House of the Dead Review

Title: House of the Dead (2003)

Rating: 4 out of 5

Tagline: “The Dead walk…You run!”

My Tagline: “Well they’re not actually the walking dead but humans with a virus, but they’re a little bit scary so let’s go bullet-time on their ass.”

Favorite Quote: “ ‘You did all this to become immortal. Why?’ ‘To live forever!’ ”

Plot Synopsis: A group of teens arrive on an island for a rave but discover that those who made it before them have fallen victim to a viral infection causing them to loose sensibility and control turning them into ravenous creatures of chaos that mindlessly feast upon healthy flesh. (these creatures are hyper-sapiens, NOT zombies) The group holds up in an old cabin and discovers the roots of the virus, a history of the island, and links to scientific research into immortality. Eventually the group decides to take action and kick some ass during a remarkably long bullet time action sequence and by the end some survive.

Review: Many would want to give this movie a higher ranking and I could certainly understand that but I believe it is worth note that some of the movie is rather boring and repeated viewing would be difficult. However this film is extremely enjoyable the first time through and has all the makings of a truly great bad movie. Weird characters, a story that makes no sense, terrible dialogue, technical and logistics issues, a lack of focus but best of all it has one of the best bad directors of all time, Uwe Boll. Not only does Mr. Boll honesty believe he produces quality material but he honestly believes he produces the greatest material. As a crazy German guy Mr. Boll is able to procure remarkable amounts of funds for his films resulting in the use of high demand acting talent as well as respectable makeup and CGI effects. In fact, the hyper-sapiens are some of the best creature makeup effects out there and his later films have actors like Christian Slater, Tara Reed, and even Ben Kingsley. It is the projects that Mr. Boll chooses to do and the choices he makes using these vast resources that make his films so remarkable and memorable. Hours have been spent in slow motion and bullet time. Dead characters have been spotted sitting up the second before a scene transition. Despite the use of some of the best technology available the deliberate choice to keep the CGI effects at a cable network level was made. Each film has completely awkward scenes and actions that rip you from the flow of the movie and many have horrible endings that simply make no sense, logically or otherwise. This is what Mr. Boll brings to the party and “House of the Dead” was my first introduction to this master of awful cinema. I would highly recommend this and any Boll film to a bad move fan. Mr. Boll is a modern day Ed Wood who shares the best aspects of that legendary filmmaker; a great enthusiasm for filmmaking and an earnest believe in the material they produce but Mr. Boll differs from Mr. Wood in a very big way, resources. If you’ve ever wondered what Ed Wood could do with modern day technology and lots of money then here is as close as you will get.

Trivia: -Believe it not Mr. Boll is actually Dr. Boll as he holds two PhDs, one in German and one in English. And what he chose to do with that was become an awful filmmaker. Simply fantastic.

-If you watch carefully during the “Lord of the Rings” forest homage sequence you can spot one of the catapults used to launch the hyper-sapiens into their ridiculous leaps.

-The extremely bizarre, seizure-inducing scene transitions are clips of footage taken during gameplay of the video game that this movie is allegedly based on.

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