Postal (2007)


Postal, the newest film from the director you love to hate, Dr. Uwe Boll. For those who may not be in the know, Mr. Boll has garnered quite a name for himself by acquiring the rights to popular video game franchises (such as House of the Dead and Bloodrayne) and releasing film adaptations that many fans feel are horrendous bastardizations of the beloved source material. In other words, he turns their favorite games into crappy movies. In 2006, he also challenged several of his harshest critics to boxing matches (Boll used to be an amateur lightweight boxer) and proceeded to beat the living piss out of them for what he feels are unfair reviews (should I be scared?). As if the reputation of the film's writer/director wasn't notorious enough, Postal itself has already received the distinction (mostly via the internet, of course) of quite possibly being one of the most downright offensive films ever made; an accusation which many viewers might very likely find to be entirely true.

The main character, who throughout the film is only referred to as "the Postal Dude" (Zack Ward), is a guy who just can't seem to get a break. He's totally broke, living in a trailer park with his incredibly overweight wife (who happens to be cheating on him) and can't even seem to land the most menial, cookie-cutter office job. Meanwhile his Uncle Dave (Dave Foley), a bogus religious guru who has duped hundreds of his "followers" out of money while he secretly lives a life of nightly, drug addled orgies at his commune, thinks he is sitting in the lap of luxury, until he finds out he owes over a million dollars in back taxes. In order to maintain his decadent party lifestyle and keep himself out of serious trouble, he comes up with a hair brained scheme to steal a huge shipment of the country's newest toy sensation, the Krotchy Doll (which looks like male genitalia with a cute smiley face) and make a fortune selling them via online auctions. Just when the Postal Dude's day seemingly can't get any worse, a botched robbery attempt by some low life street thug finally makes him snap (aka "go postal") and he winds up accidentally shooting him. Realizing that he's now already a fugitive and that he has nowhere else to go, he agrees to help his Uncle Dave heist the Krotchy Dolls from Little Germany, an amusement park themed like the Motherland (owned by none other than Uwe Boll himself), which happens to be the only place in the country that has the dolls for sale. Too bad they don't know that the shipment of dolls is also the target of a group of terrorists who want to use them to carry a biological weapon which will infect the entire populace. As you can imagine, all hell breaks loose in a hail of bullets as everyone converges on Little Germany in an attempt to get their hands on the precious dolls.

If this all sounds a little ridiculous, that's because it is. Rather than take the original concept of the game and create a gritty tale of a man who cracks under the pressure of day to day life a la Taxi Driver or Falling Down, Boll has decided to go completely the other direction and craft an extremely in your face, politically incorrect comedy in the style of Kentucky Fried Movie. His goal seems to be a return to form of the low brow comedy of yesteryear, filled with the kinds of vulgar jokes and taboo situations that would make today's censors gasp in sheer horror, as a kind of middle finger in the face of all the watered down films of the past decade and our overly sensitive social climate in general. Boll certainly succeeds on that level, without a doubt; Postal is incredibly offensive and pulls absolutely no punches, attempting in one way or another to shock absolutely everyone. Whatever your soft spot is, Postal's got it - there's tons of violence, blood, explosions, drug use, crude sexual content, gross bodily functions, dirty jokes, racist jokes about practically every culture imaginable (Blacks, Jews, Arabs, Asians, etc.), Nazi/holocaust jokes, jokes about retarded people, lots of children getting shot, a scene where a cat is used as a silencer (taken from the game), and an extended Dave Foley full frontal nude scene (possibly the most shocking thing of all?).

Keep in mind, however, that while these all sound like absolutely horrible things that no one in their right mind should laugh at, the film is so over-the-top and silly that much of the harsh edge is taken away, ensuring that the jokes are taken as just that, and not as malicious attacks. Director Boll also uses Postal as an opportunity to infuse a more serious message amongst the humor, taking shots at some personal issues (like his penchant for turning video games into movies, those pesky critics again, and even poking fun at himself) as well as an avenue to present some of his political ideals, taking jabs at George Bush, the U.S. Government, Osama Bin Laden, the Taliban, and religious fundamentalists. Whether or not this attempt to get across some greater message by mixing it in with toilet humor will work as effectively as it's intended is unclear (I'm not sure if it shows through the silliness strongly enough), but I suppose it's up to each individual viewer to decide whether they take away anything more than simple entertainment.

In fact, the film itself is truly an acquired taste; think South Park as a live action movie and you're on the right track. Now, if you're not the type who thinks that inappropriate, off color style of humor is funny, well then I probably don't need to tell you that you should steer clear of Postal; I'm sure you've already figured it out and probably stopped reading this review long ago. But if you're amongst that niche of the population that has a ?sick? sense of humor and not only finds offensive jokes funny, but actually prefers them to the kind of safe, family friendly kneeslappers they feed you on TV sitcoms, then this is undeniably the movie for you.