The Sequel Even Uwe Boll Would Not Touch: House of the Dead 2 Review

Hello again my dear island guest! Welcome back to my quest to review all video game movies!  When Uwe Boll makes a movie, Uwe Boll usually makes a sequel..or two! However even Uwe Boll jumped ship with his House of the Dead movie, so someone took over this video game adaption. A movie so bad that even Uwe Boll doesn’t want anything to do with it? Now that’s what I would call a horror movie!

In my attempt to see all video game movies, I have stumbled upon a new mood, something that holds a middle between stupefied and fascinated. I call it stupenated. It holds somewhere between NANI!!!! !and Hmmmmmm SOUKA!  So it might be called Hmmm NAKA!. This  sequel movie left me Stupenated a lot.

While somehow managing to make me aggressively bored at places as well. A rollercoaster of sub-par experiences that as a whole come out as a much more interesting experience as the sum of its parts, because by Arceus this movie is soooo badly written. However it is so culty and campy and stupid.. that it is quite a bit more enjoyable than Boll’s first outing. Terrible still but at least this felt like a movie. Biggest contributor for that is the movies story.. it actually has one! The first movie basically movie, whose review you can find here, basically had the story of..some (clearly not) teens go to an island to rave..but zombies live there and shit happens, luckily they hired a weapons smuggler so they have guns. Part 2 at least tries to do some world building…it fails… but it tries.

Dr Curien, the father of the main character of the first movie saw his son get killed by his girlfriend who had been given the immortality serum after she was killed by the Spanish priest bloke in the final bit of the first movie. Now he is killing school girls and trying to revive them, however he gets distracted and one of his test subjects he thought was just dead..gets away and kills him.. turning him into and the campus he worked on into a new batch of zombies.  The secret organisation AMS who are professional zombie hunters think this new outbreak might be connected to generation 0 or at least generation 1 zombies. (Those turned by the serum of movie 1 )  From which they hope to synthesise a vaccine. So general Carter sends in some military guys along with two AMS members to find this Gen 0 or Gen 1 blood sample. There even are some wavering allegiances, complicating this important mission. Unfortunately for AMS the military people are more brain dead than the zombies.

Now of course that last embellishment was not a part of the actual story but it is true! These military guys are SOOOO dumb that like half of them gets killed in the first few minutes for the most stupid reasons. One guy just starts punching on a zombie for no reason.. he has guns.. but he just starts fistfighting him and gets bitten. The second gets bitten by that guy after trying to restrain him by .. putting their hand his shoulders and pushing him down so he can get shot to death… of course he bites out of resistance and the next guy is toast as well. These experts in making things safe have to keep the scientist Nightingale and former Secret Service Agent Ellis safe from zombies.Which of course is harder than it might seem.

While Uwe Boll had little to do with this movie the director goes for for that typical Uwe Boll cinematic feel. For example it has that “porn” cheapness to camera images and a really harsh lighting. You half expect things to escalate when a girl walks out of a shower into a locker room full of men.

That means that means except for the “gross” crippled woman from part one.. you know the one whose legs were chopped off, bled out for hours and lay their in an exploding zombie infested house that now has become a leader in a top secret organisation that puts her in a military suit for some reason,  all women are introduced to you in a bikini. bathrobe or in a slutty schoolgirl outfit that gets cut of her body by a professor trying to reanimate her… for which of course.. she needed to be naked. This time however it is blurred out!  …At first.  IN the second half of the movie woman don’t strip as much but we do get a few “odd” moments. Almost as if the writer thinks zombie girls are hot?! I am not sure.. but I think we got a few naked zombies.. at least the zombies look like zombies though … sometimes.

The movie has this campy feel to it.. with woman being a bit stereotypical ..but stereotypical badasses. I think we get one gay woman..maybe two I am not sure, it’s implicit .. there is just this tension between two girls.. although I should not say there is..but I feel like there should be.. based on their dialogue and interaction. Between the bad acting and weird storyboarding it can go either way. There is this also a cool badass science chick with a deep back story and a campus hippie girl…who by far is the best actress in the movie that is like exposition incarnate. It feels like I am watching one of those Full Motion Video , video games. You know something like Night Trap, or those Tanya scenes from those Red Alert cutscenes. It has that same feeling as games like Phantasmagoria.. maybe even Wing Commander. It’s not like there is something wrong with that but they feel like their own thing. Like how a Soap Opera is filmed differently than normal series..FMV games had this “cheapness” to it.. which is very much shown in this movie. 

This is reflected by the amount of exposition in this movie.  “As you Know” is one of the stupidest lines a movie can use for plot revelations..because why would you tell someone something they know?! Well The whole story of AMS is done like that.. In a school that has been abandoned for weeks two people survive and they happen to know everything the doctor did including stealing corpses from the morgue and after the school told him to stop… he went to find other ways.. they tell them how he tried to splice genomes and details of his research and so much more! Why would they know the professor killed a student? There is no reason they would.. why would school allow a guy to keep working there after he stole corpses, why isn’t he in jail?! Why even if they covered this up.. would two hippies know it and have their fingerprint or Bio-signature tied to a cage that holds the first zombie?!  I was stupinated! Everything is acted, filmed and written so clunky you feel like every shot has a big B branded into it.

That is what saves this movie from being worse or as bad as it’s prequel. It is so far distanced form reality it can actually surprise you. In the scenes where it doesn’t it can be boring as heck..but boy when the stupid virus strikes again .. I had a blast.

There is something hilarious about a trained soldier seeing a guy sit in a zombie infested library and say “Oh a survivor” … while being questioned by his peers “Zombies do not read that is a survivor”  meanwhile the guy has a rotting face and is bleeding all over his book and the soldier doesn’t even notice.. while knowing there are zombies everywhere. He even scolds him for being rude… WHY would someone go read a book amidst a zombie infested school?! Why do you think that is feasible?!  Even if he did it to calm his nerves why would you get annoyed he has headphones on and ignores you.. why would you not think it’s a zombie. I was Stupinated how can you think this little about your chain of events it made the movie quite hilarious though.

Soon after a part of the squad hears noises coming from a dorm room which is clearly a news-anchor reading the news.. yet for some reason TRAINED MILITARY staff, ..three of them all fail to notice this and they all think there are survivors in this room! After which they ask people to open up.. kicking in the door 5 seconds after making the request. English is my( arguably)  third language yet I as a untrained civilian, non native English speaker can hear this is a radio or a tv… yet the army can’t ?  That is funny! These people deserve to die so much! One of them does.. because he got bitten by a zombie mosquito?!  Now that is funny! Well he doesn’t die right away but he is written off. He gets bitten by a random mosquito, and just because the girl in this room zombified without any traces of forced entry?! Huh!?! So that must have been the mosquito they say. I have a few problems with that theory. Mosquitoes will only sting those with the highest body temperature in the room, so how it ever would prick a zombie is beyond me already. Maybe these zombies still have warm blood?!

Second that mosquito was in the room for days..meaning the mosquito would have to be a zombie itself, but decay is accelerated so I am not sure it would last that long, it’s not clear if it was THAT mosquito that made the girl turn.. they just guess it was and it’s totally unclear if the disease can be transmitted beyond species.. since the last part took place on an island.. you’d figure they would know if the mosquitoes there transformed. It isn’t even brought up again until the very end, the moment you discover that bugs can spread the deadly disease you might want to inform your colleagues but they just decide to just knock out the guy and leave him to die…I get you would not want to take a risk but this is a colleague, he’s instantly written off, without even asking the zombie scientist, which they can contact on their Walkietalkie thing. Instead they just decide.. well you are dead now. It felt very throwaway and out of nowhere and into nowhere.. nothing is done with this concept. 

The most hilarious death takes place around the same time. A guy sees a weeping woman who beckons him into another room, separating him from his group. It turns out that this woman is misleading him..she is actually a zombie..who acts like a siren of sorts..again.. I’d imagine her rotten face would reveal her to be a zombie or her non response to questions would at least make the man on his guard ..but no .. he gets blindsided by her! He does manage to beat her and lock her into a locker as he tries to exit the room a big zombie is behind the door… while he is already pointing his gun at the big zombie it startles him so hard he just screams and gets eaten……Trained military men everybody! They are so skilled.

If we look at consistency this movie is a lot weaker than the original! The movie does not match up with the world building at all. The set-up for things is super flimsey and it feels a lot plot whole heavier.. then again part 1 did not have a plot so…..

Mosquito guy by the way ends up being the villain of the movie..which of course is not set up at all , why am I telling you this..well because the movie first does set him up as the bad guy! He loots corpses, takes selfies next to a dead half naked girl ..with her camera he “stole” , he tells people they are going to die and basically he is just SUCH a huge douchebag that he went on this mission to get the blood sample for himself and bring it back to the big pharmaceutical companies and sell it for millions. Which to be fair is a much more interesting villain plot than “I want to be immortal because I want to live forever”  from the last part. The problem however  he is “killed off”.  Even when he turns out to be alive.. why would he still try to sell the vaccine so only the rich can buy it…Would he not help get it back so the experts van make a vaccine fast enough to save him. Also upon depolyment he left in a squad of 10 or so who took their jobs seriously! How would he ever get away with that?! Still it had a lot of potential as both sides race for the cure..but no he is killed off only to be brought back again for a weird twist ending. Why make him such an asshole not use him?  I was stupenated!

House of the Dead 2 is nowhere near as bad as its predecessor because it’s possibly worse. Plot happens for no reason at all throughout the entirety of this movie and it can be funny as heck. For example at one point Ellis and Nightingale get trapped in a zombie cage that needs the hand-print to open up… for no reason at all and never explained the door suddenly opens up. The woman who could open the door just got killed by  zombies all the way across the room. While she was bitten by 20 zombies she could still find humanity to crawl all the way across and open the door? If she even did.. not sure just assuming here as it’s the only way to open the door,  while …here we go again.. a trained Military captain began transforming in a zombie within mer seconds of a single bite?!  Sometimes they even transform instantly.. sometimes characters can give entire epilogues.  There is no rhyme or reason to this and it is stupinating to see how often a situation just goes completely derpy!

While the biggest charm of this movie is how dumb it is.. for example a character that got swarmed by zombies and only had a knife.. survives a missile strike without any scratches  while all zombies die, there are actually a few good things about this movie.

First of all the soundtrack is way less stupid than the original and those stupid game flashes are not here anymore.  Characters do actually develop over the  course of this movie and zombies look like actual zombies.  So it looks and sounds a lot better with much less aggressive muzzle flares, a much more believable setting to be decked out in these weapons used and in general a better set of world building. Of course this is nullified by dumb decisions like randomly running around a campus filled with zombies without knowing the schools lay out. At one point one character suddenly knows that in the next building  there is a science lab and this is a good place to start searching for Zombie 0 …. This happens when there are only 3 out of 10 people left… If that is a great place to start… (and sure.. if someone is suspected of making zombies… I’d say the science lab is indeed a fair starting place) why would you NOT start there first then… Stupinated! 

 The acting revealed that the actors could not believe the characters as well because it feels atrociously bad,  think Birdemic Levels of bad.. which is worse than House of the Dead 1, but a whole lot more entertaining. The dialogue is super funny at times as well. For example when Hippie girl fires at the science team thinking they are zombies they flee behind a desk an yell “Ceasefire we are AMS we are here to help” .. the response is  ‘Hmmm .oh. okay..sorry” I had about five other  moments there where I like actively thought like..’they could not just have said that’? Those bad lines are always also almost inaudible.. like tiny easter eggs of weirdness almost as if people accidentally talk trough footage. So bad.. yet some magnificent. This movie might have shown me the least logical action/reaction movie I have watched since the room. It is so bad in every single way..but the fact that it actually has a story and it leans so hard into the bad.. makes this a view I actually enjoyed.. unlike Boll’s movie. So in this case.. the worse movie is the better movie!  That doesn’t make a lot of sense but neither does this movie so it fits as a conclusion.

The Verdict

The movie is still bad and I would not recommend it to any of you guys but I guess when Uwe Boll doesn’t direct a movie it does automatically get better. This movie kept me entertained….at some parts. I still had to take break and come back for it! This movie isn’t even recognised by Wikipedia among video game adaptations so that is saying something.
Did you see this one?! Do you know of any video game movies that do not make the IMDB movie list?! Let me know and I might review it! Among the 38 sh other movies I still have to watch! Next week we will look at the Mortal Kombat Sequel and after that..we take another dip in Boll.

Pinkie’s Guilty Movie Pleasures: Face/Off

Overacting is a cinema sin that is one of the most beloved movie mishaps out there.  There is something fascinating by grown up man and women that we can see as actual people, acting like cartoon characters. Nicolas “Not the Bees” Cage is one well known for his zany madman acting. John “Battlefield Earth” Travolta is another one of those actors who plays his characters as if they are anime characters. When you take their face *flourish and dramatic pause*  off and put it on each others.. we get some seriously delicious ham.

Woo are you

Some movies are all about great dialogue, clever , insightful, thought provoking. Movies like those made by Quentin Tarantino.  Some are all about a great story, some about great characters. The Ang Lee’s and Steven Spielbergs amongst us. Others hope to just entertain us trough great songs,  cute stuff or badass action. However it’s rare when a movies main selling point is the actors, being their utter and complete self. We have the Expandables and possibly Machette can be marked for this one, but no movie has been completely like this.. this feels next level.

John Woo made this 1997 movie in such a way it could not have been made for anyone else. It feels like this movie was made for Cage and Travolta..also in their specific parts. It feels as if they are cast for their oddities rather than their acting prowess and in doing so.. it becomes something truly unique.

John Woo has an excellent eye for action cinematography.. even though he really loves to use birds in them, as some weird signature, that again blends so well with these actors and this cheesy story. It feels like the combiner robot made of the most incompatible parts that somehow come together in a mecha that can kick Burning Gundam and Gurren Lagann’s ass. John Woo is an alchemist who turned lead into gold… golden cheese. That kind of his his thing.

Bulletproof Monk, Mission Impossible 2, Hard Target and Broken Arrow are some of the other movies in his repertoire and all these movies show that same signature. If you’d review them you’d give them a poor score but when your watching them you are just having a dopey grin on your face. An alchemist I’ll tell you.

Face Swap

So long before we had apps to swap faces John Woo decided he was hungry for some cheese again and all he had was a mediocre script. His lead! A movie about a cop named Sean Archer who loses his son to the terrorist Castor Troy. He turns into the stereotypical 90’s badass action cop who lost it all and now can only think of revenge. How do you make this interesting?  Well let the terrorist be played by Nicolas Cage, who hides a bomb some sort of convention center thing of sorts. How about we open up with him dressing up like a priest to make sure he can walk around without too much suspicion while a choir is singing Hallelujah! Let’s let him totally rock out to that music, while smoking and let him off key sing along while he gropes a nun while he makes his eyes pop out of his head!

Is that interesting enough for you yet? No! How about a plot where John Travolta gets Nicolas Cage face.. because only Castor’s brother Pollux and Castor himself know where the bomb is?! Because Castor is totally in a Coma… but he wakes up early.. and then forces the medical staff to put John Travolta’s face on him?! Good I thought that would get you.
So now we get Nicolas Cage’s overacting on steroids because he plays overacting actor John Travolta, playing overacting actor Nicolas Cage. I know these characters has names..but this feels more like some odd and delightful social experiment that is about overacting three times over and my Arceus do I love it.

But look at me getting all ahead of myself skipping over some important plot. After seeing Nicolas Cage rock out to songs of the lord we see him boarding a plane before his nuke thingy goes off. He has a private jet for some reason including some floozy who he makes a makes a lot of butt allegories to. It turns out she is an undercover agent working for Sean Archer as Sean and his team invade the airfield to make  the arrest. Castor kills the lady and shrugs with a face that somehow looks as if it was drawn onto him.. during that fifth episode of Dragon Ball Super… inhumane. Sean chases Castor’s plane with a helicopter..causing to drive into a hanger.. including more fireworks than an american fourth of July. 

With a scene that feels as if it was the grand finale of the movie already.. in how over the top it is. Castor gets knocked into a fence by a plane engine and slips into a coma. Only after that Sean discovers Castor has left a bomb..and now the only person who is awake to know.. won’t cooperate…so time to slice Castors Face *Flourish and dramatic pause* off… and put it on Sean.. so he can convince his henchmen to give up the location.

No Face, No Limits

This is just the Set-up for the movie and we aren’t even done with that yet. During the airplane scene Nicolas Cage acts so insane…I genuinely feel we are looking at a madman here! Asking to be executed, singing.. while also acting like he is scared… all at the SAME time. At this time he is still playing just Castor.. so playing himself in a way.  Of course the top medical research facility that does these kind of prints.. has no security at all next to a comatose terrorist that is one of the most dangerous men of all time.. so it is easy for him to get the surgery done to him?! How?! Because there is an open phone line in his unguarded room he calls some henchmen with. So once again this movie shows us it’s not about the journey.. it’s about how cool anything looks and how hammy you can make it.

Seriously there is more ham in this movie then there is in Germany during Oktoberfest. Normally you have a director telling you to tone it down a little.. those words were NEVER stated during this movie.  Nicolas Cage .. now Sean, gets send to some sort of sci fi prison with magnet boots and cattle prods , advance tracking systems and what not. Here we get the most briljant scene of all. Nicolas Cage pretending to smile as his crazy zelf. Standing Ovation Right there! John Travolta is possibly even more fun. You see Nicolas cage has to pretend being nicolas cage.. John Travolta is in a position where he can both pretend to be him…OR Nicolas Cage. It’s like watching two chinese people play pingpong! It flips so forth so fast you lose track..but it sure looks fascinating

After that point the movie takes some ridiculous plot twists that leave Sean to fend for himself and Castor getting a bomb again. More helicopters, gunfights explosions.. and possibly the best sequence in the movie, Nicolas Cage, playing a Drugged up Sean Archer, pretending to be Castor Troy.. talking about capturing fake Archer and taking his face *flourish and dramatic pause* off. There has been a reason I have been writing it like this. This scene is amazing!

If people remember that family guy episode where Peter loves when a movie title is said in the movie.. than this would be a joyride. It’s so insanely overacted so in your face/off out there that you can’t help to chuckle. I wouldn’t even call it acting anymore… this is something else like the Super Saiyan 3 of acting. We shall call it Cavolta’ing ..or maybe Travolcaging.

Face it, it’s awesome!

Now of course just overacting alone would not be enough! The same tone is taken to the action scenes, from the epic conclusion scene in the first minutes to the epic conclusion in the end .. all the action movies feel completely over the top. The Scarface Mansion shootout wasn’t over the top enough.. so let’s try to do that in full slowmo .. while a children’s lullaby is playing as Sean tries to save Castor’s son from being killed by Travolta and his Swat Team that somehow try to shoot a kid… even though they are cops.

How about an extremely explosive shootout in a church while white doves fly about.. to symbolise Castor’s god complex. Shooting scene where both have to shoot their reflection in a mirror which also symbolises their foes. Or a high speed chase with speedboats.. going through other boats which violently explode on contact. It’s all there!

When I say symbolism I mean it is about as deep as that children’s toy where you have to  clean your toys in a bin by putting the ball through the ball shaped hole and the triangle through the triangle shaped hole.. and the square. in the square.. but there definitely is symbolism. It might be cheesier than a swiss fondue but it fits the movie so well yet again.
Start to finish, scene by scene, it feels like everyone on the set was over-compensating in their field. Pyrotechnics.. over the top.. analogies ..over the top… Travolcaging…WOW! It might not be a good movie when we look at it objectively..but when it comes to enjoyment .. this is a hard one to face *flourish and dramatic pause*  off against.