House of the Dead review
[House of The Dead]
(Plot:A group of college students head to an island off the coast for a rave. Once they arrive, they're beset upon by large numbers of zombies. Now the only way they can survive, is to send them all back to The House of the Dead.)
(My thoughts:Going into this movie I expected sort of a chesey B type zombie/horror flick, along the lines of "Return of the Living Dead 2". But "HOTD" breaks every horror movie law imaginable, and is as silly and realistically impossible as they come. Doesn't mean it wasn't a blast though.)
(Review:The film starts off with a voice over by the movies main character Rudy. As he describes the scene after the events which transpired on the island. Soon after the credits, were abruptly informed that half of the cast will well...DIE?? Yes, we AT THE BEGINNING OF THE FILM I MIGHT ADD...are informed that most of Rudys friends will bite the dust. What the writer of the movie was hoping to accomplish with this bit of information, I'll never know. This is THE first movie I've ever seen where we are told that mostly everyone will die before it even really gets into the story. This does work on 1 level though. As we get to know most of these characters, they annoy the hell out of us so much that we become thankful for that bit of information at the start. Anyways, the group of friends, Cynthia, Alicia, Greg, Karma, and Simon miss the boat to the rave. One of the funniest things about this is, Simon mentions the boat was supposed to leave at 5 o clock. Cynthia (the token dumb blonde), informs him in a know-it-all-ish way, that it's now 5:15, like they have nothing to worry about. Thus establishing herself as THE dumbest character in the movie. Even after the voiceover by Rudy tries to establish Simon as THE dumbest character in the movie.
Simon (the rich model kid) throws some money around at a boat captain named Kirk, played by Jurgen Prochnow. Kirk and his first mate Salish (Clint Howard) decline after learning they are headed to Isla De Morte, which means "Island of Death" in spanish. (Maybe the rave party organizers should've done a bit of research before holding a rave on that particular island eh?)Simons able to convince the captain to take him and his friends to the rave by uping the antie to a grand for his services. Elie Cornell enters as a government agent named Jordan Casper whos trying to bust Kirk for smuggling. Simon pays Kirk another bundle of cash to ignore Caspers commands for Kirk not to leave the harbor, and take off for the island. Two ravers leave the party to go swimming (the ever so cliche skinny dipping alone scene). Her momentary sex partner Matt vanishes, as she gets an eerie feeling while skinny dipping, which leads her to get out of the water, smart move I might add. However, it's soon negated later on when she goes off looking for Matt, only to find a creepy, ancient looking house with a cemetary around it. She then enters the house where she meets her demise seconds later at the hands of a few zombies. I have to admit, the zombies for the most part looked very well done in this movie. The kids soon arrive, with Casper not too far behind, at the same time though, keeping her pursuit secret. They see hide nor hair of anyone, and rather than wondering where everyone is, they decide to booze it up. Except for one girl, Alicia who takes 2 of her friends to go search for some sign of life. Meanwhile, Kirk has Salish bury some *merchandise* in a secluded spot on the island. Salish transporting the box to the secluded location is basically the last time we see him before the zombies take him out. Alicia and her two friends while being watched by a stitch faced figure in a cloak, find the infamous ancient house, and Rudy, Liberty, and 1 other dude named Hugh hiding inside. The usual *whats going on??* rhetoric is tossed around before Rudy talking to Hughs video cam footage explains how the zombies attacked the rave, and how the 3 of them managed to escape and find the house. Alicia despite protest from Hugh, says they aren't leaving without collecting their other friends first. By this time, the blonde Cynthia is zombie food following a awfully cliched scene where the beautiful blonde woman is left alone in the tent by her boyfriend. A scene we all know always equals death. Alicia and the rest arrive back at the camp grounds, and find Greg trapped in a porta-potty, which he got trapped in when the zombies knocked it over during their ferocious attack on Cynthia in the tent. Cynthia shows back up seconds later, only this time as a zombie. She kills Hugh, but is blasted by Casper before she can attack the others. The group now has only one objective, escape the island. Kirk meanwhile after his boat is attacked by zombies, bails, and when the others get to the beach, the boat is crawling with zombies. A 10 minutes battle ensues where numerous zombies are killed, and Kirk shows back up to enter the fray with some cool looking firepower. Simon after the attack establishes himself as THE dumbest character in the movie thanks to Cynthias demise, when he kicks a seemingly dead zombie, which retaliates by spitting acid into his face. It's pretty safe to say after the scar it leaves, his modeling career is over. Casper takes Greg with her to go search for her partner Mcgyvers (ironic ain't it?), and Kirk gives a little history lesson about the island, and the zombies to Alicia. Apparently a mad scientist who was banished from Spain for his unholy experiments was being transported for execution. But he managed to kill the boat captain, and everyone on the ship as well. He then steered the ship to this island, and enslaved the natives. Casper returns after her and Greg run into some zombie action in the woods, and Greg doesn't make it. Liberty comes up with an idea, to take refuge in the old house, and everyone agrees. Kirk breaks out his *merchandise* which is a plethora of guns, grenades, even a machetti. One of the coolest scenes in the film takes place when a 20 minutes gun battle humans vs zombies takes place in the graveyard, with the humans having to blast their way through countless undead to get to the house. They make it to the house but lose two, Casper and Liberty, and Kirk gets severly bitten. Kirk tells the group of kids to stop babysitting him, and save themselves. They leave Kirk, to go search for weapons, but find a lab, with body parts strolled all over, and the reanimation serum used for the zombies. A few scenes later Kirk commits cliche heroic suicide with a stick of dynamite in hand, and then Simon and Karma follow suit after the zombies trap the kids inside a corridor, Simon shoots a barrel full of gun powder, as Karma, Rudy, and Alicia make their escape, causing a massive explosion. Later when all 3 survivors are attacked in the tunnels below the house by zombies, Karma throws herself to the wolves to give Rudy and Alicia time to escape. Greg shows up later to save Rudy and Alicia from an approaching zombie, but Greg later turns out to be Castillo, the mad scientist who Kirk mentioned in his story, and also the stitch faced cloaked figure who we get shots of hiding in the bushes watching everything during the course of the movie. After a flashback scene where Castillo reveals how he became immortal, and why he created the serum, Rudy shakes free, and during the melee, tosses a grenade as he and Alicia make their escape. The explosion kills the zombies, but Castillo remains, and has a sword fight with the two teens, in which Alicia is severly injured, and Rudy decapitates Castillo, but a weakened Alicia uses her last bit of energy to destroy his head, to kill him completely. At the end, black ops types known as AMS agents show up on the island, and then the film connects itself with the games, when both lead agents are introduced as G and Rogan, and Rudy reveals his last name is Curien. The movie also sets itself up for a sequel, because it seems Rudy used Castillos serum to keep Alicia from dying from her severe stab wound at the hands of Castillo, and now she may or may not be a zombie.)
(Pros:The film is entertaining despite it's horrible dialogue, and mostly annoying characters. Some nice music in most scenes, some cool gun play action, and nicely done zombies. The island setting was likeable as well.)
(Cons:Annoying characters, with the exception of Rudy, Alicia, Liberty, and Karma. Too many character suicides. Kirks made sense, but Simons and Karmas didn't, at all. Also killing Liberty is a big minus, and revelaing the fate of the characters at the very beginning, is a big NO NO.
The video game footage intergrated into the film wasn't annoying as alot make it out to be, but it really wasn't necessary during the action scenes. Also the red over screen effect when someone died was pretty pointless.)
(Overall:A good hour and a half time waster, if you don't take it at all one bit serious. The sequel is in production at this very moment, but won't be returning Rudy or Alicia.)