I know the film isn't new, but it's October dammit and we need people to get into the spirit of Halloween by getting some movies on here that are horror related and not action oriented grindhouse films, space filled operas of human emotion, or drama biographies regarding Tom Hanks being kidnapped by pirates not named Jack Sparrow. It's time to get some maniacs, zombies, and supernatural elements rolling around this joint.
With that let's kick it off no less with 'House of the Dead'. Why did I choose House of the Dead you may ask? Well, I threw a dart at the board and it went through a vortex causing the dart to go to hell and hit Satan in the eye. As you can imagine, he was pretty mad about that and instead of doing something devious, he sentenced me to watch a few of his future general's films.
His general for the uninitiated is a man known as Uwe Boll. Boll is a "filmmaker" known for his award winning films such as Seed, Postal, Bloodrayne, Alone in the Dark, and the film that brought him into the mainstream eye, House of the Dead.
It's based on an old video game around the late 90's that revolved around shooting creatures constantly coming at you in an old mansion with a story thrown in regarding a crazy scientist whose creations came to life and you trying to rescue your fiance in said mansion.
So you have a straight forward narrative, gory but familiar creatures that somehow know how to use human weapons, and great atmosphere. It's the horror film of the 80's that writes itself, but as with any "great" video game movie, why include anything from the source material?
We start at the end of the film showing the only survivor talking about the events from the previous two days and how he is the only one left. Our survivor then, instead of talking about his own story, recounts the story of some other people who came to the island because one was his ex girlfriend. How he knew about what happened exactly before they came though isn't explained but our guess is that like any great story teller, he just riffed it.
His ex and her friends are meeting up on a marina to go to an island for a rave. As they go to the docks, they find they missed their boat and have to pay a sea captain and second in command (played by Clint Howard who is giving the best whispering hobo in a public library impression ever) for a ride across the island.
As they hop on the boat, local police try and board to make sure the captain isn't smuggling anything. The captain takes off in time and the cops try their best to stop him by talking really loudly into a speakerphone. When that doesn't work, they then proceed to chase him via an imaginary boat that is never shown on screen but implied it's there due to horrible voice overs.
As they arrive on the island, the kids go to the rave location and find it deserted. But as with any young people in their 20's in a horror film, a couple from the group decide to stick around and await the party's return while the rest go off and try and find anyone.
The group that went to find people instead stumble upon an abandoned house with three more survivors who explain that at the rave, they got attacked by zombies and they found the house too. So with everyone in shock, they decide to head back to the boat and leave the island. But not before going back to get their friends at the rave spot.
At the rave, they find one friend has died and came back as a zombie. A shot fires that kills the zombified friend from the cop that followed the boat here. No mention of her counterpart until later when it's just said he was killed.
As the cop joins, they all head to the boat to find out the its been sieged by zombies. The captain survives and after fighting off a wave of zombies to some generic techno music, the survivors decide to head back to the house instead of going to the boat due to the unknown that might on it.
As they all take a break and recover, an old wives tale is recalled that might explain what is happening. It was about a former father who was banished from Spain and chained on a boat because of some experiments and it was not of god's way. On the boat, he got loose, killed the crew and went somewhere else instead of the boat's destination. Where is that? You guessed it, the island they are on now. On the island, he enslaved the natives and killed everyone who went there ever since. They now must try to survive until help comes or if it ever does.
Now here lies the problem with the film right off the bat, poor everything. Acting, writing, directing if it were any more poorer it would have been called Future U.S.A. Middle Class Economy 2010 (political joke!).
The acting is extremely horrid though and just to give you an idea of how bad; at one point the captain can't walk due to a zombie bite. He stays dormant on a table. Overhearing what might be Clint Howard, he decides to get up and struggle his way to the door, forgetting what knee was injured then just standing up and walking outside normally. I don't know if it's the actors or the writing, but it seems as though everything is extremely forced and awkward like a student high school film.
Writing is no better. As pointed out with the plot, instead of fighting on a boat which might have a few zombies on it, the characters decide why not retreat back into zombie infested territory in an old abandoned house?
Origins are changed and it's not too much of a big deal because every fan of the franchise has walked out and got a refund before it's explained a half hour into the film. Too bad too, because they will miss out on a swordfight at the end of it. Yes. A sword fight, from a 200 year old zombie. With the sexy female lead.
No need to mention directing as i'm sure Uwe Boll wasn't on set during the film. What more is there to say about this director that hasn't been said about a toilet brush?
At various points during the film, splices of the game are put in for no reason then I guess the editor must have brought the wrong reel into the editing bay that day and just decided to work with it.
On top of that, it tries to resemble the matrix at times with a rig that shows characters trying to be heroic with weapons that are then switched when we get back to normal motion and the plot of the film.
As with this movie made by a 13 year old, this review is by a 14 year old. House of the Dead is an abomination on film whose only solace just might be a song on the soundtrack by the name of Fury by Black Tiger. The rest is just an immature, "stylish" attempt at trying to make video game on film where it only improves the argument as to why people who play video games are immature kids who can't have attention spans past that of a cellphone ringer. This movie is awful and not even in a fun way. The only reason i'm reviewing it is to try and get something out of it besides a migrane now that I can comprehend it.
This is my opinion, what's yours?