of cheese.

Yes… an island of cheese..

Go ahead, Boll. Adapt away.

The only reasonable explanation anyone signed on to star in this is either drugs or blackmail photo threats from Uwe Boll. Zack Ward (best known to some as Christopher Titus’s brother in Titus, but he’ll always be Scut Farkus from A Christmas Story to me) probably was the only one who signed up drug free. Anything to finally land a lead role and no longer be known as “that one red-haired guy”. There was a time when Dave Foley was funny in News Radio and The Kids in the Hall, and the depressed look on his face tells me he not only also remembers, but knows that was years ago. I can’t imagine what the hell respectable character actor J. K. Simmons saw in this. With a budget of only $15 million, the payday couldn’t have been huge. If it was the material that did it for him, he needs to check into rehab stat.

Uwe Boll may have been struck with a newfound sense of self-awareness, but once an unapologetic hack filmmaker, always an unapologetic hack filmmaker. It may be labeled a comedy, but as juvenile, witless and nonsensical as the jokes are, Postal is about as funny as getting a full-fisted prostate exam and then finding out you have cancer. The only laughs to be found is when you finally throw your hands in the air and give up, offering a single hearty laugh so long as everyone else promises never to finance another Boll film ever again. Boll said it best: “If you’re drunk, you’ll like this.”

Well, for once, we agree.

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