“ Genre: Horror / Theatrical Release: 2003 / Suitable for 15 years and over / Director: Uwe Boll / Actors: Jonathan Cherry, Tyron Leitso, Clint Howard, Jurgen Prochnow ... / DVD released 2005-06-13 at Odyssey Video / Features of the DVD: Colour, PAL, Widescreen „
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House of the Dead is a zombie film based on the popular arcade shooter of the same name and overseen by notoriously awful german director Uwe Boll. The plot is dire, concerning a group of bland, photogenic american teenagers who pay a local fisherman a thousand dollars to take them to "the rave of the century" (actually around 40 people gyrating like idiots in the middle of nowhere) in the middle of a remote coastal island. Upon arriving at said rave, our protagonists discover the place to be deserted, with numerous tents standing ragged and empty, but rather than be concerend by this they set about partying with renewed vigour.
Inevitably, lots of lame zombies turn up, whereupon the teenager set about dispatching them with a cache of guns that the fishing captain just happens to have left lying about on the island- cue endless badly framed and laughably edited shots of zombies being dispatched to a painfully generic dance soundtrack, interspersed with clips from the arcade game (really) and Matrix-wannabe 'bullet-time' shots that look tacky, derivative and completely phoney.
Everything about this film is terrible. It has a plot and script that would consistitute a poor effort for an 8 year old, and it looks hideoulsy amateurish whilst possessing none of the clunky artsiness and charm of the classic zombie B-movies by Fulci, Ossorio, Romero and the like. The acting is abominable, and whilst there is plenty of action going on, it is so bland,uninspired and unconvincing that it bypasses the brain entirely. Oh, and the 'showdown' with the Head Zombie at the end of the film is so pathetic that it wouldnt even pass muster in an episode of 'Hercules- The Legendary Journies'(abysmal dialogue of choice-
MAIN PROTAGONIST: "You did all this to be immortal- but why?
HEAD ZOMBIE: "To live FOREVER!!!"
The sole decent aspect of the film is the great Jurgen Prochnow, of Das Boot fame, who is a joy t watch as the wise-cracking Fishing Captain- Prochnow is clearly just looking to pick up a paychech and realises waht utter trash he has signed up for, but appears to be having fun and is the only character whose face I can actually remember, standing out starkly against a background of blank, bland faces and atrocious acting.
House of the Dead is pure trash and an insult to horror fans everywhere, but admittedly there is considearble fun to be had from ripping it apart in the company of friends over a few beers. Dire beyond belief.