House of the Dead (film)
|House of the Dead|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Uwe Boll|
|Produced by||Uwe Boll
|Written by||Mark A. Altman
|Music by||Reinhard Besser|
|Editing by||David Richardson|
Boll KG Productions
|Distributed by||Artisan Entertainment|
|Running time||90 minutes|
House of the Dead is a 2003 action-horror film, based on the successful 1997 light gun arcade game of the same name produced by Sega. The film was directed by Uwe Boll and was universally panned by critics.
The film begins with Simon (Tyron Leitso) and Greg (Will Sanderson) planning to take a boat to an island rave party. They meet up with Alicia (Ona Grauer), Karma (Enuka Okuma) and Cynthia (Sonya Salomaa). Karma has a crush on Simon, Simon has a crush on Alicia and Cynthia is Greg's girlfriend. When they arrive at the dock, they find the boat to take them to the island has already left. They hitch a ride instead with Victor Kirk (Jürgen Prochnow) and his first mate Salish (Clint Howard). A cop named Jordan Casper (Ellie Cornell) tries to stop them since Kirk is a smuggler, but they leave anyway.
Arriving at the island party site they find it a deserted mess. Alicia, Karma and Simon start searching for the others leaving Cynthia and Greg behind. The two start making out in a tent, but Greg leaves to urinate. Left alone, Cynthia is killed by a group of zombies. Meanwhile, the others find an old house. Inside, they find Rudy (Jonathan Cherry), Liberty (Kira Clavell) and Hugh (Michael Eklund) who tell them zombies attacked the rave, killing everyone. The six go back to the rave site to get the others. Meanwhile, Salish is killed while walking through the forest.
Everyone else meets up at the rave site. Cynthia shows up but she's become a zombie. She kills Hugh but is shot by Casper. They develop a plan to leave the island using Kirk's boat. But they find Kirk's boat overrun by zombies. Casper and Greg leave the group to go find help, but Greg is killed. Kirk later takes the group to a hidden box of guns. Once everyone is armed, they head back to the house. The front of the house is filled with zombies. Liberty was devoured by the zombies and Casper died because of blood loss due to her legs being cut, both are killed in the ensuing fight while the rest manage to make it inside.
Kirk hears Salish whistling outside. He goes out and finds Salish as a zombie. Kirk then commits suicide by blowing himself up, opening the front of the house. The remaining four lock themselves in a lab, but the zombies break in. Karma finds a hatch in the floor. She, Alicia and Rudy climb down while Simon shoots a barrel of gunpowder, blowing up the house, a lot of zombies, and himself. They find themselves in a series of tunnels. Making their way through the tunnels, Karma kills zombies as she holds them off so they can flee.
They're later captured by a man named Castillo "wearing Greg's face as a mask" who injected himself with immortality serum many years ago, creating the first zombie. Alicia, Karma and Rudy escape, blowing the tunnels up in the process, but they're followed by Castillo. Alicia gets into a sword duel with Castillo and he stabs her in the heart. Rudy decapitates Castillo, thinking the fight is over. But Castillo is still alive and his headless body begins to strangle Rudy. Alicia, who is barely alive, crushes the Castillo's head under her feet, finally stopping him. She then seems to die.
Later, Rudy, Karma and Alicia are seen being rescued by a team of federal agents. Rudy reveals his last name to be Curien (the main antagonist in the House of the Dead Video Games). The ending narration reveals that Rudy and Karma gave Alicia the immortality serum and that is why she is alive.
- Jonathan Cherry as Rudolph "Rudy" Curien, the male protagonist who is on the island when the zombies attack
- Ona Grauer as Alicia, the female protagonist and Rudy's ex-girlfriend
- Enuka Okuma as Karma, Alicia's close friend, who has a crush on Simon
- Tyron Leitso as Simon Cruise, friend of Alicia
- Will Sanderson as Greg, Cynthia's boyfriend
- Clint Howard as Salish, Kirk's first mate who always dresses in a yellow fisherman's coat and hat
- Jürgen Prochnow as Captain Victor Kirk, ex-navy and a smuggler who helps Alicia's friends to get to the island
- Ellie Cornell as Jordan Casper, Kirk's nemesis. She dies when she loses her legs and bleeds to death, but has a cameo in the sequel for unknown reasons.
- Michael Eklund as Hugh, a nerd who records the zombie attack on the rave on his camcorder
- Kira Clavell as Liberty, an Asian-American rave-girl
- David Palffy as Castillo, the creator of the zombies and the main antagonist of the film
- Sonya Salomaa as Cynthia, Greg's girlfriend
- Erica Durance as Johanna, a party girl
Reception amongst critics and fans of the game was overwhelmingly negative; Rotten Tomatoes ranked the film 41st in the 100 worst reviewed films of the 2000s, with a rating of 4% based on 54 reviews; the site's critical consensus called the film "A grungy, disjointed, mostly brainless mess of a film, House of the Dead is nonetheless loaded with unintentional laughs." IGN Movies, however, gave it three out of five stars, citing it as "an unabashed B-movie that does an incredibly decent job with a limited budget, unknown cast, and routine storyline. Because of the negative criticism, Sega withheld their franchise and permanently cut ties with him."
Gametrailers ranked it 4th in its Top 10 Worst Video Game Movies, saying "Even gratuious nudity and gaming gimmicks can't save this cheesefest" and "If someone invites to see an Uwe Boll movie, basic knowledge of the director's other work will save you from a truly awful film".
Box office 
House of the Dead is one of Uwe Boll's few films that made a profit. Its box office performance was still rather dire, however, the film fared much better with DVD sales and rentals.
Director's cut 
A director's cut of the film was released on DVD on September 9, 2008. The running time remains the same, but the new version "features new dialogue, alternative takes, pop up commentary and animation from the original video game."
- "House of the Dead (2003)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2009-08-16.
- IGN: House of the Dead Review
- "Top 10 Worst Video Game Movies". Time Magazine. 2008-10-20. Retrieved 2009-04-25.
- MrDisgusting, "'House of the Dead Director's Cut: Funny Version' ART and Specs!" on Bloody-Disgusting.com (June 19, 2008).
- House of the Dead at the Internet Movie Database
- House of the Dead at AllRovi
- House of the Dead at Box Office Mojo
- House of the Dead at Rotten Tomatoes
- House of the Dead at Metacritic