50 Reasons I Love House of the Dead

Because I really, really, really love House of the Dead.

I know. You're looking at the title of the site, you're looking at the IMDB score for House of the Dead, and you're thinking "but isn't that an Uwe Boll movie? She can't be serious, surely?"

But I am. I really love this movie. I like most of Uwe Boll's films, actually, but this was the first one I saw. At the cinema. Twice. So it has a special place in my heart. Plus, it's awesome.

If you know me, you might be experiencing some vague déjà vu here. That's because I first published this list on a personal blog in September 2006, but I thought it was worth dusting off and bringing out to play again. So let's get to the reasons:

1. The acting in the movie is only marginally better than the acting in the game of the same title. I would wager most of the voice actors for the game did not actually speak English. And yet I have still slightly obsessively followed the careers of most of them. (Especially Will Sanderson. Who kicks ass!)

2. The whole movie is littered with in-jokes, usually Star Trek related. Jurgen Prochnow's hat, the name of the boat, and the pile of Zombie Flesh Eaters references are all great.

3."I don't like no Captain Kirk jokes."

4. Clint Howard over-acts for the entire movie.

5. He also tries to embody an in-joke. See: his yellow raincoat, his hook-for-a-hand fake out.

6. The rave on the island that gets destroyed by attacking zombies was at 5pm. In broad daylight.

7. The rave appears to have been sponsored by Sega.

8. They actually filmed a lot more of the rave, and the subsequent massacre, but it's all been cut. I love the dedication involved in that.

9. "It's like something out of a Romero movie. You know, the holy trilogy: Night, Dawn, and Day. They say he's going to make Twilight of the Dead someday, but I kinda doubt it."

10. The characters all have completely ridiculous names: Captain Kirk, Casper, McGivers, Liberty, Karma, etc.

11. Casper's pistol is far more effective at killing zombies than her BFG.

12. The character of Simon was originally written as a slightly older guy, who was financially successful. That's why he was able to hand over so much money to Captain Kirk to persuade him to take them to the island. However, somewhere along the line it was decided they needed a "name", a familiar face -- Tyron Leitso was starring in Dinotopia, so they roped him in. Without bothering to change the script, or anything.

13. All character development was cut down to two minutes of Rudy explaining who everyone is.

14. Greg's girlfriend is referred to as "pure eye candy." Even though, er, no. She's just not.

15. Greg gets seasick on the boat. Instead of turning around to vomit into the sea, he vomits on his girlfriend.

16. Who promptly goes below deck and strips off, resulting in gratuitous breasts.

17. [Salish offers a crucifix] "For your protection." "It's okay, I'm on the pill."

18. The shoot-out is the worst misappropriation of bullet time, ever. It's also visibly done cheaply -- and with equipment so dangerous it's now illegal to use it. The whole sequence is also one big continuity error.

19. Way, way too much effort went into designing the zombies. There are new, fresh zombies who can still run about; there are old ones who presumably came over on the boat with Castillo; there are moss zombies; there's pretty much everything apart from the annoying little flying guy, the worms and the frogs from the games.

20. Actual footage from the game is used as screenwipes, or sometimes just cut into scenes at random.

21. None of the actors playing zombies bother to pretend they're zombies. They just run about. Sometimes, extras in the background just stand around looking bored.

22. A zombie on the boat is visibly grinning insanely. This is how excited I would be, if I was in a zombie movie. Actually, it's about as excited as I was when I was in an Uwe Boll movie.

23. There's a huge set-up for Liberty to get killed quite early on, except, subversively, she doesn't. Only, erm, she originally was supposed to, but everyone liked Kira Clavell so much they kept her around a bit longer. Without bothering to change, or cut, the big lead up to her death, which now has no pay off.

24. Mark Altman, the scriptwriter, uses his commentary on the DVD to rant about how much his story got fucked up.

25. Uwe Boll describes Rudy and Alicia's longing looks thus: "This is my Gone with the Wind moment."

26. When Greg's being chased through the woods by zombies, you can very, very clearly see the springboards they're using to jump on.

27. All zombies grab trees to introduce themselves.

28. In spite of the fact that they're all nobodies, the actors seem to have had far too much input into the film. (See: Jonathan "Final Destination 2" Cherry refusing to have any funny lines because he's sick of playing comic relief; the rubbish "our best friend just died!" scene.)

29. None of the actors involved with this movie appear to have done anything afterwards.

30. Except Will Sanderson, who continues to be in every movie Uwe Boll makes.

31. And Ona Grauer, who's in Alone in the Dark.

32. And, er, Tyron Leitso, who's in Wonderfalls.

33. Ellie Cornell is in the sequel. Even though her character doesn't survive this one. Did I mention I'm a bit obsessive about following the careers of the actors in this movie?

34. Uwe Boll on why he keeps casting Will Sanderson in his movies: "He needs the money."

35. Will Sanderson does an awesome impression of Uwe Boll on the commentary. (Which isn't on the R2 DVD, by the way.) The box also claims it's a commentary with Jonathan Cherry. It's not.

36. There are lots, and lots, and lots of candles in the house. Apparently, the zombies lit them, because there's no-one else there. There's also what appears to be an electric lamp.

37. The house blows up. I love explosions.

38. The front door to the house blows up twice.

39. When they blew up the eponymous house, Uwe Boll got all his friends round to watch the explosion. The cast members went home to bed.

40. Time on the island has no bearing on real time. It's completely arbitrary whether it's light or dark at any given time.

41. Jonathan Cherry injured his hand. A scene was inserted to explain why his hands were covered up -- except he was already wearing leather gloves in the movie prior to that moment.

42. None of the sets look even remotely realistic. Everything was clearly built for the movie. Out of cardboard.

43. In the middle of the big fight scene, Rudy has a flashback to everything that's happened so far. Even though the whole film is actually Rudy's flashback to everything that happened on the island.

44. During the flashback, there're the infamous 11,000 cuts in 13 minutes. It's one of Uwe Boll's reasons why he's a better filmmaker than anyone else -- well, you don't see Tarantino using that many cuts, do you?

45. When the first two characters die, they get a spinning shot that fades to red. Sadly, there's no "game over" text, but there really should be. After that, they don't bother to mark character deaths.

46. "Isn't it nice to know someone wants you for your body?" "Yeah. Depending on what they want."

47. Alicia is about the only girl not to get her tits out. Mostly because Ona Grauer had just given birth, and was lactating.

48. Alicia is actually rational at the beginning of the movie, reasoning that the zombie attack must have been "some kind of stunt." She doesn't play Scully for long: "These are zombies, pure and simple!" By the time they're actually in the house, she's totally playing the horror movie game. See: "This book looks old. Maybe it can help us!"

49. Castillo's whole backstory, explaining why he's so obsessed with Alicia, is completely cut. It exists, though, which is what matters.

50. "Why do you want to be immortal?" "To live... forever."

... Not convinced, are you?

IMDB link


Tom said...

Uwe Boll is clearly quite mad. If I didn't think so before reading this then him throwing down to get it on with Belgium's other famous export (http://www.ugo.com/movies/minotaur-vs-centaur/?cur=uwe-boll) has convinced me.

twosheds said...

You baffle me.

Sarah Dobbs said...

That minotaur vs centaur website is THE BEST THING EVER. I just watched, like, all of them. Brilliant!

Ron said...

You're insane, Sarah. INSAAAAAANE!