House of the Dead (film)

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House of the Dead
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Uwe Boll
Produced by Uwe Boll
Wolfgang Herold
Shawn Williamson
Written by Mark A. Altman
Dan Bates
Starring Jonathan Cherry
Tyron Leitso
Ona Grauer
Jürgen Prochnow
Ellie Cornell
Clint Howard
Enuka Okuma
Will Sanderson
Kira Clavell
Michael Eklund
Music by Reinhard Besser
Cinematography Mathias Neumann
Edited by David Richardson
Brightlight Pictures
Boll KG Productions
Distributed by Artisan Entertainment
Release date(s)
  • February 15, 2003 (2003-02-15) (SFIFF)
  • October 10, 2003 (2003-10-10) (United States)
  • November 2, 2004 (2004-11-02) (Germany)
Running time 90 minutes
  • Germany
  • United States
  • Canada[1]
Language English
Budget $12 million[2]
Box office $13,818,181[2]

House of the Dead is a 2003 German-American-Canadian horror film directed by Uwe Boll. It is based on the successful 1997 light gun arcade game of the same name produced by Sega.


Set shortly before the events of the first game the film begins with Rudy telling the story about 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, but Simon has a crush on Alicia and Cynthia is Greg's girlfriend. When they arrive at the dock, they find that 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 harbor 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 hiding a box of smuggled goods in the forest.

Greg is in an overturned port-a-potty. While searching for Cynthia, she shows up as 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. In the ensuing fight, Liberty and Greg enter the water as the zombies come off the boat. Kirk shows up with another gun, and he and Casper shoot the zombies. Simon and Kirk are wounded, while Casper and Greg leave the group to go find help, but Greg is killed. While they are waiting, Kirk tells the group a story about a Spanish priest who lived "hundreds of years ago" and was banished from Spain for running "unnatural experiments." Kirk later shows the group a hidden box of guns. Casper returns with a bag full of guns and munitions. Once everyone is armed, they head back to the house to fortify their positions and wait for help. The front of the house is filled with zombies. A long gun battle with the zombies ensues, where a lot of the zombies are killed. The group uses up most of their ammunition in the process. Liberty is devoured by the zombies when she runs out of ammo, and Casper dies because of blood loss due to her legs being cut. Rudy opens the doors and Kirk's leg is bitten while they get inside the house. The others leave Kirk to check out the rest of the house. They find a courtyard and a laboratory that has "mutated" blood, the blood that ties in all of the zombies.

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 the courtyard, and in the lab they find one of the "worm" creatures from the game in a tank. Karma shoots the tank, and the blood reanimates the corpses in the lab. Karma finds a hatch in the courtyard, and Simon is grabbed by the zombies breaking through the doors. 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 sacrifices herself so Alicia and Rudy can try to escape.

Greg shows up on the tunnel and stabs one of the zombies with a huge sword. They follow him into another lab where Greg appears to play with some tools. Castillo, the crazy Spanish priest that Kirk told the group about ( and wearing Greg's face as a mask), who injected himself with the blood many years ago; made himself immortal. He also made the zombies in the process. He uses people's body parts to keep himself alive, and subsequently makes zombies as slaves and workers. Alicia and Rudy escape with Alicia stabbing Castillo and Rudy using a grenade from Greg's belt, blowing the lab and tunnels up in the process. They're followed by Castillo, and Alicia and Rudy get into a sword duel with Castillo and he stabs her in the heart after knocking Rudy to the ground. 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 Castillo's head under her feet, finally stopping him. She then falls over, while Rudy recovers.

Later, Rudy and Alicia are seen being rescued by a team of federal agents. Rudy reveals his last name to be Curien (the name of the main antagonist in the House of the Dead Video Game). The ending narration reveals that Rudy gave Alicia the mutated blood and that is why she is alive, thinking "God, ain't love a b****?"


  • 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
  • Adam Harrington as Thomas Rogan, AMS Agent.
  • Colin Lawrence as Agent "G", AMS Agent.


Rotten Tomatoes ranked the film 41st in the 100 worst reviewed films of the 2000s[citation needed] and reported that 4% of 57 surveyed critics gave it a positive review; the site's critical consensus was: "A grungy, disjointed, mostly brainless mess of a film, House of the Dead is nonetheless loaded with unintentional laughs."[3] IGN Movies, however, gave it three out of five stars and called it "an unabashed B-movie that does an incredibly decent job with a limited budget, unknown cast, and routine storyline."[4] Because of the negative criticism, Sega withheld their franchise and permanently cut ties with him.[citation needed]

Gametrailers ranked it 4th in its Top 10 Worst Video Game Movies, saying "Even gratuitous nudity and gaming gimmicks can't save this cheesefest" and "If someone invites you to see an Uwe Boll movie, basic knowledge of the director's other work will save you from a truly awful film".[citation needed]

In 2009, Time listed the film on their list of top ten worst video games movies.[5]

Director's cut/"Funny Version"[edit]

A director's cut of the film, referred to as the "Funny Version", was released on DVD on September 9, 2008. This new version "features new dialogue, alternative takes, pop up commentary and animation from the original video game."[6]

Online reviews for this edition of the film have been mixed-to-negative. Horror website Dread Central gave it a mixed review, noting of the changes: "Is this good? Does it make the movie even worse? Honestly, I don't have any idea."[7]


  1. ^ "The House of the Dead". BFI Film & Television Database. London: British Film Institute. Retrieved May 22, 2014. 
  2. ^ a b "House of the Dead (2003)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2009-08-16. 
  3. ^ "House of the Dead". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2013-12-19. 
  4. ^ D., Spence (2003-10-16). "Review of House of the Dead". IGN. Retrieved 2013-12-19. 
  5. ^ "Top 10 Worst Video Game Movies". Time Magazine. 2008-10-20. Retrieved 2009-04-25. 
  6. ^ Miska, Brad (June 19, 2008). "House of the Dead Director's Cut: Funny Version' ART and Specs!". Bloody Disgusting. Retrieved December 19, 2013. 
  7. ^ Barton, Steve (2008-09-18). "House of the Dead: Funny Version (DVD)". Dread Central. Retrieved 2013-12-19. 

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