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I am fury!

This is House of the Dead. Apparently.

Above: This is House of the Dead. Apparently.

While my month’s free subscription to Amazon UK’s DVD rental service is still active, I’m doing my best to work my way through as many awful films as possible. I may not be as experienced a connoisseur of Z-grade movie garbage as Baron Scarpia, but I’m doing my best to make up for lost time, and last night I had the dubious honour of sitting through Dr. Uwe Boll’s big screen adaptation of the arcade game House of the Dead.

You have to admire Dr. Boll. He consistently churns out garbage so bad that rats would turn their noses up at it, and yet still somehow manages to get funding for multiple projects and attract A-listers like Ben Kingsley and, er, Tara Reid. He seems to have made it his mission to wreck virtually every successful video game franchise of the past decade (although Halo and Silent Hill, it would seem, are safe, for now at any rate) - a laudable aim given that Hollywood Pictures had already set the bar phenomenally low with Super Mario Bros. The man is so adept at tooting his own horn and acting like a complete blow hole that it’s hard to find any sympathy for him when the critics trash his latest train wreck (although I must admit that I did feel just the teeniest bit sorry for him when 90% of his audience got up and walked out during his presentation at the Penny Arcade Expo of the opening scenes from his new film, Postal).

Anyway, enough of that. I’d previously seen Boll’s take on Alone in the Dark (review here, and had come to the conclusion that it would be difficult to conceive of a worse film. So horrifying was the experience that it very nearly drove me away from Boll’s filmography completely. However, last night, undeterred, I popped in House of the Dead, and quickly realised that Alone in the Dark was merely foreplay to my glorious encounter with the true face of Dr. Uwe Boll.

House of the Dead is a film so staggeringly inept and mind-bogglingly idiotic that I deem Boll to be either completely mad or a ground-breaking genius whose talents will only come to be appreciated after several generations. This is a film in which, with every line of dialogue spoken, you feel that the actors are doing their damnedest not to crack up. A film in which a group of snot-faced teenagers (at least, I’m assuming they’re meant to be teenagers - the actors playing them are all at least in their mid-20s) arrive at a rave to find it deserted and a blood-stained shirt on the ground, only to promptly separate to go exploring or have a shag (one participant goes so far as to boast about how quick he can make it). A film in which said teenagers (one of whom wears a one-piece jumpsuit with the stars and stripes on it, while another has a halter top cut so low that her jiggling breasts threaten to pop out at any second), when confronted by seemingly endless hordes of the undead, spend a whole lot of time running around, flapping their arms about and getting bitten, before inexplicably turning into expert gun-slingers/martial artists/sword-wielders (delete as applicable) and going at it to the backdrop of heavy metal that would give 80s Dario Argento a headache and slow motion that would cause John Woo to blush. Oh, and, to spice things up a bit, Boll randomly inserts clips from the original video game, presumably because, without them, you’d never know that this is supposed to be an adaptation of House of the Dead.

But wait! Surely it can’t be all that bad? After all, as Dr. Boll himself points out,

HOUSE Of THE DEAD was in a lot of territories a very big success. In Middle East, Russia, Spain, Thailand and South America was the movie similar to the USA and KANADA two weeks in the TOP TEN and a long time in the Video/DVD-Charts.

Maybe I’m being too harsh. After all, I only saw it on DVD on a 40” LCD. Perhaps, had I seen it at the cinema, I would

recognize that the CINEMASCOPE look of the movie and the sound are absolutly A LIST and not one percent less quality as RESIDENT EVIL or UNDERWORLD.

Preach it, Herr Doktor!

In HOD we have a lot of GORE and a lot of action. Much more as in Resident Evil. The big battle in front of the house with the MATRIX and TURN TABLE effects, over 100 blood effects and 11000 cuts in 13 minutes will be film history in a few years because in NO OTHER FILM EVER was a similar scene. Also Rodrigez or Tarantino ever made a scene like this escalating action scene in HOD.

There you have it! A lot of gore and a lot of action! Turn table effects! Over 100 blood effects and 11,000 cuts in 13 minutes! Truly this film deserves to go down in history! I was completely wrong! This is a masterpiece and a prime example of why Dr. Uwe Boll is the saviour of modern cinema. Why, he could be this generation’s Ed Wood - that’s how good he is.

Jesus fucking Christ. Now I absolutely must see Bloodrayne.

PS. If you still need convincing of Dr. Boll’s awesome talent, you can watch the entire fight scene, with its turn table effects, 100 blood effects and 11,000 cuts, on YouTube.

 
Posted: Sunday, October 21, 2007 at 2:14 PM | Comments: 5
Categories: Cinema | DVD | Games | Reviews

 
Comments

1.

It's great, isn't it? However, I must say one thing - Alone in the Dark is the worse film.

Make no mistake; House of the Dead is as daft as a brush and doesn't even bear any relation whatsoever to the game on which it is supposedly based. However, its idiocies (of which there are many) lie mostly on the surface. From the Rave of the Year (attended by all of fifty people) to the stupid dialogue to the headache-inducing direction, all this is completely thrown at the viewer at first glance. You don't need to think very heavily to see that the set-piece zombie gunfight outside the house is howlingly bad.

But look at Alone in the Dark. It contains all this and more. House at least contains the backbones of a plot, botched though it is. (Mad scientist kills everyone to live forever - compared to Jason Vorhees's motivations, this is positively sane) But does anyone know what is going on in Alone in the Dark?

Honestly, every plot element of Alone in the Dark makes no sense whatsoever. What is Dr Hudgeons trying to do? What actually actives the Sleepers? Why do they and the monsters obey him? What is a monster doing in the museum? Why is the city deserted at the end? How did Fisher get past the heavily guarded mine defences to blow up the generator? Why are the creatures even attacking in the mine from the outside - aren't they supposed to come from there?

In other words, the more one thinks about Alone in the Dark, the more rampagingly stupid it becomes, up to the point that the viewer's head pops. As House is a less ambitious film, it has fewer elements to muck up. But Alone in the Dark tries to do everything, leading to a wretched ninety minutes while the film is playing, and a wretched couple of hours even after the film has stopped.

Neither film is going to win any awards soon. But let me put it this way - I own one of them. Guess which.

Posted by: Baron Scarpia, October 21, 2007 2:54 PM

2.

By the way, I've seen Bloodrayne. Maybe it was because it was at a party and we had more profitable things to do, but I remember the film as being one long stretch of unutterable tedium.

That's Boll for you. He gives you so much crap in so many different ways!

Posted by: Baron Scarpia, October 21, 2007 2:59 PM

3.

I don’t think I need to guess. House of the Dead deserves every slur thrown its way and more besides, but it is never, not even for a second, anything less than riotously entertaining. The phrase “so bad it’s good” was practically invented to describe it. Alone in the Dark, meanwhile, is not only awful but also headache-inducingly boring.

I take it you haven’t seen Bloodrayne yet? (It doesn’t appear to have been released in this country.) Kristanna Loken stars as a blood-crazed bisexual half-vampire and Ben Kingsley is her murderous overlord father. How can this not be a winner?

Posted by: Whiggles, October 21, 2007 3:04 PM

4.

Oops, you answered my question in your second post. That’s too bad - I was hoping it would be a hoot.

Posted by: Whiggles, October 21, 2007 3:05 PM

5.

Boll has no sense of how to pace a scene, how to light or how to direct it. It looks like a bad 80's late night show!!!

Remind me to avoid all of his films.

Posted by: Iain, October 22, 2007 9:43 PM

Comments on this entry and all entries up to and including June 30th 2009 have been closed. The discussion continues on the new Land of Whimsy blog:

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