You know, I started this movie with the intent to try. I was taking some notes about things I thought while watching. About 20 minutes in, though, I threw that away. I decided if the movie wasn’t going to try then I wasn’t going to try.
If I were a food critic and a restaurant served me dog food blended with manure, I wouldn’t eat it. While that may have blown my chance at being the weirdest food critic around, it’s a good analogy to this movie. If there is one thing House of the Dead could compare to it’s a dog food and horse shit smoothie.
House of the Dead is directed by Uwe Boll, a man some call the worst director in the world. He specialises in adapting video games, with Bloodrayne and Alone in the Dark being the main two. That’s right, the title is not merely a coincidence. This is actually a movie based on the light gun arcade game House of the Dead. You know, this thing;
Don’t worry though, as the movie will make sure you never forget this fact. It will obnoxiously flash up footage of the game through the movie. Probably in an attempt to remind you that you could be having more fun with a light gun game than this movie.
Anyway, the movie itself. The premise of this movie is five people want to go to a rave on an island. The rave is actually so rubbish it’s funny, I’ve never seen a movie scene that looks so like a movie set. You know, rather than looking like what the set is meant to be. This rave has about 15-20 people who were clearly just told to ‘look like you’re having fun’ while two very scantily clad women dance in front of a Sega banner.
Our main cast arrives late to the rave and finds it deserted with bloody clothing all over the place, but no one is really fussed. Only one character actually cares that the stage is falling apart and people are probably dead. We’re eventually introduced to a few more members of the cast. The cast consists of 4 women, one of whom dies as the fourth is introduced so there’s only ever 3 at a time, four guys, but again only ever three at once, and finally a coastguard and a ship captain. Of all these people, the coast guard and the ship captain are the two best. The coastguard because she isn’t as bad as the rest of them and the ship captain because he is amazingly ridiculous.
Now that I’ve covered the best character, let’s cover the best scene and of course I am being sarcastic. So on this island there is a titular House of the Dead, the characters find it fairly early on. They emerge from the trees and walk towards the house, reaching it 56 seconds later. Later on, they decide to hide in the house and have to fight their way past some zombies. It’s the exact same stretch of land that took a mere 56 seconds to walk earlier.
What follows is the stupidest action scene I think I’ve ever seen. There’re annoying camera effects, there’re scenes of them being very near the house only to suddenly be back at the start of the courtyard again, and irritating slow motion. The whole scene, getting from the courtyard to the house this time, takes a whopping nine and half minutes.
In the house we learn why there are zombies. An old wives’ tale told by the ship captain is confirmed by a book in the house. A Spaniard from centuries ago mutated his blood to live forever, was exiled to the island and turned people into zombies. You’d think having zombies running around the island would attract more attention you don’t want but what do I know.
Thus we are led into the climax of this crap fest, sword fighting a Spanish guy with a patchwork face from centuries ago who somehow speaks perfect English despite being trapped alone on the island. Okay, maybe not perfect English as he doesn’t seem to understand what a question is. When asked “You did all this so you could be immortal, why?” he replies “To live forever”. While that is a fairly factual answer I feel it more defines immortal than answers his motivations. But then again this is an undying man who can still control his body after his head has been cut off, so I guess the regular conventions don’t apply.
Overall I have one strong feeling about this movie. It used to be I thought if I could travel through time I’d help myself win the lottery. That has changed. Now if I ever have a time machine, priority número uno (“That’s Spanish for number one in case you don’t speak Mexican”) is to travel back to last night and beat the crap out of myself for having the idea to watch House of the Dead.