HOUSE OF THE DEAD parallels and promotes the general theme and action sequences of “The House of the Dead” video games. Set on an island off a warm coast somewhere, a techno rave party attracts a diverse group of college coeds who dance and drink and party the night away. Another group of students is running late for the island concert, so they charter a fishing boat, manned by yes, a Captain Kirk (who hates Captain Kirk jokes), to take them to the ominous sounding “Isla de Morte,” or Island of the Dead. The co-captain (played by Ron Howard’s Brother, Clint) protests that he absolutely will not go to the terrifying island, but the captain insists, and, after thinking they’ve dodged a pretty, blonde coast guard officer, the party is off and running.
Little do the newcomers know, however, that the concertgoers’ debaucheries have been interrupted in a terrifying way. When the group lands on the island and finds the deserted concert, they quickly realize that zombies are loose, attacking all living flesh on the ground, from the air, and in the sea. With only a few weapons and time running out, the students take shelter in a scary, dilapidated house, “The House of the Dead,” ruled by an evil entity that is soon to manifest his hideous self in terrifying ways. The coast guard officer has secretly followed the group, but will her brains, or the Captain’s secret weapons stash, or the bravery of the group be enough to overcome the tenacious, flesh-consuming zombies?
HOUSE OF THE DEAD is JAWS meets THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT, only hokier. The movie intercuts between live action and the animated video game, “House of the Dead.” It even makes “ching ching” sounds when zombies are hit, as if the shooters are scoring points in a video game. The zombies are relentless, terrifying, and cruel. The action is non-stop as they keep coming and coming and coming – from every possible hiding place, it seems. It’s a bit much.
The group finds an old book that tells the story of how the cursed zombies came to be. It says that a crazy Spanish pirate was doing experiments on human blood and its relationship with the dead, and a godly captain locks him up, claiming the experiments are not of God. The pirate replies, “What has He done for you? There is no God; only me.” The captain replies, “May God have mercy on your soul,” just before he is overtaken and killed. After that, the book says, the pirate went free and continued his experiments, and now the island is overrun with zombies.
As the group continues to try to fend off their morbid enemies, many of the good guys begin dying, many in gruesome ways. One guy gives his girlfriend a cross, to protect her from evil. In the end, however, it’s science gone bad, and bad science is always conquerable. .. right?
HOUSE OF THE DEAD is poorly made and clearly directed at the fourteen-year-old American boy. Much time is spent displaying firearms, zombies, cute, topless babes, and every possible combination thereof. It’s a formula movie, terrible to watch, and short on story and good acting. Regrettably, these movies usually make their money back, but audiences over 14, and all moral audiences, will surely avoid HOUSE OF THE DEAD.
(PaPa, C, LLL, VVV, SS, NN, AA, D, MM) Pagan worldview extolling the party life at all costs, with some Christian elements with guy giving girl a cross to protect her from harm and story of old, godly captain killed by nasty, blasphemous pirate; about 22 light obscenities, 20 strong obscenities and three profanities; strong violence with zombie horrors, murder, dismemberment, spurting blood, zombie hand through stomach, shootings with high-powered rifles, etc.; depicted sex includes unmarried couple in beginning stages of sex; nudity includes upper female frontal nudity on several occasions and scantily-clad women seductively dancing on stage; many portrayals of alcohol; some smoking; and, lying, bribery, etc.