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
Screenplay by Mark A. Altman
Dave Parker
Story by Mark A. Altman
Dan Bates
Based on House of the Dead series
by Sega
Starring Jonathan Cherry
Tyron Leitso
Clint Howard
Ona Grauer
Ellie Cornell
Jürgen Prochnow
Music by Reinhard Besser
Peter Ries
Cinematography Matias Neumann
Edited by David M. Richardson
Distributed by Artisan Entertainment
Release dates
  • February 15, 2003 (2003-02-15) (San Francisco Independent Film Festival)
  • October 10, 2003 (2003-10-10) (U.S.)
  • November 2, 2004 (2004-11-02) (Germany DVD)
Running time
86 minutes
Country Germany
United States
Language English
Budget $7 million
Box office $13,818,181

House of the Dead is a 2003 film adaptation of the successful 1996 light gun arcade game of the same name produced by Sega, and is presumably a prequel to the events of The House of the Dead video game. The film was directed by Uwe Boll. It is commonly considered one of the worst films ever made.

The film was followed by a sequel, House of the Dead 2 (2005).


Two college students, Simon (Tyron Leitso) and Greg (Will Sanderson), take a boat to an island to attend a rave. They meet up with three girls: 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 the five arrive at the dock, they find that they are late and the boat that is supposed to take them to the island has already left. A man named Victor Kirk (Jürgen Prochnow) and his first mate Salish (Clint Howard) offer them a ride. As they leave, a policeman named Jordan Casper (Ellie Cornell) tries to stop them from leaving, knowing of Kirk's past as a smuggler Kirk is a smuggler, but fails.

Arriving at the island, they find the rave site of the rave messed up and deserted. Alicia, Karma and Simon leave the site to go find anybody around while Cynthia and Greg stay behind. As Greg and Cynthia are about to make out in a tent, the former leaves to urinate. Alone in the tent, Cynthia is killed by a group of zombies. Meanwhile, Alicia, Karma and Simon find an old house and as they attempt to investigate the place, they discover Rudy (Jonathan Cherry), Liberty (Kira Clavell) and Hugh (Michael Eklund), who tell them that zombies attacked the rave, killing everyone. Alicia and Rudy used to date and Liberty was a dancer at the rave. The six leave the house to fetch Greg and Cynthia. Meanwhile, the zombies kill Salish when he is alone in the forest.

Alicia, Rudy, Karma, Simon, Liberty and Hugh return to the rave site and find Greg. A zombified Cynthia comes out from behind a tree and kills Hugh but is killed when Casper arrives and shoots her. They form a plan to return to Kirk's boat and leave the island. When they return to the beach they find only zombies on Kirk's boat. Casper and Greg leave the group to go find help, but Greg is killed in the forest. Kirk later takes the group to a spot in the forest where he has hidden a box full of guns and weaponry. Once everyone is armed, they decide to head back to the house. The front of the house is filled with zombies. Liberty and Casper are killed in the ensuing fight and Alicia, Rudy, Kirk, Karma and Simon manage to take shelter inside the house.

When Kirk is alone, he hears Salish whistling outside of the house. He goes outside and sees Salish as a zombie. Kirk sacrifices himself by killing Salish with a stick of dynamite, but the explosion also blows up the entrance to the house. The remaining four lock themselves in a lab in the house, but the zombies break in. Karma finds a hatch in the floor which she, Alicia and Rudy use to escape. Simon manages to sacrifice himself to kill the zombies by shooting a barrel of gunpowder, blowing up the house and the zombies. Alicia, Rudy and Karma find themselves in underground tunnels. They make their way through the tunnels, but Karma is killed by zombies as she attempts to hold them off as Rudy and Alicia flee.

Alicia and Rudy are aided by a man to get out of the tunnels. The man is actually an evil undead named Castillo, a Spanish priest from the 15th century who was banished from Spain for his evil experiments which the Catholic Church forbade, one of which is was the immortality serum, which he injected himself with before he created the first zombie. Alicia and Rudy escape the tunnels, blowing them up in the process. Castillo manages to survive the blast and Alicia gets into a sword fight with him. Castillo stabs her in the heart wherein Rudy manages to decapitate him. While he thinks that it has all ended, the still-alive headless body of Castillo begins to strangle Rudy. Alicia who is barely alive gets up and crushes the head under her foot which finally kills him. Although Alicia seemingly dies, she and Rudy are rescued by a team of agents. The agents ask for Rudy's last name, to which he responds with "Curien". The ending narration reveals that Rudy gave Alicia the immortality serum and that is why she is alive. The two survivors return home.



The film was panned by the critics and Rotten Tomatoes ranked the film 41st in the 100 worst reviewed films of the 2000s, with a rating of 4% based on 57 reviews and the site's consensus stating "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.[1] In 2009, Time listed the film on their list of top ten worst video games movies.[2]

House of the Dead was a very moderate box office success, gaining slightly over $13 million against its $12 million budget, thus making it one of Uwe Boll's only successful movies in terms of box office successes.

Director's cut[edit]

A director's cut of the film was released on DVD on September 8, 2008. The new version features new dialogue, alternative takes, pop up commentary and animation from the original video game.[3]


External links[edit]