While House of the Dead is not without its fans, I don't think it's got quite a fanbase to the extent of other SEGA franchises; but you could say this was a benefit for the film, as those with no knowledge got a reasonably standalone zombie action flick that was essentially an astounding 90 minute bore except for that one kickass action scene in the middle, while House of the Dead fans got... well, they benefited in no way from the deal, as the movie bore no relation to the series whatsoever besides gratuitous inclusions of arcade game footage. I can hardly imagine the film was a hit, what with its only saving graces being some decent ridiculous CGI slow-mo bullets and that aforementioned kickass fight, but someone, somewhere, somehow, granted it a sequel.


Unfortunately, Uwe Boll is not involved. It was not released in cinemas, and aside from two characters being lifted from the first movie and placed in unremarkable roles, it has no resemblance or reference to the first movie at all. Any hint of continuity could've been dropped and it would've worked as a standalone zombie film, House of the Dead license or not.


Let's be honest - the first movie wasn't great. Not to the extent of frothing rage and blind violence, but it was just slow-going and dull, with only silly editing (fast-motion repeat death montages! Blood-dripping scene transitions! Random arcade game footage!), ridiculous zombie acrobatics and that one kickass fight scene to make it entertaining. Seriously, I can't express it enough how cool that thing was! Worth the price of admission alone, if I ever actually paid for the movie (ooer).

House of the Dead 2 has very, very little going for it. The editing and presentation is entirely different from the original, ditching all manner of silly scene transitions in favour of almost taking itself seriously, and despite vague attempts to connect itself to the original, it bears very little resemblance to it - I forgot it was even a House of the Dead movie! At least Uwe Boll threw in some game footage to remind us occasionally. While the first one had elements of perviness since it's all about a big rave party and whatnot, the second movie just had a very uncomfortable vibe of serious sexist attitudes - the characters are from a military and research group, yet the shallow minded attitudes and frequent references to sexy body naked times gives the impression they just recruited some college students. It does mellow a little about halfway through, but it leaves an uncomfortable taste from the very start.


Probably the most damning thing about the movie is that it's just not very interesting. One of the concepts used is that there are various stages of the zombie plague, in each one they actually evolve slightly, their teeth changing and sharpening so they can even chew through armour. Despite being described as having three known stages, it's never really elaborated upon, and given how the video game series is known for having some pretty wacky mutations (giant club-wielding security guard, anyone?), it could've been a perfect opportunity to throw in some really monstrous zombies, but no, it's an otherwise pointless addition. Given how there are more characters on the team, it's got a lot more cannon fodder to chew through in comparison to the relatively small group in the first movie, but it almost seems too anxious to weed them all out. The characters don't even enter the campus the film takes place in before two members are killed unceremoniously, and a lot of them are infected due to the rather stupid action of not watching their back - I could take that from stupid college students, but from professional soldiers it's a little wearying. One particular highlight of a good zombie movie is memorable deaths, and there is nothing like that found here. The first film had ridiculous acrobatics and slow-mo bullets and gratuitous explosions to make things dynamic, but here it's just... shooting them and they fall down. Bart, the incredible asshole who does nothing but be a perverted dick for the whole movie, gives the impression that he's going to get offed in a very, very satisfying manner. No such luck, as he's shot in the back unceremoniously which doesn't even kill him, and then he blows himself up with a grenade. Boring.


Judging from the attractive leading duo, the set-up and especially the ending, it seems to me that the producers were hoping to knockoff the Resident Evil movies and make an ongoing series, but mercifully, it ended here. Given the fact the series never actually took place in a goddamn house, it's probably for the best. Better luck next time, Mike Hurst.