Starring: Jonathan Cherry, Ona Grauer, Clint Howard, Jurgen Prochnow, Will Sanderson
Directed by: Uwe Boll
Written by: Mark A. Altman, Dan Bates, Dave Parker
Release Date: 2003
Runtime: 90 minutes
House of the Dead is based (barely) on Sega’s successful trilogy of light gun shooter games. In the interest of full disclosure, I’ll mention that I’ve only played House of the Dead in the arcade a few times, and I don’t really remember much about them. According to my three minutes of internet research, House of the Dead: the movie is supposed to be a sort of prequel to the games, leaving the film-makers with very little obligation for faithfulness towards the game’s plot lines.
In this movie, a bunch of college-aged kids are going out to a rave that is being held on what people in those parts know as the “Island of Death.” From there, it only gets dumber as the rave is attacked by zombies, and the remaining survivors, instead of leaving the island on boat, opt instead to hide out in the big creepy mansion in the middle of the island.
Just so you don’t forget that this is based on a video game, split-second shots of actually gameplay are interspersed within the movie. It’s as if they’re trying to say “see, it’s just like in the videogame.” Well, except for the fact that the storyline of the game has very little to do with the plot of the movie.
The action scenes are frantic and poorly thought out, making it difficult to tell what’s going on. At one point, two of the good guys are using swords to fight with the villain, whose name I couldn’t be bothered to remember. The three seem to be just standing there swinging their respective weapons, but in an attempt to make it look interesting, the camera swings around them in circles.
Movie Quality: For a horror flick, the words “sub par” really don’t do House of the Dead any justice. But then “Cum-filled Shit-Stain of a Movie” is also insufficient. In order to accurately express the damage that this movie has had on society’s collective consciousness, I would need several words that only exist in the German language, and unfortunately I don’t speak German.
Faithfulness to the Game: When a person gets killed in the movie, there’s a brief sequence where they just stand there, with the camera rotating around them, as it fades to red. When watching this you almost expect an “insert coin” screen to appear with a count down, while some fat kid shoves you to the side shouting “I called next game!”