|RUDY:||You did all this to become immortal. Why?|
|CASTILLO:||To live forever!|
I am not sure how or why, but I had a craving to watch House of the Dead one day back in June of 2006. I heard how bad it was, and had seen pieces of it, but I just had this bizarre urge to watch the massive train wreck of a film. Its notoriety online was too overpowering to not want to watch it. So I did, and to this day, I still think Uwe Boll should personally find a way to give me my time back (albeit, not through a boxing match).
For anyone who has still not journeyed into the depths of the bad filmmaking abyss to see the film, I immediately urge you not to. There are some bad films that deserve to be seen to be believed, and some films that are so bad they become good. Hell, there are just some movies some people may hate to their very core, but still manage to be another person’s guilty pleasure. This film is none of the above. There is a certain section of hell reserved for the putrid filth that Boll creates -- albeit a place scores above the work of Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer.
If this warning was not enough, and you are still curious, I will note here that days, weeks, months and even years after watching the film, I still cannot even begin to try and decipher the plot or storyline. It really is that bad.
Basically, a few young 20-somethings miss the boat to get to an island where the greatest rave of the century is apparently taking place. They pay a local boat crew a bit extra to be transported there, only to find the party totally empty of any and all human life. As you can guess, zombies eventually attack our group and we find the reason for why no one is around -- and the reason for our characters’ desperate fight for survival. With the aid of guns no less! Sound epic? That is because I am embellishing -- a lot.
Simply put, Boll should be barred and banned from Hollywood. If he touches anything in it, his hands should blister on contact. This man is a menace, and we need to lock him up or deport him before he continues his streak of cinematic abortions gone wrong (which did not end with House of the Dead). This movie is just god awful, and I’m hard pressed to find any words to describe or discuss it any further.
There are shots of breasts, for the sake of showing breasts. I am not talking the fun kind of gratuitous breast shots from Piranha 3D. I am talking breasts being shown simply for the sake of them appearing. There is immense blood spilled for the sake of showing immense blood. Forget being true to the source material (Sega’s House of the Dead video game series that has almost nothing to do with raves, islands or 20-somethings), it is way too overdone here. The film is ridiculous, for the sake of being totally ridiculous.
This, added all together, makes for one the worst films in the history of Hollywood cinema. I have seen horrible movies, but this my friends and dear readers, is in that small category of being unwatchable.
I will concede that I was impressed that the screenwriters found room to explain why there are random guns on the island they enter. Of course, they miss out on the explanation of how our characters know how to use these guns with excellent marksmanship, and how they know how to fight better than Bruce Lee himself. But then, if they bothered to explain that, they would have to explain how the characters know how to use other weapons… like swords! Or how they know how to bend gravity and use that gift from The Matrix we call bullet-time to their advantage. You give a little, and you lose a whole lot more. My brain can only be left at the door for so long before it needs to come back.
Yes, we understand this is a movie based on a video game. We do not need frames from the game spliced into the film to remind us. You also do not need to add the cheesy pan around the characters after they die. It is a stylish touch, but an unneeded one. You also do not need to have random memory lapses of characters who are not even in the flashbacks being flashbacked to. Or even include needless flashback scenes in the first place. You also do not need to steal from every film under the sun (to skim: the aforementioned Matrix, Star Trek, any film made by George Romero) to try and make this movie anything more than it already is. It screams of lazy screenwriting, and bellows of even lazier greenlighting. Even the half-assed "shock" ending is just that -- half-assed.
I looked for saving grace, and outside of a few humorous lines of dialogue (including one mentioning Romero's films), I could find none.
House of the Dead is a terrible film that never should have gone past the screenplay. Everyone involved (and thank God most of the actors have not done much since) should be ashamed of themselves. Boll should have learned his lesson with this piece of trash, instead of continuing his perversion and desecration of the medium. I will admit that he knows how to competently direct a bad movie, but he just cannot seem to apply himself to anything worthwhile. How he ever got the chance to continue trying after this cinematic crime against humanity, I doubt anyone will ever truly know and understand.
And no, I never even for a second considered watching the sequel.
-- David Baldwin