Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Uwe Boll|
by Running With Scissors
|Music by||Jessica de Rooij|
|Edited by||Julian Clarke|
|Box office||$146,741 (Worldwide)|
Postal is a 2007 action comedy film co-written and directed by Uwe Boll. The film stars Zack Ward, Dave Foley, Chris Coppola, Jackie Tohn, J.K. Simmons, Verne Troyer, Larry Thomas, David Huddleston, and Seymour Cassel.
The film begins with a prologue, showing Asif and Nabi, a fictional portrayal of two of the Flight 11 hijackers during the 9/11 attacks, debating about the amount of virgins they get as a reward for carrying out the attacks. After a long debate, they decide to call Osama bin Laden, their leader, to find out the exact amount. Osama tells them that there "are not enough virgins to go around", and upon hearing this, the two hijackers abandon the attack in dismay and happily change their flight path to the Bahamas. At this moment, however, the passengers of the plane storm the cockpit and attempt to retake the plane (this was based on what happened on Flight 93, one of the other hijacked aircraft during 9/11). In the struggle, the terrorists try and reason with the passengers, but to no avail, and ultimately, the plane inadvertently flies into the North tower of the World Trade Center.
The film skips forward five years later, taking 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 with various and skinny townsmen, 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, German-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.
Upon returning to their compound, which has been overtaken by the terrorists, the Dude, Uncle Dave and the rest covertly sneak into the compound's underground bunker, where Richie reveals that he must now fulfill the prophecy foretold in Uncle Dave's fictional Bible: to bring about the extinction of the human race. As per Uncle Dave's Bible, the event initiating the apocalypse is the rape of a "tiny entertainer" by a thousand monkeys. After Verne Troyer is quickly thrown into a pit of chimpanzees, Richie shoots and kills Uncle Dave, then imprisons the Dude. The Dude manages to escape the compound with a plethora of weapons, deciding to wage a one-man war against al-Qaeda, his uncle's murderer, his cheating wife, the police and the many people who want him dead. On the way to his trailer (where he plans to blow up his spouse), he meets up with an attractive young barista, Faith, who joins forces with him after an explosive gunfight followed later by the Dude's heartfelt but futile monologue about war. The two of them then proceed to kill all the terrorists, all the bloodthirsty townspeople, the remains of the now-mad cult, his wife, and her multiple lovers. In the midst of the shootout, bin Laden is wounded but escapes to a payphone, where he calls Bush for help. Bush sends a helicopter to save him and plans for the two to rendezvous.
Having won their war, the Dude, his dog Champ and the barista drive away in a stolen police car. They casually turn on the radio, only to learn that Bush has blamed the day's shootouts and explosions on China and India, and has been "forced to destroy both countries with nucular force". China, in retaliation, has unleashed 30 nuclear missiles towards America, which are scheduled to hit in under two minutes.
The film's final shot features Bush and bin Laden skipping through a field together, hand-in-hand. As mushroom clouds explode on the horizon, bin Laden laughs and says, "Georgie, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship". At that moment, all of the nuclear missiles hit, and the country is destroyed.
- Zack Ward as The Postal Dude
- Dave Foley as Uncle Dave
- Chris Coppola as Richard
- Jackie Tohn as Faith
- J.K. Simmons as Candidate Welles
- Verne Troyer as Himself
- Larry Thomas as Osama bin Laden
- David Huddleston as Peter
- Seymour Cassel as Paul
- Ralf Möller as Officer John
- Chris Spencer as Officer Greg
- Michael Paré as Panhandler
- Erick Avari as Habib
- Lindsay Hollister as Recorder
- Brent Mendenhall as George W. Bush
- Rick Hoffman as Mr. Blither
- Michael Benyaer as Mohammed
- Uwe Boll as Himself
- Vince Desiderio as Krotchy/Himself
- Carrie Genzel as Reporter Gayle
- Mike Dopud as Security guard #2
- Richard Ian Cox as Coffee customer
- Julia Sandberg Hansson as Mitzi
According to Uwe Boll, the German fan club for Postal contacted him, offering the possibility of the game being adapted into a film. Intrigued by the game's premise and blatant political incorrectness, Boll contacted Running With Scissors president Vince Desiderio, who sold him the rights under the condition that he would be involved with the script and the production. Supposedly, Desiderio and Postal 2 director Steve Wik pitched a much grittier, darker version of the Postal story, but Boll rejected it, fully intent on turning it into a comedy in order to use the film as a platform for political satire as well as "revenge" against the people who have protested his movies. Boll ended up writing the script with assistant director Bryan C. Knight, who had worked on all of Boll's previous video game adaptations. In an interview for Nathan Rabin's book My Year of Flops, Dave Foley said that Boll did want to make a serious statement about how a cult of heroism had surrounded people who were murdered in the 9/11 attacks, and that he and Boll agreed that being the victim of terrorism makes people victims, not heroes. Foley added that he tried to talk Boll out of including the notorious 9/11 sequence that opens the film where two Al Qaeda hijackers plan to call off their attack when Osama Bin Laden informs them that they will not receive anywhere near 72 virgins for their services, only to have passengers break into the cockpit and accidentally fly the plane into the World Trade Center because the film would have no chance of appearing on many (or any) screens in the U.S. if it stayed in, which is what really happened.
Release and box office performance
The 114-minute director's cut of Postal premiered at Montreal's Fantasia Festival on July 21, 2007. The film made its way along several more United States and European film festivals until finally receiving a limited release in Germany on October 18. It opened at #27 in the German box office, taking in $79,353 from 48 screens and banked $142,761 in its entire run. In Italy it ended its box office run after two weeks with $3,980. As of August 31, 2008, it has grossed a total of $146,741 worldwide.
Despite Boll’s announcement that Postal would be given a wide release on October 12, 2007, it was delayed until May 23, 2008. Additionally, on 16 May, theater distributors pulled out of their deal for a wide release of 1,500 screens to a limited release of only four screens. Said Boll of the change, "Theatrical distributors are boycotting Postal because of its political content. We were prepared to open on 1,500 screens all across America on May 23rd. Any multiplex in the U.S. should have space for us, but they're afraid... We have even tried to buy a few screens in New York City and Los Angeles, and they won't let us even rent the theaters! I urge independent exhibitors to contact us and book 'Postal'! Audiences have been expecting the film and I don't think exhibitors should censor what gets played in U.S. theaters."
On May 20, the screen count increased to 12 screens. By the time of the film's release, it had grown to 21.
Postal opened one day after Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, which led to video promotions from Boll, jokingly claiming that his film would "destroy" the other film at the box office. A number of Internet promos were made featuring Verne Troyer dressed as Indiana Jones, proclaiming Postal's superiority.
Postal received its North American DVD release on August 26, 2008 in both 102-minute unrated and 100-minute rated versions, as well as a 102-minute unrated Blu-ray release. Both versions feature the film's trailer, a promotional spot featuring Verne Troyer's Indiana Jones, a featurette detailing the filming of the Little Germany scene, footage of Boll's infamous "Raging Boll" boxing matches, and an audio commentary by Boll. Some editions come with the full version of Postal 2 (Share the Pain edition) on a bonus CD.
A 114-minute director's cut was released on September 26, 2008 in Germany. It was planned for a North American release on Blu-ray for November 25, 2008, and on DVD for January 6, 2009, but both of these releases were delayed indefinitely.
The film has also been released in Australia with no special features, bearing an MA15+ rating.
Critical reception and awards
Reception from professional critics were very negative. The film holds an 8% approval rating at Rotten Tomatoes, based on 40 reviews (3 positive, 37 negative). Metacritic assigned the film a weighted average score of 22 out of 100, based on 11 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews".
Positive reviews have stemmed from such notable websites as G4, UGO, Film Threat, JoBlo.com, and MTV. Additionally, some previous detractors of Boll’s work have recanted their opinions of the director after seeing Postal.
The film was nominated for three Golden Raspberry Awards: Worst Supporting Actor (Boll as himself), Worst Supporting Actor (Troyer as himself), and Worst Director (Boll). The film ended up winning Worst Director. Despite critical condemnation, Postal won two awards at the Hoboken International Film Festival: Best Director and the festival's top prize, Best of Festival.
Boll stated shortly after the film's production that he would most likely make a Postal 2, even if it went direct-to-video. In a 2012 interview, Vince Desi commented that they "are in talks at present regarding another movie".
On August 28, 2013 Boll announced he was funding production of Postal 2 through Kickstarter, however the project was canceled on October 5 the same year due to the lack of funding.
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