The Oddly Hilarious Tale of Uwe Boll

The Oddly Hilarious Tale of Uwe Boll

The Oddly Hilarious Tale of Uwe Boll

Uwe Boll, the world’s most well-known and well loathed maker of video game movies, is a peculiar man. Many people are talking about his recently failed Rampage Kickstarter, but we will talk about that in due time. In honor of his recent meltdown (and boy howdy it’s a doozy) I want to go over the peculiar life and career of this infamous man.

If you haven’t heard of Uwe Boll… well, let’s face it, you probably have heard of Uwe Boll. He is the guy behind nearly every bad video game movie in existence. Bloodrayne ? He did it. House of the Dead ? He did it. Alone in the Dark , Far Cry , Postal ? He did all of them too.

All of these movies were considered horrendous failures, both critically and economically. Yet Boll keep making them, much to the chagrin of all of us video game fans. Why? How does he even get the money to do so?

Well, let’s start out by examining who Boll is. He is, by any definition of the word relatable to you or I, rich. He finances a lot of his movies himself, which still adds up to millions of dollars of investment, and since these movies rarely make back as much money as was invested in them, you’d think he would repeatedly be taking huge losses to his personal profit, and he would be if it weren’t for Germany’s tax code.

You see, in Germany, as is the case in most countries, entertainment projects like movies can be used as a deduction on your taxes. This is to give people an incentive to invest in the entertainment industry, building the industry and bringing in more money for the country. This isn’t all that weird and, to be fair, even we in the United States have some similar tax laws.

The Oddly Hilarious Tale of Uwe Boll

But Germany’s are particularly lax. You see, any money you pay into making a movie in Germany is 100% tax deductible. At the same time, you don’t have to pay any taxes on the investment you make into making a German movie, you only have to pay taxes on profits. Note, I said profits, not net money made. If a movie makes no profits whatsoever, you don’t have to pay any taxes on it.

This tax law applies, even if the funding didn’t 100% come from you. In Germany, there are lots of government incentives to make video game movies, in the hopes that it will grow Germany’s video game market as well. These incentives are not deducted from the full total of the investment when claimed as a deduction on a tax return. Its money you aren’t spending, but still money you don’t have to pay in taxes. This is why Boll films in places like Vancouver, which provide tax rebates on labor. Any assistance he gets in making is movies is essentially money in his pocket. This will tie in to Boll’s recent Kickstarter meltdown, which I will talk about later.

So imagine this (vastly oversimplified) scenario. Imagine Boll needed to pay 10 million dollars of taxes to the German government. If Boll was any normal person, he would be 10 million dollars poorer. Instead of paying up, though, he decides to make a crappy movie on a 10 million dollar budget. He deducts all 10 million dollars spent from his taxes, and boom, no more taxes owed – but he is still 10 million dollars poorer.

Then Boll gets a $1 million dollar subsidy for making a video game movie. Now he is only 9 million dollars poorer. Then he gets $1 million in tax rebates for the locations he shoots in. Now he is only 8 million dollars poorer. He stacks together a couple more incentives in loans and grants for another million, and now he is only 7 million dollars poorer. Then the movie fails horribly, making back only half the cost of making it, 5 million dollars. Since the movie made no profit, all of that money comes directly to boll tax free. He is now only 2 million dollars poorer.

Regular citizen Uwe Boll needed to pay $10 million to the government.

Movie producer Uwe Boll only payed $2 million.

And if movie producer Uwe Boll ever breaks even, or even comes close, he actually makes money! What a brilliant tax scam!

The Oddly Hilarious Tale of Uwe Boll

Of course, Boll isn’t simply going to admit that he is following a career path of movie making specifically to dodge taxes. (Even though he basically did so in the director’s commentary of Alone in the Dark, saying “the reason I am able to do these kind of movies is I have a tax shelter fund in Germany, and if you invest in a movie in Germany you get basically fifty percent back from the government.”) Instead, Boll takes an absurd amount of pride in his creations, even if they are all failures when considered by finances alone. Even when they are failures by design!

Boll is so protective of his movies, he frequently lashes out at anyone who would speak ill of them. He has criticized fans as not understanding the essence of these video game properties. He has criticized the parent companies of these projects for not putting enough support into his productions (which I’m sure would make him more money).

But nowhere has he lashed out more violently than at critics. He called the staff of Ain’t It Cool News “retards.” When Wired gave Postal a bad review, Boll said the critic didn’t:

“understand anything about movies and that you are an untalented wannabe filmmaker with no balls and no understanding what POSTAL is. You don’t see courage because you are nothing. and go to your mom and f*ck her …because she cooks for you now since 30 years… so she deserves it.” Woah.

Perhaps the most infamous Boll lash out is the story of Raging Boll, where instead of debating the merits and flaws of his movies to the critics that criticized them, he just decided to beat them up. He challenged five different critics to a 10 round boxing match and won each and every one. I’m not entirely sure what that proved, but I’m sure that it gave Boll some catharsis.

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