Entertainment

That time Uwe Boll knocked me out for dumping on his films

As the world's schlockiest director has vowed to not make any more movies, Chris Alexander reflects on his fight with the Raging Boll

A decade ago, Metro film writer Chris Alexander fought Uwe Boll (above) in a boxing match in Vancouver. Boll challenged critics who’d used him as a punching bag to step into the ring with him.

Gregg Segal

A decade ago, Metro film writer Chris Alexander fought Uwe Boll (above) in a boxing match in Vancouver. Boll challenged critics who’d used him as a punching bag to step into the ring with him.

The following is a true story.

Ten years ago, I was passing the time as one of the myriad know-it-all critics making sport of Uwe Boll’s career. He was fun to kick around. Easy prey.  And even more confounding than his movies was his loud, vulgar, cartoonish persona. He was like strange cinema’s answer to Donald Trump and I, along with dozens of others, had a ball with our Boll-bashing.

Eventually, Uwe had had enough and he put out a public call to his detractors to “put up or shut up,” to literally fight him in the boxing ring in a highly publicized stunt dubbed “Raging Boll.”

The spirit of Andy Kaufman was alive and well and living in a five-foot-tall German filmmaker.

Naturally, I signed up. And surprisingly, I was the only Canadian chosen to be his opponent. And while most of the other ‘net scribbling numbskulls’ perceived this to be a lark, I didn’t.

Well, I did, but I knew Boll was a bit nuts. And I knew he had actually boxed back in the Fatherland.

So I trained. I hired a boxing coach named Wayne Borque, who had helped train the fighters in the film Cinderella Man to teach me some moves.

I punched stuff. I did ridiculous amounts of cardio. I went on MTV to promote the fight and adopted a horror nerd version of a Mohammed Ali mantra: “I’m gonna put Boll to bed for House of the Dead! He’s gonna feel pain for making Bloodrayne! You’ve heard of the Thrilla in Manilla? This is the Maneuver in Vancouver!”

And indeed I and three other idiots were flown to Vancouver, to the Plaza of Nations, to actually fight Boll in front of a crowd of hundreds, most of them friends of Boll’s (including actors Michael Pare and Kristianna Lokken) along with members of the curious international press. I watched the other shmucks get their rumps handed to them, shocked that the stocky and muscle-bound Boll was actually playing to win and punching to hurt. I saw them all fall. One of them vomited.

And then it was my turn. I jumped in, fists flying. The crowd roared. I blocked punches, danced around and landed more than a few blows of my own, getting Boll up against the ropes.  It was a fair fight!  At the end of the first round, my corner man gave me a water bottle that was actually filled with fake blood.

I guzzled the bitter fluid and when the bell rang I jumped back in. I waited. I let Boll hit me. I spat the blood at him. The crowd cheered thinking that the gore was real.

The ref asked me if I wanted to end the fight and I told him that the blood was in fact phony. Boll was not happy with the gag and came at me with a haymaker shot to the skull.

Down I went. I got back up, dizzy, and came out again. Another clobbering blow to the head sent me crumpling to the mat. I didn’t get up after that. Fight over. But oddly, after this, Uwe respected me. I was playing to win, taking the blows, just like he did, every day, putting his balls on the block with every film he was making.

He actually invited me to his beach house the next day and I was astonished to learn that he was incredibly intelligent and knew virtually everything about cinema history. We became friends. I’d like to think we still are.

Recently, I came home and my nine-year-old son Jack said some dude who talked funny called and was asking for “Creees Al-ax-an-dah.”

Jack had hung up, thinking it was one of those pesky telemarketers. That dude was in fact Uwe Boll. Long may he rage.

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