Welcome back to An Ode to Bad Reels, returning just in time for the Halloween season. For those who are not familiar with this column, this is where I watch some of the worst movies ever put on film and try to find the best qualities of them to determine whether or not it is worth a watch. With it being the Halloween season and horror films reign supreme during this time of year, it is only fitting to restart this column with a terrible horror flick. With that said, this week’s Ode to Bad Reel is House of the Dead.
House of the Dead is based on the super popular video game series of the same title and is directed by Uwe Boll, who has been involved in other video game adaption films such as, BloodRayne, Alone in the Dark & Far Cry. If you have seen any of these movies then you can already guess what we are in for with House of the Dead. A fun fact about Uwe Boll is that he has actually challenges and participated in boxing matching with critics that have given his films poor reviews. I guess I should start stretching and hire a training if this is the case.
House of the Dead starts with a group of teenagers, I think, heading to a huge party being held on an island, kind of like the Fyre Festival. They missed their boat and have to convince some local boat owners to give them a ride to the island. Upon arriving at the island, things are not as they expected and instead of a huge party, there is nobody around and garbage and wreckage everywhere, kind of like the Fyre Festival. Things get worse for the group from this point forward as they are unknowingly in the middle of a zombie-infested island.
What had me immediately laughing during this segment is the fact that they see all these disasters and even bloody clothes but they seemingly ignore it and just go pour themselves a drink as if all is dandy. They eventually run into some survivors from the initial attack who have a videotape of what happened. One of the survivors being an Asian girl wearing a skin tight romper embroidered in the American Flag who is named Liberty, not making this up. Now they have to escape the island.
A couple that was fooling around earlier are the first to go after the guy decides to go to the bathroom and leave the girl in the tent by herself. She is bit and turns into a zombie while he gets covered in shit after the porta-potty tips over and is eventually bitten by her. The zombie girl then gets killed by a random cop lady they briefly introduced earlier and I have no idea how she even got on the island, to begin with. They try to think of how to get off this island and the idea they come of with is to go into this random house on the island, because of course, you cannot have a movie called House of the Dead without obviously a house.
This triggers the weirdest fight scene I have seen in any zombie movie ever. Not only do we get some unnecessary ‘Matrix’ like shots and ax-wielding zombies but they also mix in some shot of the actual video game during the fight. Once they get into the house we see this hooded character seemingly saving them from more zombies. The figures that of the hood and it is the guy from earlier who was covered in shit, who I guess survived, wait not, the figure takes of that skin mask to reveal the real enemy, some scared up zombie guy we know nothing about. They fight and defeat him and move over.
This movie was packed with terrible acting, way too many unnecessary shots from the video and a bunch of story aspects the film makes thought we would care about but fall flat. All in all, this was a boring movie and with an estimated budget of 7 million dollars, it looks like something shot over a weekend with a camcorder. Surprised the movie managed to gross 10 million, probably from the name alone, and I would say if you are looking for a campy and corny horror movie for the fall give it a watch but do not expect the same funny aspects as other terribly done bad reels.