A Review by Noah Antwiler
Many moons ago, before I became a successful movie critic and gained the requisite entourage of hot chicks that follow movie critics around, my talent for writing endless reams of bullshit was wasted on software engineering research papers. I was still a fashion template, a sex icon, and self-proclaimed freestyle battle rap champion of Tempe, Arizona, but I just didn't have much leisure time to do the things I really enjoyed. What little time and money I did have was spent in Sparky's Den, a poorly-maintained arcade and bowling alley on campus. It was too dark, staffed by disinterested dorm rats who had found a way to get paid minimum wage, listen to Bell Biv Devoe muzak, and do their economics homework. It was dirty, full of discarded Burger King wrappers and empty Snapple bottles, had used gum stuck everywhere, and chemically unidentifiable substances staining the carpets and seats. On second thought, you probably could identify them, you just really don't want to know. It was an icky place you didn't want to spend an hour at, and it looked like the inside of a public toilet. The public toilets looked like icky places you didn't want to spend an hour on. Generally it smelled like ass. The arcade, I mean. I didn't bother to smell the toilets.
At any given hour of the day or night, there will be at least a half-dozen losers even more socially hopeless and pathetic than myself, with far too much caffeine and loose change, playing the aged Dance Dance Revolution machine. They play it so much, and with such determination, that they must be convinced if they achieve the highest score in history, they will be chosen to fly a starfighter that is powered by funky dance steps against an alien threat. I long ago gave up those aspirations after passing Level 200 in Gauntlet, and NOT ONE GOVERNMENT AGENCY bothered to abduct me. I suck at Dance Dance Revolution, and I always will. I have the physical coordination of a wounded bull in the advanced stages of mad cow disease, and if at first I don't succeed, I stop subjecting myself to embarrassment and ridicule and go home. Besides, they want 50 cents a pop to dance to 3 lousy J-pop songs! 50 cents! And this dancing crap seems an awful lot like physical labor that might actually be beneficial to my health. Well I'll be damned if I do a single SECOND of that.
I usually got stuck playing either Ms. Pac Man or House of the Dead, a game involving a light gun. You play as J-- just the letter J-- a government agent whose spunky redhead female partner gets abducted and taken to a spooky mansion, the aforementioned "House of the Dead." J is a character whose only real requirement that he wear a trenchcoat and say dimwitted things like "You'll never get away with this!" The house is full of genetic freaks and legions of the undead (sort of like the Osbournes), all of which you have to kill with your pistol and trenchcoat full of infinite ammo. The story is ludicrous and there has never been a person in the entire history of the planet that did anything but pull the trigger to skip every single cutscene that didn't involve shooting. People care less about the story of this game than the extended backstory of the Mortal Kombat games.
It wasn't very good. It was dimwitted, shallow, boring, repetitive, nonsensical, and poorly-executed even as far as light gun games go. The light gun didn't even work right, and the only thing the game was good at was annoying me. Just like the movie!
Probably the only reason House of the Dead was made was because Resident Evil was a success at the box office. Movie studios are nothing if not predictable, so they probably optioned every zombie video game they could and ground out a cheap derivative zombie film in an attempt to strike while the iron is hot. But they couldn't get Paul "The Man" Anderson, maker of Resident Evil, because he was in Vancouver taking a squat and crapping out other stupid franchise films like Alien vs. Predator and Resident Evil: Apocalypse. So who do you call when you need a bad video game franchise made into a worse movie? You call the Wermelskirchen, Germany native, Uwe "So even Paul wouldn't do it?" Boll. Yes, he's from Wermelskirchen. Uwe Boll comes from a proud pedigree of Wermelskircheners, and is one of the greatest examples of a failed German public education system, and a good argument to raise the legal drinking age in Germany. Uwe is actually very proud of House of the Dead, and defends it with a lot of fire in his belly. He's so convinced that he's onto something big-- that video game-to-movie translations are the biggest undiscovered industry-- he's already started work on FOUR other video game movies: Alone in the Dark, Bloodrayne, Hunter: The Reckoning, and Far Cry. And if you don't think that sounds bad enough, word is that Uwe's managed to land The Most Electrifying Man In Sports and Entertainment to star in Far Cry...
Don't get me wrong. I like The Rock. I think he's probably the biggest growing action star of my time. The Rundown was one of the best action movies of that year, but the choices he's made for some roles have been dubious, like Johnny Bravo, Doom, and Spy Hunter. Hey look at that, MORE video game movies. I think there's another movie, too, where Rock plays a bodyguard that has to dress in drag. Still, everything Rock's done so far has been superior to every other pro-wrestler-turned-actor. I admit to being critical of video game movies in general, but my attitude is not without precedent. You could probably count the number of good movies developed from a gaming franchise on one finger-- your middle one. It's a long and terrible trail of movies that provides a growing heap of evidence showing that video games just don't translate well. Take for example the Dennis Hopper & John Leguizamo shame-fest Super Mario Bros., the excruciatingly stupid submarine movie (IN SPACE) Wing Commander, and my favorite: Jean-Claude van Damme as Guile in Street Fighter.The best-- and the term "best" is loosely used-- example of this movie is Mortal Kombat, which was terrible, but tolerable.
There wasn't much to Mortal Kombat, either. A scary wizard guy wants to invade the Earth, but the gods have a sense of fair play about the whole thing and decide that if his guys can beat up Earth's plucky heroes ten times, they'll open the portal. Along the way they fight a dude named Goro, who's got 4 arms and spends most of his tournament winnings on underarm deodorant, fight lots of ninjas, and trade quips with Christopher Lambert. It wasn't great, but it wasn't trying to be. It tried to be a movie with a lot of decent kung-fu fights and ninjas, and they managed to pull it off. If only it had Sean Connery with katana swords, they might have been able to land that Oscar.
Then they made Mortal Kombat: Annihilation and everything went to hell. Sometimes the right director can really turn a feeble film around, though! But not here! After all, I'm talking about it, aren't I? Just how bad is House of the Dead? How big of a German weinerschnitzely mess did Uwe "Toilet" Boll make it?
You stop that, Mortal Kombat Announcer Guy! I'm trying to talk about House of the Dead here. And I'll have you know that Wermelskirchen is a fine place with a not-at-all stupid name. Uwe Boll is a miserable sheep-humping twit, but Wermelskirchen is beyond reproach!
The DVD's opening menu manages to set a record for speed at pissing me off. It starts by blasting out lame techno-riffs that would make Moby sick. The words "Insert Coin(s)" flashes at the bottom of the screen, eliciting a painful eye-roll from everyone in the room. Then the screen displays some of the most embarrassing visual effects the movie has to offer, inter-cut with video game footage from the actual game. As all this happens, information scrolls along the top of the screen about each of the main characters, as if you were selecting which character to play in a video game. This is the information they give you:
I don't know about you, but I feel a lot better knowing that our brave heroes includes a "Sword Master" whose weapon is a .45 auto shotgun and someone skilled in Comic Relief. Combined with a scrawny stick woman who knows kung-fu and has been given hand grenades, and Simon's crack Tactical Planning, I don't foresee any problems! I start the movie now knowing probably more than the actual actors did about their characters. But with such a broad skill base, I'm confident that all your base are belong to them. By the way, did you know that Lt. Solid Snake is a martial arts expert?
The movie opens immediately with some Orlando Bloom-looking twerp musing about how he showed up for a rave, and everything went wrong. The opening credits roll, which feature more video game footage and extraordinarily crappy techno music rumbling around with no clear beginning, ending, or musical transition. After an eternity of The Chemical Brothers' rejected tunes, we're introduced to the film's cannon fodder: Greg. "A good guy," the narrator says, "if not a little goofy." Well of course he's goofy! That's his super-skill! Greg is a master of Comic Relief! I think I'll just skip the foreplay and call him Comic Relief. Even worse mood music starts up, sort of a pot-smoking mix of Mark Snow and Kintaro. Now we focus on a Ben Affleckish guy, and our narrator continues in his best efforts to overact a film noir-style cynical narration. He sounds like Max Payne's bitch understudy. "Simon," the narrator snarks, "They say God doesn't give with two hands, and they were right." Huh? "He got the looks, but not much between those ears." I guess he is Ben Affleck, after all. Hey wait, I thought Simon's special skill was Tactical Planning! Shows what you know, Snarky Narrator Man, I paid attention! Simon's the second coming of General Patton! How do you like them apples?
A blonde woman leaps into view and starts dry-humping Comic Relief. "Cynthia," the Snark continues, "Pure eye candy." Uh oh, she's not listed in my notes! What do I do?? Someone help me! With an introduction as complex and involving as "Pure eye candy," you're telling me I shouldn't emotionally invest in this character and expect long Macbethian soliloquies. I think this is the narrator's way of warning us that Cynthia's the only chick who's going to show her tits in this movie, and then she's going to die because she's then useless to the movie. Jesus, this dialogue is stupid. We meet the other chicks, starting with "Karma. Thinks she's Foxy Brown. She has a crush on Simon, but Simon only has eyes for Alicia, my ex."
Whoa whoa, don't involve me in your relationships. You've already lost me, and I don't care! "We broke up a few weeks ago so I could study and she could fence." See? SEE? She's a Sword Master. We've established it! You can't accuse us of surprising you out of nowhere when she busts out with a katana and starts cleaving shit up! I really wish the narrator would shut up now. The group just missed the boat to the rave party, but considering the group is led by Comic Relief, Eye Candy, and Ben Affleck, I'm surprised they managed to find the right ocean. "Shit, we're so fucked!" Comic Relief exclaims! Ha ha ha ha! Now I know why they call you "the funny one," Greg! You slay me! "If only they'd stayed back in Seattle," the Snark mumbles cynically, "they'd all be alive today." Oh, they all die? Way to spoil the movie for me, butthead. The credits continue, listing the names of some people to prove that someone indeed wrote this trash.
Once the credits are finally finished, the movie shows us this island rave party, populated only by attractive, underweight people. They're all dancing to-- that's right-- more teeth-grindingly bad techno. A large SEGA banner hangs in the background of nearly every shot in one of the most shameless displays of brand name placement I've ever seen. My hostility at this picture is already exceeding my normal limits. There are bad movies, and there are movies that truly, dearly hurt to watch. I can watch a Steven Seagal movie and be amused at its badness. But a movie like House of the Dead is so vacuous, so intensely stupid that I have already developed a headache and I wish Uwe Boll could be locked in a room with no access to cameras for the rest of his life. It's not even five minutes into the movie. Oh god...
"As soon as she walked into my office, I knew she was trouble," Sam Spade continues as sleazy sax music plays, "She was like a freeway interchange; built for speed with all the right curves..." Just kidding. Back on the mainland, the Snarky Gang is trying to book passage to the rave on another ship, by bribing the grungy beer-smelling local fishermen there. On one ship, they run across one of the most immediately annoying comic relief characters in history. No, not Jar Jar Binks. They meet a monkey-like idiot in a Gordon's Fisherman outfit, sporting a hook for one hand. He has a tendency to repeat whatever his boss says like some simpering ass-kisser, and he sounds like the dippy thief sidekick Malak in Conan the Destroyer. This is not a good thing, and I already wish swift death on him and the writer who conceived of him.
They're joined by famous actor Jürgen Prochnow, veteran of such great movies as Das Boot, The Seventh Sign, The English Patient, Dune, and many more horrible movies like The Replacement Killers, Judge Dredd, Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me, and Wing Commander. Yes, he was also in Wing Commander, another video game movie arguably worse than this one! Why is it worse, you ask? Well take one of the most dumbass scripts you can imagine, and then cast Mathew Lillard and Freddie Prinze, Jr. in it. Yeah, you see what I mean. Anyway, Simon takes one look at Jürgen and mutters aloud "Jeez, who's the U-boat commander?" Whoa whoa buddy, you're stealing Greg's Comic Relief schtick! Is this the height of the humor in this movie? Making a reference to Jürgen's work in Das Boot is about as subtle as a train wreck, but to top it off, Jürgen is dressed almost entirely in the same outfit his character wore in Das Boot complete with jacket and cap. I GET IT. Every day Jürgen put on that costume had to remind him of how far he's fallen since Das Boot. You'd think he'd be able to get better roles than this, don't you? I loved him in the movie In the Mouth of Madness. He's a really good actor, I swear!
Jürgen plays humble boat skipper Captain Kirk. I'm not kidding. If I had actually seen this in the theater, it would have been the voyages of the U.S.S. Getting My Money Back at this point. Is this the best you got, Uwe? Is this all you can manage? You have a ship captain, who by sheer coincidence happens to have the last name Kirk? Bwa ha ha ha ha!
Kirk starts to gouge them for more money, until he takes a gander at their map and calls the whole deal off. The rave is being held at the Isle del Morte. "Morte means 'death' in case ya don't speak Mexican," Yellow Slicker Dumbass whines. SHUT UP. Why is there a rave being held at the ISLAND OF DEATH? Kirk wants nothing to do with it, until Simon offers a thousand bucks for the trip. A thousand bucks to get to a stupid rave? Trust me dude, with the music they're playing there, they should be paying YOU to show up. Who pays a thousand dollars to get to a party? For that much money I could go to Scores and have a hell of a better time than I would at Segafest. Comic Relief starts to make some Captain Kirk jokes, but Kirk brandishes a knife at him, ending that conversation rather quickly. I think because the captain is Kirk, I'm calling the dumbass in the yellow slicker Mr. Prick. The port authorities come around and attempt to search Kirk's boat for contraband, but Kirk guns the engine and burns out of the harbor.
Meanwhile, back on the island, some bleached idiot named Matt makes out with his girlfriend. She takes off her top and jumps in the icy cold ocean, where she is going to die in about 30 seconds. Neat.
Comic Relief is seasick immediately.
I think I've hit my scatological humor limit for the month. But the movie hasn't! Comic Relief bumbles around the boat until Cynthia gets in his way, whereupon he vomits all over her!
Back on the island, Matt is thoroughly drunk and passes out on the beach. His girlfriend is still gratuitously nude and postures for the camera with some cheap undulations. Uwe's even got an underwater camera, so there's not a single second of the upcoming death scene where we don't see her boobs. She takes a dive underwater and resurfaces again to find that Matt has vanished. Maybe he's off looking for a camera. She wanders off alone into the woods shouting Matt's name, when she stumbles across a lonely cabin in a clearing. The house also has a sizable graveyard nearby, prompting her to ask aloud "What is this?" and "What..." Is it good screenwriting to have characters muse stupid questions aloud when nobody else is around to respond? Do people really speak that way? She stupidly enters the house, sees Matt staring blankly ahead (as usual) before a zombie hand erupts out of his stomach. Red glowing eyes appear in the darkness and surround her. Zombies have eyes that glow? Okay. She manages to get in a good old throw-your-hands-up-in-the-air scream before the zombies chomp her.
Instead of fading out, the scene ends by abruptly interjecting footage of the House of the Dead video game. This looks very, very stupid, and is one of the dumbest directing decisions I've ever seen, next to casting Madonna in a lead role. We return to the Enterprise to find Cynthia is (as predicted) topless and attempting to scrub Comic Relief's upchuck out of her clothes. Was it worth the wait? Not really. Even as far as cheap whore slasher-bait goes, I've seen better. Mr. Prick and his stupid slicker enter the room, leers stupidly at Cynthia's knockers, and gives her a cross to wear around her neck. "It'll protect you and your friends!" he says. "Whatever, Gandalf!" Cynthia retorts and tosses the cross away. Don't start reminding me of movies I could be watching right now, mmkay?
I wonder where the narrator went.
The Enterprise moors itself off the coast of the island, and we can see that a Coast Guard vessel is following behind them. The crew disembarks on an inflatable dinghy (but the ship itself seems to have cloaked). While the youngsters go off to the party, Kirk and Mr. Prick huddle up and decide to hide their "merchandise" here in case the Coast Guard catches up to them. Once again, random video game footage invades the movie, and I'm already fed up with this stupid editing. The group finally manages to reach the rave, only there's not much raving going on. In a rare miracle, there is no music playing. The entire place is trashed and looks like a rock star's hotel room. There's also nobody here, probably because everyone had finally decided that this party was stupid, trashed the place, stole the booze, and went home. The place looks like a war zone, but for some reason, none of the characters appear to have even the half-dozen brain cells necessary to realize something's wrong.
"It's their loss!" Cynthia grins at Karma, "We've got the entire night to dance the night away, and I intend to put it to good use!" Karma grins back like a dope. There are literally pools of bloody clothes on the ground. You don't exactly need Spidey-Sense to realize something's wrong here, do you? Just how stupid ARE these people? Only Alicia seems to figure out that there could be trouble, and everyone else reacts like she's spontaneously grown an arm out of her ass. "Remember when she used to be FUN?" Karma moans. THERE'S BLOOD EVERYWHERE! EVERYONE IS DEAD! WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU? Alicia holds up a completely blood-soaked shirt and says dimly "I think something bad's happened here." YOU THINK? Cynthia wiggles and puts on a mock 'ooh-so-scary' look, "Like what?" she condescends. I really want her to die horribly. Now.
Simon and Comic Relief immediately raid the keg, which I applaud. Drunk characters get eaten. Alicia still has the SLIGHTEST of worries about the utter devastation that surrounds them and asks if any of them are worried. The other girls roll their eyes as if Alicia is a total killjoy. "Yeah, I'm worried there aren't any mixers here," Simon says, "Simon cannot survive on Bud alone!" I can't take this. I really can't take this.
Kirk and Prick are still unloading stuff, where it's currently thunderstorming badly. While at the rave, no more than a quarter-mile away, the weather is quite pleasant. Continuity is officially dead!
After raiding the bar, Simon announces that he's going to find out where everyone went. Comic Relief and Cynthia decline to accompany them, saying "We're gonna stay here and groove to some funky tunes all night long." Translation: "We are going to have very brief and unfulfilling sex whilst you're away." Further Translation: "We are going to stay here and get picked off by the zombies after we see Cynthia's ta-tas again." Even the normally vacuous Karma is sickened by the double entendre, and decides to follow everyone else. As soon as they're gone, Comic Relief and Cynthia scurry off to the only tent around that hasn't been destroyed. He starts to close the tent flap, repeating a disgustingly horny mantra that might actually rival Jennifer Lopez's "It's turkey time, gobble gobble," as one of the most eyebrow-raising pre-coitus expressions in history: "Close the Velcro. Beautiful Velcro. We are gonna do the humpity-bumpity. The humpity-bumpity! One! Two! Three!" Wow. Just wow. But oh, that kooky Comic Relief, all that beer hits his bladder all at once and he has to stop his masterful seduction to go pee. He starts to whip it out right there in the tent until Cynthia admonishes him to do that in the bushes somewhere. Here's a tip Cynthia: try finding a man who's housebroken. Fortunately for Comic Relief, Budweiser might be the best thing that ever happened to him, because zombies attack Cynthia in the tent! Don't worry, Cynthia! They're after brains; they have no interest in you!
The rest of the gang encounters the scary house. Alicia decides to march right in, because she's our tough-as-nails Milla Jovovich substitute. Oh how I miss Milla. I'd eat her up like ice cream, my own personal Milla Vanilla. Karma and Simon whine incessantly about the stupidity of actually entering the aforementioned House of the Dead, citing the sage example of Scooby Doo. What they should be doing is heading back to the boat. (By the way, where did Simon get a flashlight?) The group meets up with another three survivors: a hot Asian gal named Liberty (kung-fu master), a nerd, and Rudy (the Snarky Narrator). They explain the situation so that even Simon can understand it, by showing them a video tape of the zombie attack. "It's something right out of a Romero movie," the Nerd says. I wish. Not really dude, Romero movies don't suck. They decide (for some reason) that they're not leaving without Comic Relief and his bimbo, and join forces to recover their friends and get back to the boat.
AAAH! Video game footage!! The Snark and Alicia trade sarcasm like it was an Olympic contest to out-sour each other. It's obvious that they were in a crummy romantic relationship by the way they bicker and insult each other's dates. "So who's your boy over there with the Tom Cruise smile and the Rain Man brain?" says Snark.
"He just so happens to be the biggest underwear model in America," Alicia fires back. Uh huh. He's a four-star general, too. Did I mention that?
Eventually, the group makes it back to the rave. Karma has somehow found a professionally-made torch, too. Alicia rather stupidly starts shouting everyone's name in a forest full of zombies. The Nerd admonishes her, but Alicia is playing Agent Scully for this one, and doesn't believe a word of this zombie crap. Didn't the gore-covered shirt, complete eerie silence, and EYEWITNESSES convince you? The find Comic Relief trapped in a capsized Port-A-Potty and free him. Naturally he's covered in shit, like this movie, and demands to know where Cynthia is. On cue, she rushes out of the hiding place (do zombies hide?) and promptly snaps the Nerd's neck with one hand. Why do they always kill off the nerd now? He's the one guy who might prove to be helpful. Now we're stuck with the movie's regularly scheduled cast of idiots.
Zombie Cynthia's on a rampage now and would likely tear them all to bits if not for a surprise newcomer! A gunshot sounds and Zombie Cynthia goes down quicker than she did when she was alive. Actually she rather amusingly catapults backwards as a wire team flings her through the air. The shooter is the Coast Guard officer, a woman named Casper. She sort of looks like Major Carter of Stargate SG-1, only with a fraction of her talent. Since she has an assault rifle, she quickly takes charge and goes along with the plan to find Kirk.
Back at the Enterprise, Kirk is looking for Mr. Prick who went off into the woods to bury their booty. Prick was easy pickings for the zombies in his dorky yellow slicker and was slaughtered handily a long time ago. I still have no idea why it's raining cats and dogs here, but not where the other group is. The continuity in this movie is terrible. Not only is it raining torrents in one scene and not in a nearby location, various shots in the same scene are inconsistent, alternating between a downpour and nothing between edits. Kirk's no fool and readies a Desert Eagle in one hand, a Cuban cigar in the other. It's a good thing, too, because marine zombies are swimming over to climb up onto his ship! But Kirk rather calmly dispatches all of the zombies with his gun, barely even batting an eye at the hideously mauled undead swarming up onto the deck. For those of you who are counting the ways Uwe Boll is incompetent, Kirk fires about 13 rounds of his Desert Eagle. Desert Eagles only hold 8-9 rounds at the most, depending on the circumstances. Maybe he can instantaneously reload his gun by aiming away of the screen and pulling the trigger when a loud voice yells "RELOAD! RELOAD! RE-R-R-R-RELOAD!"
Just before the group manages to find Kirk, they get attacked in the woods by roving zombies. Whenever zombies appear on the screen, terrible overbearing techno music wails mercilessly. Since zombies are attacking for most of the movie, that means I'm listening to some of the worst techno music ever made for about an hour. Watching Alicia run away in her halter top has to be one of the funniest things I've ever seen, with her boobs bouncing around so much they almost bruise her face beyond recognition. Simon dives in the water to get to the Enterprise, and Liberty wades in after him. They all get attacked by the amphibious assault zombies, but Liberty somehow manages to overpower one of the zombies by headbutting(!) it. Kirk joins the fight with a high-tech sniper rifle, and Karma even breaks some heads with some rather poor martial arts. I could accuse this movie of not playing fair with me, but the DVD menu DOES explain that Karma's skill is "Hand to Hand Combat." That's all the setup I need!
Simon starts kicking one of the zombies while it's down, so it sits up and pukes all over him. I know I sort of promised not to hit you with any more vomit pictures-- I've been trying to cut back-- but this time it's the movie that seems preoccupied with projectile vomit, not me. Besides, I'm suffering right now. The zombie's Technicolor yawn flies right into his face and burns him like acid. His face is ruined. Wow. A shallow character whom we are told is the biggest underwear model in the world just got his face burned off. Isn't it ironic?
Casper seems completely fed up with this group of idiots and decides to go back to her patrol boat a mile away. Um, hello, the Enterprise is about 50 yards away. You have guns now and you've killed the entire wave of zombies. Why can't you just take the ship right in front of you? There's nothing wrong with it! You can leave! Now! You can end this movie!
Damn it. Casper chooses Comic Relief-- poop-stained shirt and all-- to accompany her. I don't think she would have if she'd heard that "Velcro humpity-bumpity" line, but whatever.
"Now I know why they call this island Isla del Morte," Kirk says stupidly. He goes on to explain why they were both so afraid of the island, mainly because of an old wives' tale about a wacko priest named Castillo Sermano who was banished out of Spain by practicing heretical experiments on folks. Actually, he doesn't really tell the story. The movie just shows us a black-and-white flashback of Castillo rambling about immortality and the nonexistence of God, and how he's made himself God, blah blah blah. Watch for an antique lantern swinging in the foreground that obviously contains an electric light bulb instead of a flame. Good one, Uwe. Anyway, Castillo escapes, kills the crew, lands on the island, enslaves the natives, and has killed anyone who comes to the island ever since. Which, once again, begs the question why this place, of any place in the world was chosen to hold the "rave of the century."
Casper and Comic Relief don't get far before they realize that it's too quiet. But it won't be for long, because once the zombies attack we're in for more shitty techno music, aren't we. They run away and quickly get separated. CR loses his flashlight, but it's ok, because this forest is amazingly well-lit. Sort of like the Nazgul whenever you see them at night. Sadly, Greg suffers the fate destined for all comic relief characters in a horror movie and meets his grisly end as the zombies surround him and gnaw on his pancreas. Once again, the director slaps us in the face with the video game conceit by showing us a strange rotating model of Greg as the screen turns red like a GAME OVER screen. I really hate you, Uwe.
Casper reports back to the group that her patrol boat has been destroyed. Um. How? Did the zombies set charges on the hull? The group discusses the possibility of swimming to the boat RIGHT IN FRONT OF THEM but quickly veto the plan because they all say "I'm not going in that water." So they decide to hole up at The House of the Dead because "it's defensible" and they can wait there until help arrives. This is a cute idea, only there are a few minor drawbacks:
- Casper didn't radio for backup when she left the mainland, and nobody knows where she's gone to.
- I'm assuming these kids are on Spring Break for this rave, which means nobody's bound to check up on them for a while.
- The house's defensibility is predicated solely on the colossally stupid assumption that it does not contain a legion of zombies already and the mad scientist who made them.
But that's the plan, so Kirk cracks open his crates of smuggled goods, including a tommy gun, a shotgun with incendiary shells, hand grenades, Cuban cigars, Desert Eagles, a revolver, dynamite, a semi-auto pistol, a machine pistol, and another video game clip segue into the next action sequence. As I predicted, the house is crawling with literally dozens of zombies, and so they have a gigantic loud techno shootout in the front yard. The entire action sequence is a mess with a list of dumb decisions a mile long. The music is terrible. Video game footage is interjected into the movie about every 10 seconds. Once again, the shots are inconsistent one moment to another about whether or not it's raining. It's hardly choreographed, instead focusing on the characters walking in slow motion in front of a fog machine, trying to look badass. They also strike calm, ridiculous battle poses as they shoot. And the worst part of it all is Uwe Boll's decision to not only rip off The Matrix, but to rip off the same bullet-time crap about twenty times in the same scene. Every single character that's been introduced so far has at least one "Matrix" moment where the action completely stops and the camera focuses on the character on a sound stage. The character quickly spins like he's standing on a turntable while firing his gun. It's all meant to be like a video game, like throwing bullet-time elements and Max Payne shooting bits in the movie. It just looks ridiculous and accomplishes the exact opposite of what Uwe Boll was trying to do. He wanted "coolness" and "badassedness" but went way, WAY too far.
Kirk gets about 3 Matrix Turntable shots. Liberty gets one where she blatantly rips off the "Neo diving backwards" shot. Alicia gets in a Matrix shot where she directly steals the "Trinity leaps in the air and hangs there" shot. Even some of the zombies get Matrix moments by themselves! The editing is so chaotic and rapid that characters are holding wildly different weapons one moment to the next. In one particular moment, Karma is seen holding dual Desert Eagles, and a split second later has a Matrix Turntable shot where she's got a sawed-off shotgun that was NEVER in the weapons crate. A few moments later, she's carrying a full pump-action shotgun that belonged to someone else, then two pistols, and then the sawed-off again. This scene goes on for probably 15-20 minutes, with video game clips literally being shown every 10 seconds. It's beyond too much.
Liberty gets the bright idea of trying to kung fu fight the zombie horde and quickly gets her 90 lbs. ass devoured. And you guessed it, another GAME OVER style death screen. Snark finally manages to find a way into the house through the window. Casper tries to make it through, but the zombies catch her and tear her legs off at the exact same level on each leg with relatively neat cuts. Casper croaks almost immediately in a puddle of terribly fake cartoon blood. Yes, I said cartoon blood. It's animated. The surviving castaways eventually get into the house. I wish George Romero would leap into the frame and swat every one of these people with a folding chair.
While searching the house, they find an old ship's log that confirms everything that Kirk told them about the psychotic Spanish necromancer. It's also interesting that long ago when pirates sailed the Spanish Main that ships logs were TYPEWRITTEN in this movie. Kirk isn't feeling so well, because zombies munched on his leg. So he stays behind while the others continue searching the house for anything useful, like a better script. While they're away exploring Castillo's Laboratory of Death, Kirk rather stupidly decides to unbolt the front door, wanders outside, and suicide bombs himself with dynamite to kill some zombies. This brilliant maneuver blows the front door wide open and lets the zombies back in. The party retreats farther into the house as fast as they can and, through an unbelievable stroke of luck, find a massive cache of gunpowder and a hatch leading to an underground tunnel. I wonder what a mad scientist needs with a pantry full of gunpowder barrels.
Simon gets caught by the zombies just as the others start to flee down the tunnel. Can you figure out what happens next? Can you add 2 + 2? Yup, Simon bravely sacrifices himself to blow up the gunpowder and destroys the whole house. He's the bravest underwear model I've ever seen. I hear that he was posthumously awarded Calvin Klein's highest honor, the Sequined Jockstrap of Valor. This explosion leads to the various cliched slow-motion "heroes escaping an explosion" shot, and multiple angles of the house being destroyed. We also get to see the front door blown outward, when just a minute before we saw the front door blown inward and completely destroyed! There are also no dead zombie bodies anywhere around the house, despite the fact they just spent 25 minutes killing about a hundred of them. Continuity is a privilege, not a right, I suppose.
Karma, Rudy, and Alicia are the only ones left. They race down the tunnel and get jumped by big men in ugly moss-covered bodysuits. Karma says, "I can handle these guys" and manages to fight them hand-to-hand for about 8 seconds before getting pulled down and killed. Good job. But suddenly someone comes and helps them out! Comic Relief comes back wearing a cloak and stabs the zombies with a pirate sword! But oh no! What a plot twist! It's not really Comic Relief, it's the big bad guy wearing his face like Hannibal Lecter! Aaaah! Actually, a 9-year old could probably have figured out it's the villain in disguise. The sorceror's zombies capture Alicia and Rudy and pin them down on examination tables.
Rudy resists mightily and screams "The blood we found, it ties all the creatures!" Um. What?
"You created it all so you could be immortal." Rudy cries, "Why??"
"To live forever," the mad scientist replies.
I can't decide if the mad scientist is trying to be facetious or Uwe Boll is just a dumbass. I'll go with the safe bet and say dumbass.
Rudy overpowers his skeletal captors and frees himself. Alicia graps up the pirate sabre, stabs Evil Guy in the chest with it, and flees the scene with Rudy. They emerge in broad daylight. It's like NOON! Then, for no reason I can decipher, the whole tunnel explodes behind them. Once again you can see Alicia running away, only in slow motion as her own breasts slap her in the face as she runs. It's really funny to watch.
Evil Guy emerges the blast zone and charges them. They engage in a sword fight that goes something like this:
- Evil Guy attacks Alicia with a sword. Alicia goes into bullet time and leans backwards to rip off The Matrix shot where Neo dodges bullets.
- Rudy attacks Evil Guy with an axe. Evil Guy goes into bullet time and leans backwards to rip off The Matrix shot where Neo dodges bullets.
- Evil Guy attacks Rudy with a sword. Rudy goes into bullet time and leans backwards to rip off The Matrix shot where Neo dodges bullets.
- Alicia swings at Evil Guy. Evil Guy ducks in bullet time.
- Evil Guy swings back. Alicia ducks in bullet time.
- Evil Guy swings at Rudy. Rudy ducks in bullet time.
- Evil Guy clotheslines the fajeezus out of Rudy. A wire team flings Rudy away in bullet time.
- Alicia manages to go for about 5 seconds without resorting to bullet time, and it costs her. Evil Guy stabs her right between the ladyberries.
EVIL GUY WINS!!!
Sword Master my ass! Alicia, you suck! Rudy regains consciousness about 5 seconds too late and decapitates Evil Guy with his ax. But even that doesn't keep him down! Evil Guy's headless corpse gets up and starts strangling Rudy! Alicia climbs back to her feet and stomps the severed head, mooshing the brains and killing the body. It seems that Evil Guy used his knowledge of zombie lore to implant an 802.11 compatible wireless modem in his head that allowed him to control his body by remote control. Anyway, despite being mortally wounded, Alicia manages to strike one last badass pose and utters "Game over, fucker!" before collapsing dead into a heap.
The Men in Black show up afterward and assume control of the area. Alicia looks like she's toast, but Rudy carries her off. The MiBs demand to know Rudy's name, and he answers "Curien." That's what's supposed to pass for Uwe Boll's Usual Suspects-level plot twist, guys. Our supposed hero is the villain of the video game. Yawn.
"And now we go home-- me and Alicia," the Snarky Monologue starts off once again as the camera settles on a large coastal city. "Or whatever she is now. Whatever I've created. God, ain't love a bitch?" Are you seriously telling me that Uwe saw potential enough in this movie to leave room for a sequel?
"Is this the end, or only the beginning?"
Yup, he did.