“Assault on Wall Street”, a B movie that was in and out of New York theaters about a year ago for only a moment and with scant attention from critics, just showed up on Netflix streaming. The director Uwe Boll is regarded as one of the worst in the world, with some considering him the “Ed Wood of the 21st century”. The film got one “fresh” on Rotten Tomatoes and six “rottens”. The one fresh came from my NYFCO colleague Prairie Miller who described it:
Possibly the only director on the planet who has garnered a strange recognition through utter infamy, Boll engages in a weirdly raw and rowdy subversive ideological descent into the dysfunctionally dark recesses of US culture.
I went to a press screening but did not write anything about it since I considered it to be more in the grindhouse genre than a serious film dealing with the collapse of the financial system like J.C. Chandor’s great “Margin Call”.
Although I still am loath to overpraise this film, it is definitely worth watching if you are a Netflix subscriber. It starts out in exactly with the way that “Margin Call” ends with a Goldman-Sachs type firm dumping bundled securities worth almost nothing on unsuspecting clients, including a security guard named Jim Baxford who is a modern-day Job. His wife is undergoing expensive cancer treatments whose monthly costs are only partially covered by insurance. When his investments go south, he can no longer pay his bills and his wages become garnished. Once that happens, he loses his job as an armored truck guard since the company cannot keep someone with major financial burdens on the payroll since they theoretically might be tempted to become part of an inside job.
The only thing that Baxford becomes tempted into becoming is a combination of Travis Bickle and an Occupy Wall Street protester. The finale of the movie is a beautiful and deeply satisfying mass murder of a bunch of stockbrokers and other scumbags who victimized our hero. Is that a spoiler alert? Sorry about that.
German director Uwe Boll’s last film was obviously preparatory to this. Titled “Postal”, it is a “comedy” that Wikipedia describes as follows:
The film takes place in the town of Paradise, Arizona (a ghost town in real life), where the volatile Postal Dude, after being mocked at a job interview, kicked out of his local unemployment office and discovering that his morbidly obese wife is cheating on him, is more than a little angry and is desperate to get enough cash to finally leave his dead-end town. He decides to team up with his Uncle Dave, a slovenly con artist turned doomsday cult leader who owes the US government over a million dollars in back-taxes. With the help of Uncle Dave’s right hand man Richie and an army of big-breasted, scantily clad cult members, the Dude devises a plan to hijack a shipment of 2,000 Krotchy Dolls, a rare, sought-after plush toy resembling a giant scrotum. Uncle Dave plans to sell them online, where their prices have reached as high as $4,000 a doll.
Unbeknownst to them, Osama bin Laden and his group of Al-Qaeda terrorists, who had been secretly hiding in Paradise since September 11, under the watchful eye of bin Laden’s best friend George W. Bush, are after the same shipment, but for entirely different reasons. Hoping to outdo the catastrophe of 9/11, they plan to instill the dolls with Avian influenza and distribute them to unsuspecting American children. The two groups meet at the shipment’s destination, Nazi-themed amusement park Little Germany. A fight between Postal creator Vince Desi and Postal director and park owner Uwe Boll (which ends with Boll being shot in the genitals, confessing “I hate video games”), sparks a massive shootout between the cult, the terrorists and the police, resulting in the deaths of dozens of innocent children. The Dude and the cult are able to get away with both the shipment and the park’s opening day guest, Verne Troyer, pursued by Al-Qaeda, the police and a mob of angry citizens.
I can’t vouch for this but “Assault on Wall Street” does have its moments.
Boll is something of a character. In June 2006 he challenged some of his harshest critics to a boxing match, something I should have done with Vivek Chibber now that I think about it. He beat the living crap out of one of them: