Normally when something is written for Random Action Hour, I actually know something about it beforehand. I'd watched all of Mega Man several times before deciding that the internet lacked sufficient coverage of it, and Captain Scarlet was a long-time favourite of mine before I decided to cover the first episode.


But for House of the Dead, I just randomly thought "hey, I wonder what that's like. Could be worth covering for Random Action Hour!"


So I downloaded it (piracy!), watched the first fifteen minutes before skipping to the fight scenes and watched the ending, and decided it was worth covering.


True story.


But to be honest, it wasn't actually that bad. I barely even knew I was covering a video game related movie, ignoring the use of footage from the arcade used as scene transitions and thrown in awkwardly between the firing of guns and the deaths of the undead. There's a few SEGA logos here and there, but you could quite simply remove those and label it House of the Undead or Island of Regenerated Demise or Poppin' Some Z-s and it'd be a good enough standalone B-movie.


Reviews always mention that game footage is used in place of actual real deaths, but this is a gross over exaggeration. Yes, moments where the characters fight zombies in a labyrinth is interspersed with moments from the game where you fight zombies in a labyrinth, and the same can be said when they face legless zombies, when one gets a shotgun to the face, and so on, but it's more an accompaniment. It may cut away to show video game zombies getting blown away, but it's always followed up with the real kind getting the same treatment, so you're never snatched away any gore.


People complain about video game movies and how they're nothing like the games, but to be honest, a lot of them have little to work with, and House of the Dead is a frigging lightgun game. I'll be perfectly honest and say that I've never played the games, but all I know is that you shoot zombies and the voice acting is bad and what more is there to know? There's a couple of references to the games, outside of the basic concept and frequent use of game footage, but it's ultimately nothing major and it's still likely to make people pissed at the whole thing.


If you're looking for ninety minutes of silly zombie action with lots of explosions and nauseating camera effects, then it's worth a peep. If you're looking for a totally game accurate visual epic, then you should probably look elsewhere. Not that there's much to look for, though.