Tuesday 13 September 2016

IMDb Bottom 100 Review - Number 32 House of the Dead

Urgh this movie. I had been dreading this one for a while, because let’s be honest, it looks complete shit. And it’s yet another Uwe Boll flick. Does this guy know no mercy? Why? Why are we being targeted for his shitty artistic outlets? This movie, unsurprisingly, sucks. And it involves zombies. And a ridiculous cast. And shitty locations. I could end the review now, and you would walk away knowing everything you needed to know about this flick. But that’s not how this works, is it? No. No it isn’t, dear reader. I sit through the movie, and write this, and you have to read it. That’s our dynamic. So let’s just get it over with, and follow me down the feces infested rabbit hole as I take a look at…

Fully Headless Nick fights main dude, I think. When I snapped some shots from the movie just now, the red shirted guy seemed to be there at the end, so I assume he's the main guy.

House of the Dead (2003)

First off a small disclaimer: I actually watched this movie in May, and just never got around to writing this review until now (it’s September). Partly because I was busy with exams and then went to see my beloved girlfriend who lives thousands of miles away and she kept me occupied all summer. But also partly, and perhaps even fully, because I just hated this movie and couldn’t bring myself to spend even five minutes cranking out one shitty sentence to describe it. I know I’m slacking off, but I’m worn down by this project. Alas, I reap what I sow, as the proverb goes. And I’ll soldier on. Because it’s what Jesus would do. If he had existed. Jesus would watch all 100 shitty movies for you guys. I’m basically Jesus. A version of him that actually exists though. Anyway, I’m straying off track here. House of the Dead was what we were talking about. And what Jesus would’ve thought… alright forget about Jesus for a second. He isn’t relevant.

Oh yes, I remember the zombie origin subplot. Something about a captain and a treasure. Or something. I think Clint Howard was wise to their game. 

I’m desperately trying to remember the plot of this movie, or if it even had anything worth remembering. I feel as if this movie reminds me of like 4 or 5 other movies I’ve seen, so pardon me if I get them confused. The description on IMDb says college students travel to a remote island for a rave. I don’t know if this sort of thing is really normal anywhere in the world, but it certainly seems to be, since several of the worst movies ever made depend on this plot device to work. You never see rednecks travelling to remote islands to attend Klan meetings only to find bloodthirsty zombies have taken over. Or perhaps those movies dwell comfortably in the 3-5 point range, and because of that I will never see them? These particular college students miss the official boat, or are banned from it or something, and have to resort to convincing a shady captain and his Clint Howard seaman to get them to the island. Obviously Clint Howard and his boss have ulterior motives, that I’m sure will become vital later on. A big star such as Clint Howard isn’t used just willy nilly, that much I do know.

Clint fucking Howard. He isn't much of a looker, but he can act the socks off of your grandmother. 

The rave is predictably lame, because who the fuck has a rave a place where people can’t get to it without super expensive boats? It would have been more believable if they were going to a mysterious dinner party in the mansion of Dr. Acula. The main cast strays off, and zombies start emerging. I’m desperately racking my brain trying to figure out if we see why the zombies come about or if it’s just understood that zombies are everywhere on the island just waiting. But zombies happen, that’s for sure, and one by one, people succumb to the walking dead. Clint Howard and his scurvy captain turn out to really be smugglers who have weapon caches everywhere, and we are treated to a sequence of excessive zombie killing, at the end of which a few people are holed up in a house, with zombies trying to get in. It’s the whole tedious routine we know and hate. Somebody finds a secret tunnel, and I think there is something about a cult too. Wow, this movie just blends in. Nobody gives a shit about the plot anyway. One girl makes it out alive. There. Done.

This was one of the opening shots, with voiceover going "We had broken up so I could study and she could fence." Seems legit. She totes utilized her fencing skills later. 

This was a completely run of the mill Uwe Boll movie. As I’m sure the diligent readers among you would inherently understand, this means that production is deviously clean looking. Money went into this movie. Not millions and millions, but more than a lot of the ‘dude we should totally make a movie with my cellphone’ or ‘Children, your homework assignment for summer school is to make a feature film!’ productions I’ve reviewed so far. I’ve gone into great detail regarding Boll’s schtick before, so I won’t bore you with it. But suffice to say, he has the power of the fifth largest economy in the world backing him up, and we suffer from it. Please note I’m refraining from making Nazi jokes even if they are right there, ripe for the picking. Not a lot of great names are involved in this movie. In fact, only Clint Howard (arguably a great name) and Jürgen Prochnow (arguably a name) stand out as anybody I’ve seen before. In anything. Except Will Sanderson - I’ve seen him in 3 other Boll productions on this list. But his name is far from great. Uwe has a knack for reusing actors who mistakingly believe they are a part of something worth while? I’m adding a question mark here, because anybody who has seen any of Boll’s movies, and have an internet connection must surely be aware, that his movies are universally, and rightfully, disliked or even loathed by the public at large. You accept a role in a Boll movie, you may get paid (and I’m not discounting that as a valid reason) but you’re also basically committing career sepuku. I get people like Will Anderson, who isn’t a huge name. But folks like Ben Kingsley or Jason Statham? Surely they have enough on their plates? For the record: none of those two people appear in this movie. But they are in other Boll productions. Christian Slater is too, but…. You know.

Jürgen whatshisface injured. He is going to play the old sacrifice gambit, where he lights a stick of dynamite with his cigar. You can practically smell the badass from here. 

The effects and all the other technical shit is on par with what you can expect from a b-movie. It’s decently made, without being totally on point, but also without you going “oh sweet mother of Jesus” every two minutes. I went “oh come the fuck on” a few times, but not because of the production value. Again, fifth largest economy pouring thousands of deutsch marks or euros (whatever era you adhere to) into Boll’s coffers. The relationship dynamics in the, peculiarly diverse, group of college students is completely wooden and without any kind of merit. None of the characters (with the possible exception of the always believable Clint Howard) have more than one dimension, and even that dimension seems warbled by redundant dialogue and decisions that would make a 7 year old cringe. You can’t engage in the action or any of the characters, because they have the appeal of getting your near frozen cheek flicked by the older kids in the school yard. It’s a movie I feel nothing much about. I disliked it when I saw it, but promptly forgot I had watched ten minutes after end credits were abruptly cut short by my finger on the remote. Uwe, you may not read this ever, and that’s probably for the best. But let me tell you this, on the off chance that you are; Jesus, had he ever lived, would probably find your movies kind of dull, and write a scroll about it, that somebody would find thousands of years later, and build a religion around. A religion I would be the pope of. Please cut down on making movies, or for once in your life, don’t write, produce or cast your own movies. There is a lot of talent out there. Please utilize it. Thanks.


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