House Of The Dead
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Jonathan Cherry, Tyron Leitso. When a group of college students take their Florida spring break party to a deserted island off the coast, they are attacked by bloodthirsty zombies, and the only way to fight back is to locate weapons for defense. 2003/color/90 min/R/widescreen.
The usual slasher-movie teens charter a boat to attend a rave in Washington's San Juan islands, find zombies there, and splatter their guts all over the place. House of the Dead shows early promise when the boat captain is the dude from Das Boot (Jürgen Prochnow) and the mate is the inimitably weird Clint Howard. Alas, things devolve from there. The movie includes frequent flashes from its video game inspiration, not that we need much reminding of the obvious source. Amongst the rotten dialogue, bad acting, and gratuitous topless scenes, there's one looooong shootout sequence in the middle of the picture that should be the main attraction for fans of this kind of thing. Otherwise, it's at the level of every other slasher movie, video game or no video game, in which stupid people do stupid things to keep themselves in harm's way. --Robert Horton
- Deleted scenes
- "Behind the House: Anatomy of the Zombie Movement" making-of featurette
- "Stacked for Zom-Bat: The Sexy Babes of House of the Dead Prepare for Battle!"
- Sneak peek of new Sega game Nightshade
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Top Customer Reviews
Produced by fourteen (!) producers of different ranks, including Associate Producer Max Wanko, the film stars a bunch of nobodys with no inherent acting abilities detectible among them. The exception to this is Captain Kirk (yes, really) played by the genuinely talented Jürgen Prochnow: it pained my heart seeing this veteran of "Das Boot" in something this embarrassing. He does his best with the material presented to him, but it's beyond hope. Under no circumstance should you consider this a proud reprise in a seafaring role. Also onboard as creepy First Mate Salish is B-movie veteran Clint Howard who earns his paycheck with some overacting that fits right in. The only other actress who comes close to pulling her weight is Ellie Cornell as Casper, a pretty cop with an apparently complicated and pointless backstory with Kirk, and who is the only reasonably likeable female in the film.
Some twentysomething college students show up on a dock to go to the island rave but they miss their boat. Resourcefully, they charter Kirk for a ride to the island for $1000. Their obvious financial acumen and lack of punctuality are not the only personality or judgment deficiencies you will notice among the cast. Rarely have I disliked a cast as much or as fast, and I couldn't wait to see them meet their fate and be done with it. Speaking of things to loathe, the music at the "rave of the year" is terrible, and the pungent combination of metal and rap is relentless through the balance of the film.
So the protagonists all get to the rave and find it's trashed and nobody's there. What to do? Be a bit concerned? Prudently leave? Drink and make out? You figure it out. Eventually three kids wander off and find a cemetery and an old house which seems much larger inside than outside. The best thing about wandering off into the woods is that the music is (temporarily) removed from your list of afflictions. When they get into the house they find two other kids who escaped from the rave after it was invaded by zombies. Not just any zombies, but black papier-mâché zombies (or so it would appear) with red glowing eyes and an ability to push their hands clean through a collegiate torso in the most boring and uninteresting (not to mention cheesy) way imaginable. Only Kirk is able to defend himself with any degree of success, as he shoots the zombies with great frequency and accuracy while calmly smoking a Cuban cigar, as if this is a daily affair for him, though sadly he is ultimately bitten by a zombie and you know what that means.
I am going to interrupt my critique for a moment to mention one small positive of "House of the Dead" (and yes, I am a bit surprised myself). Uwe Boll does actually have talent, and that is manifested in some beautifully photographed and lighted scenes, predominantly in the woods. Intermittently beautifully shot (though still boring) scenes show he does have genuine cinematography skills, but then reality strikes back just as quickly with more horrendous video game graphic inserts.
Fortunately Kirk is a smuggler and he arms everyone with an amazing assortment of weaponry (including grenades) to do battle. If you are a fan of the first-person shooter videogame that spawned this movie, you might be thinking "at last, action!" Not so fast. I honestly don't know how this happened, but despite an amazing conflagration of guns and violence that lasts for just about ever, the gunplay and mayhem is staggeringly boring. It's just relentlessly dull. I had a hard time keeping my finger away from the fast forward button, and the metal music does not help this pass any faster. How can an action movie be this boring? The mind reels.
Of course everyone converges on the house and logic and continuity go completely out the window with a black and white movie within a movie about an ancient Spanish pirate-scientist who hijacked a Spanish galleon and did grisly experiments on the island. Confirming this is the discovery of his lab, which contains various body parts, and a microscope with a slide of blood conveniently in focus revealing blood that's not human, but that is "completely mutated". Right. Also there is an aquarium with a demon zombie fish, whose blood water can reanimate the dead, and, oh, never mind. You get it: it's all leading up to a finale and showdown that involves gunpowder (how convenient), a catacomb that is enhanced by oodles of videogame footage, the crazy ancient Spanish guy, and some last minute mistaken identity transformation garbage. The final battle in the cemetery is especially odious (who knew you could take a sword through the heart and still get up to fight back?) I won't ruin the incredibly painful helicopter rescue other than to say, can it please be over now?
Watching this film is a terrible experience. It's derivative (the meddling kids even mention "Scooby Doo" in the horrendously contrived dialogue), the acting is absolutely cringeworthy, much of the film is narrated and that narration is among the worst I've ever heard, the characters are caricatures and are essentially indistinguishable because nobody is a sympathetic person that you could care about, the soundtrack assaults you, the film is all over the place (Now we're at a rave! Now we're on a Spanish sailing ship!) and the references to the video game are incredibly forced, with the actual video game footage being hugely distracting for a film with a reasonable budget and a large crew.
Some movies are so bad they're good: this is not one of those movies. It's just bad, but worse than being just plain bad, is that it's unbearably boring, and I can't think of a harsher criticism to levy against a zombie movie with loads of "action". Avoid "House of the Dead" at all costs.
Here's the reason this movie is so terrible
1.The zombie's makeup,it looks like toilet paper and ketchup(the fake blood at Wal Mart looks state-of-the-art compared to this)
2.The acting,it is so atrocious, you'll wish these amateurish actors/actreses would die off soon.
3.The slow-motion scenes:This really messed up the movie,Like the scene were all the teens were fighting and the scene was slow-motion was this The Matrix part 4 or something.
4.The plot:The plot and storyline was so badly written that a little kid could write a better script with a piece of toilet paper.
5.The editing:Some of the worst editing ever.Scenes from the video game should up in quick flashes and the editors didn't edit the movie well.
and the casting:Truly horrible cast especially the captain from DAS BOOT.What a shame.
Don't ever buy,rent,or steal this movie.Burning every copy of this montrosity would help the world.
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