House Of The Dead (2003)
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Review Date: October 08, 2003
Director: Uwe Boll
Writer: Mark Altman, Dave Parker
Producers: Uwe Boll, Shawn Williamson
Jonathan Cherry as Rudy
Ona Grauer as Alicia
Jurgen Prochnow as Capt. Kirk
A gang of idiotic "teens" head out to an island called "The Island of the Dead" (no shit!) in order to dance the night away at one of the biggest raves ever. Once there, the "kids" realize that the island has been deserted and that something is amiss. After several quick-cut shots of zombies running around them, they come to grips with the fact that they are on an island full of the living dead (no shit!) and attempt to shoot their way out. I only wish I could have shot my way out of this screening. A bad zombie movie...ensues.
HOUSE OF THE DEAD, once again, raises the age-old question: how do movies like this get financed by anyone? This film has everything in it for anyone looking for a bad screenplay, bad acting, bad editing, bad directing and a bad soundtrack. Sadly, the lack of story isn't so much of a problem, when you consider that it is, after all, based on a videogame, and zombie films have never really been complex in nature, but when you actually start to feel offended as an audience member because of the shit that the characters have to say or the moronic moves that they have to pull, you just can't help but wonder why anyone on this production could not have seen past a couple of rinky-dink stylish shots and attempted to resuscitate this piss-poor screenplay. Case in point: The year's "biggest rave" party on an island features about 16 people dancing around in a circle during the day with an apparent "parents only" clause (is it me or did everyone in this film look like they were 30 years old...minimum!) Every single person who is trying to escape the isle or find someone decides that going INTO a haunted looking house in the middle of nowhere...is the best course of action. Once the "fun" actually begins (about 40 minutes in), every single character, and I mean everyone from the slut-whore to the moron model dude to the Asian go-go dancer suddenly develops the fighting skills of Jean-Claude Van Damme (sans coke) and shooting skills of John Rambo. To understand the logic behind the unlimited amount of ammunition or the pathetic backstory given to the zombies is to allow the film too much credit, so don't even bother turning your brain on for that, especially if you want to try to enjoy the flick on the "it's so bad, it's good" level.

The actors don't fare much better, but being as they are given some of the worst dialogue that I've heard in any movie this year, I guess you can't be too hard on them (Ona Grauer is the only half-decent player here). By the way, you know a movie sucks when you can actually guess the upcoming shitty lines. Consider: "It's gotten quiet outside all of sudden." My guess as to the next character's response was: "Too quiet." Bingo! We have a winner! But that line is Oscar-gold compared to the dreck that everyone had to spit out during the film's establishing scenes. Consider the ol' seadog captain and his mangy sidekick, who apparently gets off on calling him "Cappin" every three seconds. Easily one of Clint Howard's worst performances ever. The directing is also atrocious with Boll utilizing one of the worst techniques in any movie and that's the splicing of actual videogame footage into the film itself. How anyone in their right mind could think that this would be a "good idea" is beyond me. Even if, the movie itself had been somewhat engaging on any level, the fact that a friggin' scene from the videogame was intercut into the action scenes every 30 seconds, took you completely out of any flow that might have developed. Add that to his apparent "money shot" in which he shoots every single character turning on a full 360-degrees (weren't we all bored by this after the first MATRIX came out in 1999?), an embarrassing quick-cut montage of a thousand different shots from the film apparently "racing" through a character's head (i.e. padding) and some badly edited fight sequences in which someone will throw a jab, but all we're left with is the resulting thud...and you've got yourself one unfortunate motion picture...on oh-so many fronts.

Not to mention the laughable scene featuring some of the characters, during a break from all of the carnage, "connecting" on an emotional level and taking the time to "make out"?!? Dude, your best friend just got his guts pulled out by a man-eating zombie, how about you hold your cock in hand for an hour or two and take that shit up when you get back to terra firma? The nerve! Sure, the film does feature outright T&A, one hottie Asian chick and a couple of cool "shoot 'em up" action sequences, but overall, it stunk to high heaven and despite it only running about 85 minutes and prancing along at a pretty quick pace (too quick in some spots), you just couldn't help but wonder why this film didn't go straight to video, and even then, straight to the $1 rental bin. And I'm forgetting some stuff too, the crappy voice-over beginning, the badly dubbed lines, the "clever" nature of the script by which it christens the boat captain by the name Kirk (get it...Captain Kirk...stop it, I'm dying here), the dudes in white make-up running around pretending to be zombies, the flabby asses...ugh, I'm gonna stop now...I'm feeling sick. The scariest part of this movie for me was its final line which actually left things open for a sequel. No God...please no. The horror...the horror...
(c) 2018 Berge Garabedian

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