It was with this view that i went along for the unmissable fun of a cinematic double bill of new Uwe Boll films at London's Frightfest. Having had Grindhouse pulled from UK release thanks to the bemused US reaction, 'Double Boll' presented the next best thing - 2 actual B- movies in a row. Postal came first and marks Boll's first professional foray into deliberate comedy, not very successfully, but that's another review... Up second, was Seed - as Uwe himself said, a film aiming for no sense of fun at all. It's essentially Uwe's entry into the current gorno/torture porn fad, and was partly motivated by the likes of Hostel not being as harsh as they were claiming.
The biggest shock i had during the film was when the credits rolled and i realised i'd just had an emotional reaction to an Uwe Boll movie that wasn't amusement or boredom. I had actually cared about the characters and had the distinct feeling i'd just watched a proper horror film.
Don't get me wrong, this film is by no means great, but it IS, unlike all the other Boll movies, a film that you can watch on a par with other Hollywood b-grade horrors. With films like Hostel you've got Eli Roth trying to make films as harsh as the old grindhouse/video nasty films of the 70s and early 80s, but Seed would actually be more at home in that era. It's no Texas Chainsaw, but it fits in with the original Toolbox Murders, Maniac or Nightmares in a Damaged Brain - films that presented real nastiness in a way that leaves you feeling, well, seedy. Like those films, the big moments are morally questionable - many will find the opening scenes showing real-life animal cruelty (footage obtained from PETA) too heavy with too little purpose, but personally I found they gave the film real edge - you lose your safety net of Hollywood R-rated violence and feel genuine revulsion. A later scene is a standout for on-screen nastiness and could have become one of the all time roughest gore moments if it wasn't partly let down by a bit of ropey CGI work. The ending too was a nice surprise and something that mainstream horrors rarely go for these days.
Boll-haters (and there's a planet full of those) are still going to find faults with Seed, and there are many, but it is in a class above all his previous output, and gives me hope that he will one day turn around his (undeniably impressive) poor reputation and produce material that is not only acceptable, but actually genuinely enjoyable. If he could just get his hands on a really great script who knows what could happen...