Posted by: s. night screening | August 20, 2011

house of the dead – guest review by joey

There is a special place in hell for Uwe Boll. Wait, let’s not kid ourselves here. Hell can’t exist. There is not even the possibility of a world cruel and painful enough to provide a sufficient penance for the cinematic crimes Boll has perpetrated. And even if there was such a place-given the sadomasochistic nature of any Uwe Boll film experience- there’s a 50/50 chance that the bastard would actually enjoy it.

Whereas the average family dog enjoys eating it’s own vomit, the film industry goes it one better. It delights in spewing out tired genre cliches and gimmicks into other media forms such as tv and videogames, watching the results become occasionally profitable, and then sucking them back into the movie making machine so it can repeat the cycle all over again. There is perhaps no better (meaning worse) practitioner of this routine than Uwe Boll. I give you his opus horriblus: the 2003 disaster, House of the Dead

House of the Dead is based on the 1997 SEGA arcade game The House of the Dead, which is in itself a shameless attempt to cash in on the then burgeoning popularity of the survival horror genre of videogames. The popularity of these games was established primarily by the success of Capcom’s hit zombie adventurer, Resident Evil and The House of the Dead is essentially a lower quality, first-person shooter version of that game.

So what we have here is a terrible ripoff of a slightly less terrible ripoff of a fairly well executed ripoff. Did you get that?

I recall enjoying the arcarde version of House of the Dead ok. Obviously it wasn’t as absorbing as Resident Evil but it was fun enough if you had enough quarters or tokens to pump into the thing and enable yourself and/or your friends to survive and finish the game. In other words it was fairly successful at what it set out to do if pure, dumb, rapid button-mashing fun is your thing… as well as wasting money (and I’ve never had a problem with either.)

In the film House of the Dead, Uwe Boll takes the concepts of pure, dumb, and fun- along with the concept of wasting money- and savagely eyerapes us with them but without any trace of originality, so that in the end we’re left to feel like a decrepit old whore who lingers about in dark alleys hoping for some degenerate to come along who is sick or desperate enough to violate us for old time’s sake, but it never happens.

All the lame horror cliches are here: the horny couple wandering off for a leisurely naked dip in the lake with the girl being stalked beneath the water (Jaws) while her boyfriend is stalked from the shore (Friday the 13th) Then there’s the desperate retreat into the creepy old house (Night of the Living Dead) and the ghostly blur of a dark figure passing quickly before the camera and going unnoticed by the characters on screen (every horror movie made since the 90’s).

Hell, Boll even manages to rip off a non-horror film in a prolonged sequence where each of the main characters is seen brandishing or firing his or her weapon in 360 degree Matrix vision. This last sequence hilariously establishes the fact that all of the survivors possess (or quickly develop) the skills of trained commandos as they are besieged by the nasty zombie horde.

It’s difficult to communicate the ineptitude with which Boll rehashes all of these elements. One has to see it for themselves…if ones dares. And I’m not even gonna fuck with the ill-constructed, incoherent “story” itself.

Ha! Story! Uwe Boll!

So if you’re feeling down and you think some form of self-administered punishment might provide the catharsis you need to get yourself over that hump, you can go outside and slam your testicles in your car door for an hour and a half (or whatever part of your anatomy you deem an adequate substitute, ladies) or you can watch House of the Dead. Strong liquor is recommended.


joey has written for bad movie knights, you can also email him here or through facebook.


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  1. This can’t be as crap as Elm Street 4 surely.

  2. House of The Dead makes Elm Street 4 look like No Country for Old Men.

  3. is that the one with jack sparrow

  4. I enjoyed this, I really did. In a so bad it’s good way. I’ll have to rewatch this (yes, I said it), but seriously: the cheesy Captain Kirk jokes, an asian chick called Liberty dressed in an American flag outfit, a Spanish undead kung fu priest?

    Me likey!

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