German director Uwe Boll is customarily described as the world's worst filmmaker. I don't know if this is true — it's a big world, after all. But with the release of "Postal," he stakes a strong claim to being the world's most offensive. I mean that in a good way.
"Postal" is a foul and horrifying movie, a classic of its kind. I laughed pretty much non-stop through the first hour or so (unfortunately, the picture runs nearly two hours), cringing in shame and yet cackling helplessly nevertheless. The opening scene, already notorious, has two Muslim terrorists sitting at the controls of a plane they've just hijacked. They're piloting it toward a New York skyscraper, but seem more concerned about an upsetting story they've heard: It seems that there are now so many martyrs-for-Allah that each can no longer be guaranteed a hundred virgins when he reaches paradise — the number has been cut to 20. One of the terrorists whips out a cell phone and calls Osama Bin Laden, who confirms this. Angrily, the terrorists decide to change course and head for the Bahamas. Unfortunately, at this moment the plane's passengers storm the cockpit, and in the ensuing confusion, the aircraft reaches its original destination and crashes into the tower.
There's nothing funny about 9/11, obviously. But the joke here is about Islamic terrorists, so ... well, let me just say that at the screening I attended, I wasn't the only person laughing.
Amazingly, things get even worse. "Postal" is based on one of the video games of that name ("Postal 2," to be exact), which have been condemned for their mindless violence ever since being introduced in 1997. The plot concerns a luckless hick (Zack Ward) — a trailer-park Travis Bickle — who goes postal in response to the depravity of the modern world. After discovering his enormously fat wife having sex with another hick who lives nearby, this lead character (known only as "The Postal Dude" in the film's credits) goes to visit his Uncle Dave (Dave Foley) in search of support. Dave is a sleazy scammer who operates a hippie commune dedicated to "organic monotheism." The Dude finds Dave in bed with three naked women. There follows a bathroom scene that I will not describe. Dave's commune is deep in debt to the IRS; he needs money. In order to raise some, he wants the Dude to come in with him on a scheme to rip off a shipment of an enormously popular kiddy item called the Krotchy Doll. I will not describe the Krotchy Doll. (Do I need to?)
The story gets even more disgusting. A corrupt cop approaches a car that's holding up traffic and pulls a gun and blows away the woman driver. The Dude shoots a menacingly aggressive homeless guy (accidentally, though — even Boll has limits, apparently). Later, small children are mowed down in the most graphically bloody way, and a TV news chick arranges their little corpses around her feet to deliver a touching on-the-scene report.
The movie reaches its odious peak at the opening of an amusement park called Little Germany, which is run by Uwe Boll himself, in full Lederhosen drag. A "Hasselhoff Beer Garden" is the only one of the park's loathsome attractions I feel comfortable noting. Also on hand for the opening is a celebrity guest — tiny Verne Troyer. ("You know," Boll tells him, "all those rumors out there that my movies are financed with Nazi gold? It's true!") After much subsequent slaughter (also involving a gang of Islamic terrorists who operate a "Taliban TV" station in the back of a local convenience store), Troyer is raped by a roomful of chimpanzees. The movie ends — why not? — with George W. Bush and his friend Osama Bin Laden skipping off hand in hand through a field beneath a towering mushroom cloud.
The select group of people who might actually wish to see this movie — which makes the early work of John Waters seem like the family classics of Frank Capra — will have very little chance to do so. Boll is fearlessly releasing it on "Indiana Jones" weekend, in a nationwide total of 10 theaters, according to his latest count. (It was originally scheduled to play in about 1,500, until theater owners got a look at it.) Not to fret, though, fellow trolls — a picture like "Postal" is the reason the midnight-movie circuit was created. And of course it'll be available on DVD, too. Probably next week.
Don't miss Kurt Loder's review of "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull," also new in theaters this week.
Check out everything we've got on "Postal."
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