It’s become an obligatory mandate, that one cannot properly facilitate a review for an Uwe Boll film without first mentioning the man and his exploits respectively. He’s somehow evolved into something of an internet Legend. Grown men simultaneously weep and contort into involuntary spasms at the mere mention of his name. Geeks united across the web rally together plotting his demise, shrieking in terror at the prospect of Boll potentially “ruining” yet another successful videogame franchise's film adaptation.
Boll ever defiant has resigned to fully embracing his much hated persona. Such was the case with Wired’s negative review of Postal, where Boll was noted in reponse saying to the writer: “Go to your mum and fuck her ...because she cooks for you now since 30 years ...so she deserves it". Statements like the aforementioned are far from uncommon from Boll, in fact he's begun utilizing said situations to his advantage, employing controversy to promote his upcoming features.
Pushing the notoriety aside, I can attest to previously only viewing Boll’s House of the Dead. Frankly I didn’t care for it personally, yet in all honesty, in terms of plot there was never anything to the franchise to begin with. To say he ruined a potentially great videogame film adaptation is simply moronic, as the franchise is nothing but a button mashing shoot em’ up anyways. So with this, I walked into Boll’s latest effort, Postal, with a relatively unbiased mindset….
Postal Dude (Zach Ward) is a bitch. His wife, an adulterous, moose of a woman, constantly berates and belittles him. He resides in the trashiest of trailer parks, smack dab in the middle of “Paradise, Arizona”. He has no job and despite his best efforts, remains unable to find one, leaving him forced to survive on his welfare check alone…. His neighbors constantly harass and look down upon him; while a local hoodlum continuously attempts to shake him down for money he doesn't have. Amidst his ever living misery, the sweet little town of Paradise reaps bloody carnage at seemingly every turn. With the residing law enforcement corrupt, which only compounds the matter further.
In desperation Dude turns to his uncle Dave (Dave Foley), a conartist who has subsequently created his own religion. Swarmed in half naked women, Uncle Dave has forged himself his very own cult, writ with drugs and sexual debauchery, a congregation dedicated to his every whim. There’s just one problem; Dave’s indebted to the federal government for well over one million dollars.
Hoping to pull himself out of financial ruin and possible prison time, Dave reaches out to Dude, attempting to formulate a scheme to make both of their money troubles disappear. At first Dude wants no part of it, having fallen in the past to his uncle Dave’s failed manipulations, but quickly reconsiders after an unfortunate incident where Dude mistakenly kills a would be assailant.
In returning to his uncle, Dude’s uncle gladly reveals his money making stratagem. Due to a recent shipping disaster, nearly all of this year's most popular toy: “The Krotchy doll”, a brown lumpy scrotum shaped plush toy, were destroyed. With demand escalating considerably, the remaining Krotchy dolls are going for as much as $4,000 on eBay. Furthermore, according to recent reports, a stash containing one hundred thousand dolls is being held at a local Nazi theme park, run by none other than Uwe Boll himself! Uncle Dave surmises, if they can just somehow manage to steal these Krotchy dolls for themselves, they’re certain to make a small fortune, surely enough to remedy their equally ill predicament.
Unbeknownst to Dude and his uncle, Osama bin Laden and his Taliban cohorts have a plan for the Krotchy dolls themselves, one which would undoubtedly spell disaster for America. It’s up to Dude to acquire the ever popular Krotchy dolls, consequently saving America in the process.
Postal opens with a parody/recreation of the events of 9/11, most notably, the crash in Pennsylvania. Here facing the prospect of only 20 virgins amongst them both, two hijackers decide to reroute to the Bahamas’s instead, only to be flanked by the flights passengers, spiraling the plane downward into a fiery tomb. Needless to say, the idea was not well received, ultimately resulting in no theatrical release in the US.
With postal Uwe Boll sets out to shock and awe both critics and fans alike, in a flamboyant, over the top, violent, paradigm of reality. Strewn about the film are various satirical commentaries from the director, which primarily, but not wholly, fall short of any real poignancy. Uwe’s message, while genuine in origin, is ultimately far too contrived in practice. However, on a purely superficial level, the film works wonderfully.
Here we have loads of gratuitous violence, lowbrow humor and an array of scantily clad vixens to ogle and admire. While the plot may tangle and intertwine upon itself, it remains simple and easy to follow. Realistically, it’s just a vehicle for the subsequent mayhem to unleash itself upon.
The cast is surprising well suited, with a favorable performance from lead Zack Ward, likely known to most as the coonskin cap donning bully, from A Christmas Story. A highlight of the film comes at the expense of "Mini-Me" Verne Troyer, who while portraying himself, is forcibly raped by 1,000 monkey’s, for the sake of the oncoming apocalypse. Yes the film gets that retarded, and for this it has my most sincere appreciation.
Simply put, Postal unapologetically amounts to sheer mindless fun. Is it great cinema? Fuck no. Yet what differentiates it from the usual comedic drivel, is the presence of some genuine enthusiasm, originality, and in the words of the great Boll himself: “Balls”.
Even the Boll haters should be able to appriciate this one. Recomended for those looking for something against the grain, that doesn't take itself too seriously.