In the late 1980s, Uwe Boll began his career as a film critic at the local radio station. Later, in 1991, he debuted in professional filmmaking with ‘German Fried Movie’, co-writing, co-directing and co-producing it with Frank Lustig, also appearing in it as Danger Seeker 2 / Tipgeber.
Since the duo did not receive any outside help, they formed their own production and distribution company, which they called Bolu Filmproduktion Und Verleih, releasing ‘German Fried Movie’ through it. Their second film, ‘Barschel – Mord in Genf’ was released in 1993.
Shortly after the release of ‘Barschel,’ the partnership between Boll and Lustig was dissolved. Using his share of $50,000, Boll now went ahead with filmmaking, writing, directing and producing ‘Amoklauf’ all by himself. He also played a small role in it.
In ‘Amoklauf’, he first established a few trademarks that would occur again and again in his future films. Premiered in Berlin on February 13, 1994, the film was subsequently nominated for Max Ophüls Award. However, it failed to get critical acclaim.
In 1997, he wrote, directed and produced his fourth German film, ‘Das erste Semester’. Thereafter, he neither directed nor produced any film till 2000, possibly moving to Canada sometime during this period. He, however, retained his German citizenship.
In 2000, he formed his personal production company, Boll KG, headquartered in Bergrheinfeld, Bavaria, Germany. In the same year, he also coproduced the Icelandic film, ‘Fíaskó’ and his first English language film, ‘Sanctimony’. He also wrote the script of the latter film.
In 2002, he had two films, ‘Blackwoods’ and ‘Heart of America,’ released. Among the two, ‘Blackwoods’, a psychological thriller film, written and directed by him, was considered his ‘best’ until he made ‘Rampage’ in 2009.
In 2003, he released ‘House of the Dead’, his first film based on a video game. An adaption of the light gun arcade game of the same name, the film was a critical failure. Nonetheless, it grossed $13.8 million worldwide, finishing sixth at the box office in the opening weekend.
In 2005, he released two more video-game based films: ‘Alone in the Dark’ and ‘BloodRayne’. Both these films were critical as well as box office failures, both receiving Stinkers Bad Movie Award for Worst Sense of Direction.
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Boxing Match & Retirement Petition
In June 2006, fed up with the constant criticism, Boll challenged five of his harshest critics to a ten-round boxing match through a press release. In September, Boll fought Rich Kyanka, Chris Alexander, Carlos Palencia, Jeff Sneider, and Chance Minte, winning against each of them. The event was sponsored by GoldenPalace.com.
Undeterred by criticism, he had four films released in 2007, each of which was a critical and financial failure. Among them, ‘In the Name of the King’ received the Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Director and was nominated for Worst Picture, Worst Screenplay, Worst Supporting Actor and Worst Supporting Actress Awards.
’Postal’, another of his 2007 films, also got the Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Director while ‘BloodRayne 2: Deliverance’ got a 0% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. However, his third film, 'Seed', was awarded the Best Special Effects at New York City Horror Film Festival.
In 2008, an article in ‘The Guardian’ claimed that Boll had promised to retire if a petition asking for his retirement at PetitionOnline.com received 1,000,000 signatures. Although a petition, titled 'Stop Dr. Uwe Boll,' was eventually started, it received only 353,835 signatures.
In 2008, he started another petition called the ‘Long Live Uwe Boll’ poll, which he claimed would easily get one million signatures. As of July 22, 2012, it received a total of 7,631 signatures.
In 2009, after a series of failures, Uwe Boll gained some acceptance with ‘Rampage’. Premiered in Phantasmagoria Film Festival on August 14, it became his first film to gain mainly positive reviews.
'Darfur', released on November 23, 2009, also received appreciation from the critics. It also won the New York International Independent Film and Video Festival prize for the best international film.
In 2010, Boll released an English language film called ‘The Final Storm’ and a German language film titled ‘Max Schmeling’, neither of which actually earned him any profit. Undeterred, he continued to work, filming ‘Auschwitz’ in February and March 2010, also playing the role of a Nazi officer in it.
’Auschwitz’, released in February 2011, was boycotted by many critics, who considered it to be too gruesome. Nonetheless, he continued to work, releasing several more films until 2014, directing and producing most of them, acting in a few.
In 2015, he planned to make the third sequel to his 2009 film, ‘Rampage’. Unable to raise the funds, he released a video called ‘fuck you all’ on YouTube on June 7, targeting those who did not fund it. In 2015, he also opened the Bauhaus Restaurant in Vancouver, Canada.
In 2016, he co-wrote, directed and produced 'Rampage: President Down', releasing it on September 6. By then, he had declared his intention of retiring from filmmaking, citing non-profitability as the reason behind the decision.
Unlike his films, Bauhaus Restaurant became a great success, being listed in The World's 50 Best Restaurants Discovery Series in 2017. They now plan to expand their business and build Bauhaus Restaurants in other cities.