Review – SEED (2007)

Okay, I’m gonna admit right here and now that I’ve got a fondness for Uwe Boll. Judge me all you want. Admittedly, the man has made some awful movies – House of the Dead, Alone in the Dark (which I actually kind of like), Bloodrayne – but what I can respect about the man is the fact that he makes the movies he wants to make. Don’t like it? Well, he has a certain finger reserved for you. And yes, the man has an ego like a spoiled brat. But that, too, is part of the charm. And what I find funny about his detractors is that they only focus on his bad movies while ignoring the ones that are actually good such as Postal, Rampage, and Blackwoods. Amongst this plethora of hit-or-miss is Boll’s 2007 film, Seed.

The year is 1979. Notorious serial killer Maxwell Seed (Will Sanderson) – “666 murders in 6 years” and has a fondness for locking his victims up and starving them to death – is caught by detective Matthew Bishop (Michael Pare) and sentenced to the electric chair. According to state law, any prisoner who survives three attempts at the electric chair is to be set free. Seed survives two. Instead of risking him going free, Bishop and his compatriots decide to bury Seed alive. Big mistake. Seed breaks out of his coffin with nothing but revenge in mind. Will Bishop finally be able to put a stop to the madman? Or will he and his family wind up victims of Seed?

First off, a warning: anyone who cannot handle real animal violence is advised to skip the first few minutes or so. No, Boll is not becoming Deodato or anything, but we are subjected to footage supplied by PETA of a Chinese fur farm where animals are beaten and skinned alive.

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Seed has the distinction of falling into the middle of Boll’s oeuvre: not bad but not particularly great either. So-so is an apt description. What prevents it from reaching a high level is the fact that the first hour is spent building up the characters and the situation, only to leaving it all in the dust in the remaining 30 minutes as the film rushes its way to an abrupt, albeit screwed-up, ending. Had Boll dedicated the same amount of time to Seed’s revenge as he did to the build-up, the flick could have really been something. As it, it falls right into generic slasher territory with the benefit of some commentary on the nature of law enforcement and serial killers: having failed to execute Seed in the electric chair, they resort to the same tactics Seed used to kill his victims, starvation. In other words, the cops are no different than killers.

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But what is a good slasher flick without good kills? Aside from one in which Seed beats an elderly lady to death with a hammer, the kills are about as generic and mediocre as they come. Impalement, stabbing, blah blah blah. I see no, to quote the DVD synopsis, “kills that are downright jaw-dropping.” Obviously someone has not watched the Saw franchise. Also, the CGI used is pretty cheap. At one point you can see the CGI sprite of a hammer twitching in Seed’s hand. Last I checked, hammers don’t have seizures.

Final Thoughts:

While Seed isn’t going to convert any Boll haters, it will show those with open minds that Boll is capable to making something decent. It’s not great by any stretch, but there are a lot worse choices one could make. And if you do buy this movie and don’t like it, there’s a positive side to it: 2.5% of the film’s earnings go to PETA. So at least that might make you happy.

About Evan Romero

Evan Romero has been a horror fan since watching “Leprechaun” at the age of five. Aside from watching and writing about horror flicks, he delights in torturing friends with Z-grade movies. He’s also an unabashed Andy Milligan fan, God help him.

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