Film Torments: Postal (2008)

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CONTINUING Razzie Month at Film Torments, George takes on what may well be the piece de resistance of the illustrious Dr. Uwe Boll’s career. Here’s the three-time Razzie-nominated Postal, you poor bastards.

Pick any film, no matter how bad, and I guarantee it’ll have at least some fans. Someone, somewhere, likes Resident Evil: Apocalypse; the Insidious series continues to make money; even The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants must have its admirers. However, I feel safe in saying that no one, anywhere, likes Postal, except maybe its director Uwe Boll (and even he probably knows, in the back of his mind, what a steaming turd he created). There are mediocre films; there are bad films; there are films so awful that they’re funny; then there are bad comedies, which are the worst kind of film because no matter how bad they are, they can never – by definition – be funny. Postal is a bad comedy.

I’m at a loss to describe what I’ve just watched. I could try summing up the plot – an apocalyptic cult run by a con artist is trying to steal a load of highly sought-after dolls shaped like genitals; the cult comes into conflict with Al Qaeda, who are also trying to steal the dolls, because there’s bird flu hidden in them (I wonder if Boll suspected how quickly this film would date). There’s a Nazi-themed amusement park run by Uwe Boll, who plays himself, making a series of jokes that not even his co-stars can avoid cringing at, and then he gets shot in the dick.

No words necessary.

No words necessary.

Also, Verne Troyer – the actor who played Mini Me in the Austin Powers films – is in it. I don’t know why – well, I know why Boll cast him. He thinks little people are funny. What I can’t understand is why Troyer would take the role. But I’m rambling – what I’m trying to convey is just how nonsensical this film is. It’s like if Adam Sandler wrote Team America: World Police, only somehow worse.

It’s not just that the jokes fall flat, or that the film goes after the predictable list of easy targets (fat people, the disabled, little people, “white trash”). There’s something about Postal that just doesn’t make sense, as if Boll is using a form of logic unknown to humans. There are about three separate films trying to co-exist in the hour and 40 minutes of Postal, and none of those minutes is any good.

The acting is actually not too bad – given a decent script, this cast could shine, which makes it even sadder than they’ll probably never work again. A credit on an Uwe Boll film is the acting equivalent of being on the sex offenders register. The script, as I’ve mentioned, is awful, but the directing and cinematography are surprisingly unremarkable (in the context of Uwe Boll’s body of work, “unremarkable” is a complement). There are films that have looked and sounded much worse, and had far worse performances, and it’s only thanks to Boll’s writing that Postal reaches the level of awfulness that it does.

Despair.

Despair.

I try to say something nice about every film I review, so here goes: the opening scene is quite good. It’s a relatively well-written sketch about two of the 9/11 hijackers arguing over how many virgins they get in Paradise. As far as 9/11 jokes go, it’s pretty funny – it’s also the last moment in the film that will make you laugh, smile, or make any facial expression other than one of mute horror. Postal will destroy your faith in man, God and the art of cinema – if this film were ever to be broadcast as an in-flight movie, the passengers of that plane would pray for a hijacking.

This is the worst film I’ve ever seen, and I’ve seen The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants. I’ve watched footage of war crimes that was less disturbing than Uwe Boll’s cameo in Postal. The moment where Boll pays Verne Troyer (also starring as himself) in the gold teeth taken from Holocaust victims is so obviously intended to offend that I wasn’t even offended, just overwhelmed with pity for Troyer, the rest of the cast, and even Boll himself. Watching Uwe Boll try and make jokes is like going through your deceased grandmother’s will only to find she left all her money to NAMBLA. If I had to sum up Postal in one sentence, I’d say this: the funniest moment in this film is 9/11.

At one point in the film, Verne Troyer is raped by a thousand chimpanzees. He was lucky – they could have made him watch Postal instead.

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