Movie and Film Reviews (MFR) Horror House of the Dead 2

House of the Dead 2

House of the Dead is a video game series that brought all of the fun of shooting zombies and monsters with sawed off shotguns to the arcade. Unfortunately, in expanding this fun to the genre of film, Uwe Boll was given the rights to direct and he made the first film about teens partying on an island and then being attacked by zombies. It had nothing to do with the game and some have explained this by saying the movie was a prequel, however the best explanation is Uwe Boll’s vision was horrible and it won at least one “Worst Film of the Year” award to prove it. Now then, this brings me around to House of the Dead 2, and also provides the back story of why it took me so long to spend the rental money on viewing it.

House of the Dead 2 was directed by Michael Hurst this time and goes for the same boobs and blood formula as the first film. Yet this time it is better executed with the new director and team on-board as well as the cast consisting of: Emmanuele Vaugier, Ed Quinn, Victoria Pratt, Sticky Fingaz, and Sig Haig; and others. No island involved, but it does go the dreaded comedy horror route of putting the events on to a college campus. A special team is sent to a college campus where a zombie outbreak has occurred, in search of the original zombie so that a cure may be engineered.

The movie becomes a redundant plot of people getting bitten and then the others facing the decision of having to shoot their friend. Seriously, it seems to happen with each and every member of the team that gets infected, and yes the body count goes high. Thus the film seems to drag by the 1 hr 15 min mark, yet it was watch-able. Then when the ending is approaching the movie shows itself for what it really is, not just a try at redoing the series with a once marketable game name, but also to make a bid at starting a new movie franchise with the plot. The ending is an open set-up for sequels and that is all, the entire film is a set up for sequels. Sequels that hopefully are not coming because this set-up is no different than any other zombie film, specifically it seems to be trying to cash in on and steal from the works that have spawned out of the George Romero series, as well as Resident Evil.

The actors in the film do a good job, though for a lot of it their dialog consist of too much “telling.” instead of giving the actors characters to act out the writer or somebody has killed the natural flow of things and almost every little aspect of emotion or set-up is told to us through words. One guy even talks to himself outloud telling you how his life is and what motivates him, instead of good dialog and showing you. This is a movie, a visual art and sometimes dialog with too much information becomes very stilted and sounds like actors are reading straight off of some informational brochure.

Special effects and the use of a massive amount of extras are all handled well. A little bit of silly CGI near the end , but overall the look of the film is well done.

There are a few logical errors, such as the main characters get zombie blood sprayed in their eyes and around their mouths all the time and yet never get infected. I just figured this meant the infection was transferred some way not involving blood, but then late in the film there are some comments made about blood infection;  so, huh? Other errors fit well enough I guess into the campy horror genre and are easy to overlook.

Final thoughts: House of the Dead 2 says it is “All Guts and No Glory.” The tagline fits it because it is not a glorious achievement in cinema by  terms of measurement in regards to setting up a franchise of straight to Dvd films. It is a way better movie than the first one, but there are way better movies to watch instead of this.  Some nice eye-candy for men or lesbians who enjoy fake breasts (only in the first 15 min or so really), and if you’re just looking to see some zombie action in whatever way you can get it, might as well see if you like this, but the soundtrack should have been amped up a bit to make zombie killing sequences really feel video game movie like.

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