movie review

July 6th, 2015 Movie – House Of The Dead (2003)

house of the dead 2003

Ok, I don’t mind when a movie is made based off of a video game. In fact, considering how well made video games are these days, I can expect to see a lot more movies being made. My problem is that the majority of the movies made based on video games have…to put it bluntly, just completely sucked. Don’t get me wrong. They can be entertaining in a “so bad it’s good” type of way, but they really aren’t good movies. Today’s movie is based on a popular first person shooter arcade game from the 90’s, House Of The Dead.

The plot: Five friends (Alicia, Cynthia, Greg, Karma, and Simon) are trying to get to a rave that is being held on an island. They manage to convince a fishing boat captain, Captain Kirk, and his first mate, Salish, to take them to the island, though Kirk is reluctant to do it at first. When they get to the island, the five kids head towards the location of the rave while Kirk has Salish unload some crates from the boat so that they don’t get arrested for smuggling. When the kids get to the rave, they find the whole area deserted. While Cynthia and Greg decide to start drinking and goofing off, Alicia, Greg, and Karma go looking to see if they can find out what happened to all the people. They soon come to an ancient looking house where they find Alicia’s ex, Rudy, as well as two more people, Liberty & Hugh. Rudy informs Alicia and the others that zombies had attacked the rave and that they were the only ones left alive. The group heads back to the rave to get Greg and Cynthia but Cynthia, who has already been attacked and turned by the zombies, kills Hugh before she is killed by a cop named Jodan Casper, who had followed Kirk’s boat to the island. Wanting to get all of the kids off the island, Casper leads the group to where Kirk’s boat is anchored but when they get there, they discover zombies have overrun the boat. Casper and Greg make a run for Casper’s boat but they get separated and Greg is killed by the zombies. The group decides to use Kirk’s smuggled weapons to make their way back to the house but Casper and Liberty are killed while the others manage to get inside to safety. While Alicia, Karma, Rudy, and Simon search the house for supplies and a way out, Kirk, who had been bitten by the zombies, sees a zombified Salish outside so Kirk decides to go outside and use a stick of dynamite to kill himself, blowing open the entrance to the house in the process. The four remaining kids seal themselves in another part of the house and but when the zombies start breaking through the doors, Karma finds a trapdoor leading to some catacombs that she, Alicia, and Rudy manage to escape into while Simon, being attacked by the zombies, shoots into some barrels filled with gunpowder, causing the house to blow up and killing the zombies and himself. Trying to get to the beach using the catacombs, the group is attacked and Karma is killed, but Alicia and Rudy are rescued by Castillo, disguised as Greg. Castillo, a Spaniard that was exiled centuries ago, had managed to create an immortality serum to let him live forever and plans on using Rudy and Alicia to help him keep his immortality. However, Rudy and Alicia manage to escape and blow up Castillo’s lab. Castillo survives and attacks the two kids, stabbing Alicia in the chest with his sword. Rudy manages to decapitate Castillo, but the headless body grabs Rudy and begins to strangle him. Alicia, barely alive, manages to crush Castillo’s head, killing him for good before she dies herself. Later, a helicopter arrives and Rudy makes his way towards it, carrying the body of Alicia, which Rudy had injected the immortality formula into in order to keep her alive.

House Of The Dead was seriously panned by the critics, as in Rotten Tomatoes called it one of the worst reviewed movies of the 2000’s with a ranking of 4%. Many of the critics called it a “grungy, disjointed, mostly brainless mess of a film.” Time even listed it as one of the 10 worst video game movies. The movie did manage to make over $13 million off of a $12 million budget, which, sadly, makes this one of director Uwe Boll’s few successful movies in terms of box office.

You know, there are good zombie movies and there are bad zombie movies. This…is a bad one. The acting was pretty lame among everyone in it. The story was interesting. The movie was meant to be a prequel to the video games but, unless you really played the game, you would never know. The action was somewhat over the top but that is to be expected. The one thing that started out as funny but would go on to become very annoying was the repeated use of clips from the game during cutaways and many of the action scenes. If you are looking for a good video game movie, keep looking. But this is a passable zombie movie.

Rating: 2 out of 5

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