Hey my lovely island guests! For a while now I have been doing movie reviews on monday, and for the last two weeks I have been discussing video game movies! I thought it was a fun idea for me to go to EVERY video game movie made up till this day! You know since we are all geeks and that! Yet there is one man who makes this challenge turn from hard, into a herculean feat! One man whose movies are so bad that his IMDB entire oeuvre average grade (for game movies at least) is almost an entire grade lower of the total score Tommy Wiseau’s The Room has! That man is Uwe Boll.. and my friends made me start with potentially his worst movie! Today I review House of The Dead.
Very few movies are so bad that the director is accused of money laundering. While this movie ‘only’ costs about 12 million dollars, people saw this movie looked so bad, it possibly can not have cost that much. Since 12 million is almost nothing for a film nowadays… that is saying something. Now having seen this movie.. I am pretty sure there was some money embezzled here and there because the zombies in this movie..do not look better than your overzealous halloweenist or what you might encounter in a haunted maze. In this movie we follow Rudy and his friends who go to a rave..of 12 people or so.. on an island known for it’s gun smuggling business and the rumors of a deadly curse that dates back to the golden age of Spanish trade. While Rudy is already on the island his friends miss the boat and they pay a smuggler 1000 dollars to take them to the island. Before they get there to shit goes down as all 12 rave visitor get killed by zombies.. lead by the immortal Castillo Sermano.. whose big motivations are.. that he created immortality…because he wanted to live forever.
Yes that is actual dialogue from the movie “You created it all so you could become Immortal, Why?” To which the villain answers “To live forever” Now that’s some pretty hokey dialogue. Mind you.. this man is Spanish..he kills everyone on this island immediately and no one dares to set foot on it.. but he speaks English. Then again he might be the mastermind of the Sega sponsored rave so he could get some new body parts to look fresher.. but I am not sure. Anyway.. people get naked.. and people die..typical Uwe Boll stuff, there isn’t that much more to the movie. Of course since it is based on a light gun game.. there is also a lot of shooting as well. A near infinite supply of hand grenades spawns from a single crate as well. At least Uwe had the video game logic down. In fact.. a lot of times it even looks like a video game, and I don’t JUST mean fake!
House of the Dead is one of the classic arcade shooters and if you have ever been at a convention or at an arcade you’ll most likely have at least seen it maybe even played it. If you haven’t don’t worry Uwe has got your back. I honestly think that game’s pixelated graphics has better looking zombies than this movie. Then again.. if you have your face painted in Mcdonald’s, 9 out of 10 times it will look better than this movie. People just get some white lenses and some blood is smeared on their somewhat whitened face .. and tadaa.. you are a zombie. Well that or you are rotten to absolute heck.. and kinda look like a Jawa without the cloak. I’d imagine. Bullets can leave holes in your torso the size of a soup bowl or not have any effect at all at totally random. Sometimes people lose arms at random or aim for something they clearly are not hitting. So somehow Uwe simulated how actual aged light guns work.. and translated that to a movie! At least that’s faithful.
To give you more immersion scenes are strung together with actual game footage flashing throughout the entire movie at random intervals, since people are very bad at acting we do not get death scenes we instead get “game over screens” where the camera spins around a character in a more heroic moment before the screen turns red and fades away. I honestly have never seen a movie whose cinematography is so painfully bad as this one. People look so awkward with their guns yet somehow every one .. from cop, to model to random girl can wield these weapons with pinpoint accuracy..even while being eaten, underwater and of course while insanely drunk. Sets are so obviously fake that it seems like something Vampirella would present on.. or whatever those horror hosts did. Even Ed Wood might say.. you might wanna adjust those lights.
Now sometimes a movie is so bad that it’s good. Not with this movie though! While what I might have said sounds like it is a hilariously bad movie like Birdemic and The Room, this does not have that charm. Where in those movies.. and Who Killed Captain Alex too for that matter there is passion..this is a movie of paychecks and “let’s get it over with” acting. People read their lines and that’s it. It feels like a ‘you get your diploma but barely’ graduation project from acting school. It isn’t always the actors fault though Jonathan Cherry who plays Rudy.. really can not carry any dramatic scene. Jürgen Prochnow who is better know for Das Boot and Dune is passable at times but the character is poorly written. All the characters are poorly written. We have the dumb model, the crazy superstitious sailor, the straight shooting cop and the over sexed bimbo. However.. our main cast is Random doctor student , random ex girlfriend.. and other random girl who is also a friend. They have no traits whatsoever except for being mean to the model guy. It’s hard to act if your character doesn’t have a personality so I get that.
Well the doctor guy.. Rudy Curien likes girls. That’s his trade.. but with girls named Liberty, Karma and Alicia.. you got a pretty good idea what Uwe Boll things a woman is. A stripper.
Alicia fights the final fight in some sort of leather skimpy corset. Liberty wears one of those 60’s american flag jump suits with some serious push up and there is a lot of boob in this movie. They are meant to look sexy and basadds, so most of the times girls wield Melee weapons.. just so the camera man can get away with some close up shots that follow the line of “hey my eyes are up here’. The cop named Carter (she is never given a first name in this movie) and captain Kirk..(yes thats what he is called) are the only two characters I remotely enjoyed. Unfortunately Kirk gets bitten and uses dynamite to blow himself up.. because dynamite is a weapon.. like shotguns and all .. it’s really not but they have tons of it in a weapons crate in this movie.
Carter gets her legs chopped off by a axe wielding zombie..who throws the axe away and loses it prior to chopping her legs of with it. (Also he gets killed before) So I am pretty sure Uwe Boll pays tribute to the respawning video game enemies. Carter of course dies from this and in a very well acted Rudy moment *cough* he says goodbye to her and we see her die.
Afterwards the house her corpse is in gets blown up. Zombies still roam the area and later a special force team clears the area of anything remotely suspicious. So obviously she’s the star of the sequel… (That’s no joke..despite getting her legs chopped off, laying there for almost an entire night bleeding, getting blown up by a huge gunpowder explosion.. she is the star of the sequel.. that takes place AFTER these events). Oh right and I almost forgot you to tell about the acid spit zombie.. of which there is exactly one! The model whose face is slowly dissolving acts out his pain with so much zeal… who am I kidding.. his acting is on the level of an early 90’s video game voice acting person. So again! Point for Uwe for faithfulness.
Never really get annoyed by a movies soundtrack but in case of this movie.. it literally does everything wrong! We get very odd music choices that do not match their situation at all. A despair fight they are losing gets high octane metal music as if we are playing doom, while someone dying on the table gets a slightly whimsical melody.. a creepy crypt is more generic rock/metal and the rave itself doesn’t really have rave music at all. Then again no one going to this rave is your usual raver either. I found some music choices so painful.. and out of place I just wonder where they got the track.. are they in the video game? If so that game has a really bad soundtrack.. but still I bet it utilizes it more wisely.. this feels like the sound editor just wanted to be cool! And just picked some edgelord music pieces and strung them together. The best comparison I can make is that this movie sounds like one of those strip clubs that serves free chicken wings.. just to get some guests in their place.. you know the place where strippers look more like actual zombies than the zombies in this movie.
To be honest I’d rather go to the stripclub though.. I mean .. free Chicken Wings. Nothing against strippers by the way, I have sex worker friends and as long as you have fun what your doing it’s all good.. I just mean.. some can look a bit .. washed up. Scarier than the zombies in this movie. Anyway I was talking about the sound. Of course this movie constantly has weird camera moments where like a video game the camera spins around a character to show a critical hit or something.. this is accompanied by weird swooshing noises, epic close ups that have bullets whistling and super stock sounding explosions and gun effects.. as if the files have been ripped straight out of a video game. …
As far as video game movies go.. it’s about the equivalent of someone taping their let’s play of House of the Dead and selling it as a movie.. except it has more annoying characters, more poorly timed music, worst hit detection and zero gameplay. Less satisfying gore a worse story, worse camera angles and less interesting set pieces. It’s not enjoyable to watch yet has this magnetism to it.. you can’t help but to keep watching. While I haven’t been positive nor is there much to be positive at all, I do gotta say.. weirdly..I do feel this is a video game movie.. more so than say Assassins Creed. It is as if Uwe Boll does really care about this game and has put so many elements of the game in.. to make it feel like he was playing the game again while shooting this movie. It doesn’t work, it doesn’t treat women right, it doesn’t care about being a good movie.. but there somewhere is some understanding of the source material. I think.. or he somehow managed to make a movie that is so awful that it feels like the game .. in the wrong places by sheer coincidence.
I saw something.. like a little spark of a connection.. like our inner gamers clicked just for a tiny moment. It’s buried too much under trying to turn this movie into his persona edgy strip club! Where the chicken wings are free but so oily and greasy..that they look more like zombies.. than the zombies in this actual movie.
While some movies are so bad they are good, this one is just plane bad! A point can be made for it having heart.. but a point can also be made that this movie was made for the reason to embezzle some of the 12 million this movie costs and to turn a movie into your private stripclub! Sorry this definitely deserves my lowest score:
Dear Mister Boll, if you ever read this review…somehow.. or one of my other dips into your Video Game movies, which at least according to IMDB aren’t much better, please do not invite me to a boxing match to beat me up, like you did to other critics. I might die from that! So IF you have to take your revenge on me..please make a movie about my absolute favorite games in the world, making a movie so bad it kills the games?! I would be so sad and you would have the intellectual victory! My favorite games are Fortnite and Call of Duty..possibly Fifa too! I accept that you might want revenge..so these are my tributes to you!….But please do not make these movies within the next year! I have to review all video game movies.. if you manage to make one within 40 weeks.. i’d have to review that too and a Fortnite movie by Uwe Boll sounds like absolute dogshit! Thank you for understanding!