Why Do People Love to Hate Uwe Boll?

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In Epic Fail: Bad Art, Viral Fame, and the History of the Worst Thing Ever, Mark O’Connell writes perceptively about our fascination with truly awful works of art and the people who create them. I first learned of the Dunning-Kruger effect (the less capable people are, the worse they are at estimating their ability) from that book.

Any discussion of the worst movie directors of all time will include Ed Wood, of course, and Tommy Wiseau. Both have had films made about them that are vastly better than the films they made. But on the Mount Rushmore of bad movie directors one cannot overlook Uwe Boll, who has completed his 30th film, which he says is his last. Vanity Fair has a great feature about him. Describing the angry short film he posted on YouTube declaring that he was quitting the industry: “At the time of writing, the video has more than 1.6 million views on YouTube. Some commentators have suggested, not unreasonably, that it’s Boll’s best work.”

About “Bloodrayne,” like many of Boll’s films, based on a video game:

Cast and crew members have denounced the films. “BloodRayne was an abomination,” said BloodRayne star Michael Madsen. “It’s a horrifying and preposterous movie.” Willam Belli, who acted in and had a co-writing credit on “Blubberella,” compared viewing the finished product to “watching a car accident with clowns.”

Boll has always been better at raising the money for making a movie (hence the reliance on pre-sold brands) than in actually making it. A script supervisor points out that the job is rather difficult when there is no actual script to supervise. And yet, we can’t help feeling a grudging admiration for Boll’s determination despite universal opprobrium.

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