Tuesday, September 16, 2008

A Load Of Boll: Seed(2007)

The only film I had on DVD directed by Uwe Boll, until a few days ago, was Bloodrayne, primarily because I'm a sucker for vampire flicks of any kind and also because I really like Kristanna Loken as a redhead in the title role.

Uwe Boll has, I believe justifiably, more than his fair share of critics who lambast the poor sets and overall production quality of his past films. Boll is also someone who is perceived as being arrogant, which makes him look even more like a buffoon in the eyes of movie fans and critics alike, especially in light of the mostly subpar movies he's cranked out.

I haven't seen Postal, a Uwe Boll helmed movie but I've seen trailers of this parody and it looks decent. Also leading me to think Boll is showing improvement in the director's chair: Seed, a 2007 horror film directed by Uwe Boll and just released to R1 DVD on 9/9/08.

Boll's Seed is a journey into the mind of a homicidal maniac, much like the "Saw" films explore Jigsaw and Eli Roth's "Hostel" films examine people who pay money in order to torture someone to death.
The villain in Seed(2007) is a bulky, masked and grubby looking man named Max Seed, who has, we learn, killed 666 people and videotaped every one of his murders, the police receiving Seed's tapes in the mail. (get the reference here? 666?) Seed is finally captured by a hard bitten cop named Matthew Bishop(played by Michael Pare), but not before Seed murders every uniformed police officer who accompanied Detective Bishop to Seed's boondocks hideout to apprehend the killer.

Fast forward to Max Seed being placed in the electric chair. You would think several jolts of 15,000 volts of electricity would kill a person. Not Max Seed. Despite remaining alive Seed is signed off as dead by the prison warden and attending physician, and unceremoniously buried alive. Predictably, Seed digs himself out of his pine box and the strata and sets off to kill those who took part in his electrocution and burial...including Detective Matthew Bishop. (no other spoilers)

Observations: As a horror movie "gorehound" I think Uwe Boll gets quite a few things right in this film as he "explores the depths of human brutality"(Boll's own words from the film's audio commentary).
What works for me:
-the villain, Max Seed, does not speak at all in the movie, which helps sustain a level of revulsion, and mystery, needed for this character
-the villain is absolutely merciless during his carnage, which is a necessity, I believe, for this genre of horror film
-the various effects shots used during Seed's carnage, in particular Seed blasting a captured female victim in the head over two hundred times with a hammer, is surprisingly realistic. Also, time lapse shots used while the cops look at Seed's videotaped abuse of his victims is effective. There's something very disturbing about watching a baby, an adult female, and a dog captured and then left to rot in a locked room. Boll's use of maggots during this part of the film is especially nasty.
-the performance of Michael Pare: the veteran actor doesn't phone in his performance, like he has done in other of his recent films. Pare is solid in this movie.
-the PETA animal abuse images at the beginning of the film: these images, from PETA archives, show animals, including dogs, being bludgeoned to death. Obviously this is disturbing and would not be easy for anyone to watch but it immediately sets the bleak tone for the film and frames, if you will, the mentality, or lack of, in the killer Max Seed as he sits in the room watching the clips of animal abuse on a TV set, mask over his head.

What I did not like:

-the production sets remain, judging by this movie, a work in progress for Uwe Boll. No doubt Mr. Boll is looking to save budget here and there.

-the acting of the secondary characters in this film is very average and at times below that

In summary: Seed(2007) is not, IMO, nearly as good as the other established "slasher" and gore horror movie franchises, like "Friday The 13th", "Halloween", "Saw" or even torture fests like the two "Hostel" films. For fans of this kind of horror film it is, however, worth a look on DVD rental and might be a "buy" for true hardcore fans of this kind of horror film. Seed(2007) is a functioning, and periodically entertaining, look at the apparent vacuum that exists in the mind and heart of a vicious maniac.

A promo trailer for Seed(2007):