The House of The Dead Movie Review

October 11, 2003

I saw two flicks today, Kill Bill and House of The Dead. One good. One bad. The Yin and the Yang. Can't have one without the other and that's life my friends. I'm not going to review Kill Bill. I don't have too. You'll probably see it. Adore it and it deserves your affection. My sister did note that Tarantino fans might be dissapointed since Kill Bill ain't one of his chit-chat flicks. It's balls to the wall bloody action right from the get go. Man, what an excellent 1970's chop-socky tribute flick. Kicks Ass... Well I guess that was sortive a review. Just go see it. This is Tarantino's best shit to date! And when I say shit, I mean GOOD! Now, back to the bad...

The House of The Dead, as you see by its title, is based on the kick ass SEGA franchise. From the arcade light gun games to the Typing of The Dead to The Pinball of The Dead, every game in that series is grand fun. Great entertainment. You got your bad voice over work, incoherent story lines and killer action. In other words, its just wripe for B-movie schlock and B-movie schlock this movie is. The best time too see the flick is at midnight with beers and nachos. That's it. Actualy the movie ain't too bad, if the first half wasn't a goddamn long build up.

Let's start with the good since there ain't much too note. In no particular order...

1) Old-School Zombie Effects - Yes my friends, no CGI zombies like in Resident Evil. Remember the CGI effected zombie in Resident Evil, you know the one with half a face that was so goddamn obvious... None of that here. Old-school zombie effects that look good and do their job. Nice work.

2) Kick Ass Matrix Action Moments - These just rocked. They're creative, fun and outrageous. They fit all snug and comfortable in an already outrageous, hollow incoherent plot... Just like the games! If you can stand the first 45 minutes until you get to these parts... It's worth it.

3) Bloody Violence - Oh ya! Some great extremely gory zombie guts and heads blowin' up action. Nice! Atleast these guys didn't chicken out like Resident Evil.

4) Jurgen Prochnow - He kicks ass! He plays the only cool character you give a shit about and he's just so cool. Period. There is a very cool exchange of dialogue when we are introduced to the character, listen for it. Good laughs!

5) Tits - Okay... Okay its a given. Tits are great in a movie... In fact, when's the last time you've seen beautiful girls showing off their beautiful assets on the silver screen? Think about... Never. Props to the filmmakers who had the guts to put a pair of boobies on screen in a world dominated by the PG-money making rating. Watch for the beautiful pair during a rave moment with a huge SEGA logo banner in the background... believe me they ain't hard too miss.

Now for the bad. In no particular order.

1) The Plot - Or lack of or what the fuck is going on? Who cares... Really just get to the goddamn action now. The only saving grace was the action but nope... got to have a stupid plot... Christ. There is such a long build up(45 minutes) before we get into some action... argh! Shit!

2) Characters That Suck Balls - Except for Jurgen, the rest of the characters just sucked, well you read it... Balls! Really, who gives a shit about any of these characters. You know this is the biggest complaint I have with these goddamn horror flicks these days, who gives a shit about teen angst or rich fuckers or guys who wanna get laid. I could give a rats ass. People wonder why John Carpenter's zero budget flicks work. From They Live to Halloween to Vampires to Escape From New York... Middle class people with middle class values. That's what people can relate to. The underdog strugling to do something right to help people or just struggling get through a day's work. Why did his big budgeted flick The Thing work? It was about middle class dudes doing their middle class jobs. This is the same damn reason why the Romero zombie flicks worked. Listen to Rob Zombie's House of A Thousand Corpses commentary, right off the bat he mentions this as a fault in his own flick. You gotta have people you can relate and root for when the shit begins hitting the fan. Again, I could give a shit about teen angst or rich fuckers going to an island to get drunk at a rave. Fuck.

3) Cool Sets and Ideas Aren't Used - The final act of the plot introduces us to a very interesting villian, surrounded by great underground sets, cool zombies and creativity... So why the fuck didn't you guys use this as an advantage? You know, focus on this cool stuff right off the bat? Come on guys... didn't you see it during the shoot? Shame on you.

4) Fucked Up Editing - Okay. The editing was actualy not too bad until they started throwing in quick shots of the arcade games every couple minutes as a transition effect or within action sequences... In theory a not too bad idea... that is until viewing the movie. It suddenly feels like an art house film. For example. During the awsome middle action scene, we're bombarded by kick ass, old school zombie effects, intercut with some SEGA arcade game footage followed by a Matrix effect. Strange. Amusing. Oh hell it was pretty interesting. This is good and bad... Props for a little creativity for a zero budget flick.

This movie is a car wreck. Its ugly but you can't keep your eyes off of it. I'll pick it up when it hits DVD to add to The House of The Dead collection so I can just jump ahead to the kick ass middle action sequqnce and then watch it to the very end. I can see Mark A. Altman of Free Enterprise fame wanted to try his hand at 1980's cheesy horror flicks and he suceeded. It's not as good as Resident Evil. The only bonus it has over that flick is that there is true zombie horror guts violence. That's it. Great gun battles and shit flying. Oh yeah... and it has tits. Like I said before, watch it at midnight with alot of liquour and mexican food, then maybe you'll envision El Santo body slammin' a few zombies once and awhile. It ain't good... It ain't even B-grade Ed Wood good. It's Z-grade my friends. If your going to watch it, don't watch it after Kill Bill.

UPDATE 22-01-03 - Well Holy Shit! The DVD is coming out on January 27th and boy does it look like its getting the friggin' royal 5 star treament! I knew all of you would be excited! Damn look at these extras and I'm not shittin' you!

- Commentary by director Uwe Boll, post-production supervisor Jonathan Shore, producer Shawn Williamson, and actor Jonathan Cherry

- Commentary by executive producer Mark Altman

- Theatrical trailer(s)

- Deleted scenes

- "Behind the House: Anatomy of the Zombie Movement" making-of featurette

- "Stacked for Zom-Bat: The Sexy Babes of House of the Dead Prepare for Battle!"

- Sneak peek of new Sega game Nightshade

- Widescreen anamorphic format

Sweet Baby Jesus! I can't even get a Miyazaki flick with extras like this! Damn, I mean I was going to buy it just to add it too the House of The Dead collection but shit... It looks like it'll be worth it for the extras. I honestly can't believe it. The movies was shit and just look at the goodies your gettin' on DVD. Looks like it'll be worth purchasing. Shit, I'm going to faint...

- Kelley