Monday, January 23, 2006

House of the Dead

Directed by Uwe Boll (Alone in the Dark)

Wow. I thought this had to be a joke- like a movie someone made while they were in college or something. But no! It was actually bankrolled by a studio. "Doctor" Boll (he insists on his credentials being mentioned) has become "the guy" for converting video games into movies- House of the Dead was an arcade game in which you shot zombies with guns, Alone in the Dark was an old Atari movie based on some Lovecraft, and Bloodrayne was about vampires who fought Nazis (or something ridiculous).
Boll is pretty much like Ed Wood without the talent. In interviews he says he "likes to cast the movies right before they start shooting- this way you get good actors who have holes in their schedules. I guess this is how he ended up with such high demand talent as Tara Reid and "that dude who was in Final Destination 2). Apparentally both Michael Madsen and Ben Kingsley appear in Bloodrayne, but refuse to speak given some incident that occurred during the filming of Species (another winner!!).
Now here comes the best part- and I AM NOT MAKING THIS UP. We are all familiar with The Producers of course being cultured folk. In that film it was discovered that you could find a way to make money with a movie that was a flop. What a hilarious premise!! But wait- the good people who brought us zeppelins and Nazism have outdone themselves again- there is a German law that says ONE HUNDRED PERCENT of all cash invested in in a movie can be written off via taxes? Isn't this unbelievable?!?! For more on this check out
So Mr. (err Professor) Boll is able to just purchase rights to videogames and churn out some total schlock, reaping nothing but profits in the process. It shows. This movie was bad. Terrible bad. Awful bad. Dare I say- worse than Alien vs. Predator. If anyone asks if you want free Showtime, make sure that this movie is not coming on anytime in the calendar year you will receive the services of that premium channel. The plot is ludicrous. There is a massive summer party on a random island (ominously named Bone Island- thats original!) that some kids decide to go to. At this party is a generic band and lots of fun loving youths who love to take off their tops and rock out to electric guitar. But when our progtagonists arrive, the party is a wreck and no people can be seen. Heavens could it be- ZOMBIES?!?!
The zombies in this movie make zero sense. First, they have no consistent qualities of movement. Sometimes thay move fast enough to eat a nubile teen. Sometimes they move so slowly that an aging Jurgen Prochnow can escape their wrath. Maybe the speed they move is related to the number of extras Professor Boll was able to nail in his trailer during that day at the shoot- if the hot asian dance team was interested then the zombies move slowly, but if Boll has lots of pent up sexual energy the zombies run like Carl Lewis to attack poor Clint Howard.
One final point I need to ruminate on- Boll finds it necessary to splice in clips from the actual video game during the movie- so in a scene transition we will see screen shots of zombies getting their heads blasted off (in the game, the zombies moved slowly by the way). This is an interesting "tactic". Of course other interesting moves might have included a giant talking bologna- this does not mean it should be done.
In conclusion this film is terrible- I think one day in heaven all of us will have an Uwe Boll film festival to have something to laugh about together- but for now i say screw this movie, it was awful. Oh and it was called House of the Dead but there isn't really a HOUSE in it- more like a rickety cabin. But no one would go see Makeshift Shack of the Dead. Oh well.


Blogger ronvon2 noted on 1/23/2006 10:04:00 AM that...

Paul, you win best line award: "Boll is pretty much like Ed Wood without the talent."  

Blogger paroske noted on 1/23/2006 11:48:00 AM that...

- I think one day in heaven all of us will have an Uwe Boll film festival to have something to laugh about together-

Heaven for climate, hell for the movies.


If there's a cinema heaven,
You know they've got a hell of a studio.


Blogger ronvon2 noted on 1/23/2006 01:52:00 PM that...

I went to IMDB and found the following pearl of wisdom from Boll:

When asked what he learned from his disastrous experience with Alone in the Dark (2005): "That a script matters."

And this is from a man who has a doctorate in literature.

The only other director I know of who has a PhD, or at least was close to getting it, is Terrence Malick, who studied philosophy at Oxford.

Quality of education matters.