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Film Review: House of the Dead (2003)



Directed by Uwe Boll, written by Mark A. Altman and Dan Bates, and starring Jonathan Cherry, Tyron Leitso, Clint Howard, and Ona Grauer.

"This film is a prequel to all of the The House of the Dead video games. Set on an island off the coast, a techno rave party attracts a diverse group of college coeds and a Coast Guard officer. Soon, they discover that their X-laced escapades are to be interrupted by zombies and monsters that attack them on the ground, from the air, and in the sea, ruled by an evil entity in the House of the Dead..."

Supposedly taking place before the events on the light gun arcade game of the same name, which was produced by Sega in 1996, House of the Dead features not only the corny turn-table technique 360° shots for its characters in battle, but also thirty-two, count them, thirty-two clips from the series of games themselves. The former of the two is actually the last film to feature this camera technique, for fear of risking an actor's life. But Uwe Boll didn't seem to have a problem. Nor was he concerned with a relevant plot, cohesive dialog, or any form of entertainment, at least the kind that isn't made at his expense.

I watched this movie again the other night, for the first time in years. It may very well be only the second viewing, and though I didn't hate it as much as the first time, I can't say I truly enjoyed any part of the movie except for the unintentionally ridiculous script and how amazing Ona Grauer looks in rave gear. Aside from that, there is nothing worth saving this movie from being burned in a summer bonfire. I suppose if you have an illegal copy on a DVD-RW you could always rewrite over it with something more point worthy. If that isn't an option and you don't want to waste the money you spent buying it on chance, then invite a few of your buddies over, knock back a case of beer, and laugh it up Mystery Science Theater-style.
The acting is terrible, criminal even, the monologues and voice-overs are painful to your brain, like a blow to the head, and in the end, the only thing worse for someone to endure without the aid of alcohol is probably meth. "Reviews were so bad that Danish cinemas refused to buy it." While the action is one of the film's strong points, the "big finale" is unpleasing to say the least, by being dragged down with constant slow-motion and the above mentioned rotating camera featuring every still surviving member of your teammates...I'm sorry, I mean "of the cast". I kept looking for my blue light gun to point at the television, thinking I had dropped it while pointing it away from the screen to reload.

The film's other saving grace (well, not that it really has one)? Actor J├╝rgen Prochnow, who's had many prominent roles in movie such as: The Da Vinci Code, Air Force One, Beerfest, The English Patient, and The Seventh Sign, just to name a few. How Boll got him signed on for this shitfest I will never know. Then again, Boll has a knack for signing big name stars for bombs being dropped on the box office. I can't think of one reason to ever need to watch this film again. I think it's sucked enough enjoyment away from me to last a good while. If you feel otherwise, like I said, down a few brews with friends and have a laugh at Boll's expense. He deserves every bit of it. The sequel, not directed by Boll, is an improvement, if only slightly.

Best quote: Rudy-"You did all this to become immortal. Why?" Castillo-"To live forever!"

1 comment:

viagra online pharmacy said...

It is a great movie, the games are also pretty darn good, they were my favorites in their time, now are memories of a great time of my life.