Director: Uwe Boll
Running Time: 90 Minutes
I played House of the Dead at the arcade when I was a kid. It was mindless, harmless fun. It was always one of the most popular arcade games. Then you hear about a movie adaptation of this beloved throwback and you hope that justice will be done. I had this experience most recently with Hitman, not the remake released this year (2015), but the one starring Timothy Oliphant in 2007. I am an avid follower of the Hitman franchise and was rather excited about the film when it was released. Some of you may feel this way about the Resident Evil franchise. The 2000s saw a number of games being adapted for the silver screen: Alone in the Dark, Doom and Tomb Raider are but a few.
This drivel is by far the worst thing that I have watched in a long time, second only to Alone in the Dark.
A group of co-eds make their way to a rave being held on a mysterious island. Little do the party-goers know that the island is actually inhabited by the undead. Some of our intrepid rave junkies arrive late, finding a deserted stage and bar. Instead of leaving the island, a couple decides to have a party of two while the others decide to scout the area for the other party animals in the hopes of figuring our where everyone disappeared to.
Soon, all is revealed and the mystery of adventure island lumbers along.
Performances & Special Effects
Awful. All of it. The acting was wooden which was largely due to shitty actors but also a very clear lack of direction. At one point, the token black girl was literally acting at air. The “zombies” did not have a clue as to what they were meant to be doing and you could clearly see extras in most scenes wandering about the fray unfolding next to them.
The make-up and set design were cheap, and it showed.
Where to start? Well, maybe it’s best to say that this movie was made by a man who had a petition brought against him to retire from film-making as all he does is butcher material. This is the same man who decided that it would be super classy to use flash scenes from the game for scene changes and fade outs. Furthermore, the story that he decided to employ for this film adaptation of a beloved arcade game actually had close to nothing to do with the game’s plot. Even the characters aren’t right. Plus, who names their characters “Karma” and “Liberty” (I’ll let you guess which is which from the image below).
Half of the actors couldn’t even get the name of the island correct. Even though it is meant to be Spanish for “Death”, the characters keep saying “Morte” (Italian, by the way) instead of “Muerte”. Plus I think it should actually be “Isla el Muertos”, but I digress.
This may seem like a little thing but if you consider that I live in South Africa and have no real contact with Spanish, yet I know the difference, then it’s pretty obvious that the director and actors just could not care.
The pacing was slow and the plot disjointed. The biggest and most bizarre thing about this movie was the sound track and the fact that the movie starts with over-exposed graphics from the game in the opening credit sequence, accompanied by a butchered (literally hacked apart and sewn together differently) version of The Prodigy’s Firestarter.
I could go on about the other individual elements which were atrocious but what would be the point of that when the entire thing was a shit storm from start to finish.
My Rating: 0.5/5
Don’t get House of the Dead from Amazon.com
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