House of the Dead 2


With no explanation as to how they got back on the floor without being electrocuted (maybe their totally ineffectual armour actually is useful for not conducting electricity, I guess, but I think it's a serious plot hole that needs five minutes worth of explanation!), Ellis and Nightingale dry off in the furnace room and make small talk. Ellis probes Alexandria about her codename, and she explains - in summary, she was part of a medicinal group in a village in Africa and everyone got sick, but then they turned into the walking dead after some other guys gave them an experimental medicine, so she machine gunned them to death. The Nightingale name is just a sick joke. How about that.


Back to the plot, they find that the building they're currently in is the science building, and they find the laboratory after not too long, with scattered documents and blood littering the floor. Suddenly, someone or something opens fire on them!


They duck beneath a table and announce their occupations as a medical research team, and it turns out two dull-eyed teens had been hiding out in here, Lonny and Sarah. They explain that they've lost track of how long they've been done here and been living off chocolate power bars, and they were assistants to Professor Curien before the zombie infection began. In fact, this very room was where the first zombie was created! Curien was trying to bring back the dead, don't ya know, and he'd been stealing and making corpses to experiment on.


The two then show our heroes where Curien's dead-riving DNA sequence came from - the zombie woman in the glass chamber. Curien's son Rudy and his girlfriend Alicia arrived back from the events of the previous movie a few months ago but she was changed - when she friggin' kills Rudy, I think that qualifies as changed. Curien kept her cooped up and was convinced her blood held the secret to eternal life, and Nightingale remembers that Rudy and Alicia were taken into custody by AMS but showed no signs of infection, though Alicia did tell them about the Spanish priest who killed her with a sword through the heart, but Rudy brought her back with an immortality serum.


Zombie Alicia here is the zero generation zombie they're looking for, and Nightingale believes with a sample of her blood they can produce an antidote to the infection. Sarah uses a hand-scanning device to let them into the chamber, where Ellis pins the zombie to the ground without an ounce of hassle while Nightingale gets a blood sample. Positive match! Ding ding ding. Mission accomplished.


Unfortunately, the door is closed and they need to rely on silly teens Sarah and Lonny to open the door, and the two don't even notice an army of zombies marching up behind them. Ellis is distracted by this, allowing the zombie to break free of his grasp and prepare to make a combo meal of his neck and face.


Nightingale is knocked aside while Ellis struggles with it, but he eventually regains control of his shotgun and blows a hole through Alicia's head. While the danger is averted, they're still left trapped in the room, and they've wasted so much time that they only have 15 minutes before the missile strike arrives. Without warning, the door opens.


There's no zombies intruding on them, nor are Lonny and Sarah immediately present - it turns out that in the midst of being eaten alive, Sarah threw her arm on the control panel. That's... morbidly generous. The two make a cautious exit while they leave the two teens to be eaten to death. That's gratitude.


The two make their way outside the building and find themselves up against a vast army of the walking dead. With plentiful amounts of ammunition or at least a chainsaw, this could be a pretty awesome encounter, but instead they're left with very little ammo, so it results in just a lot of pushing and shoving. It is not a very exciting sequence.


Suddenly, the van rolls up with Henson at the wheel, armed with a machine gun! In a good movie, she would go positively bananas with that thing and mow the suckers down like a freshly shaved lawn, but she know how many shots she fires? Eight. One at a time. If you're going to have a big gun like that and not use it for anything cool, please restrict yourself to a pint-sized firearm. The two hop in the back, though Ellis is clawed by a lot of them as he scrabbles on...


And as the van starts, one of the zombies falls off and takes his pouch with the blood sample in it. Aw, shit.


Ellis is adamant that they go back to reclaim a blood sample, while Henson thinks it's a stupid idea - they've lost so many people already, they've only about ten minutes left before the bombs drop, and with everyone else on her squad dead, she's in charge. Ellis argues that every second they spend arguing is a second lost that they can spend going back for a sample; when that doesn't convince her, he mentions his dead brother. That's the clincher!


The three of them make a dramatic return and decide to make their way across the football field this time. Lo and behold, there are zombie football players, still in their uniforms and passing the ball to each other. This does not turn into a ridiculous sequence of legitimate football against zombies, but just a simple run-and-shove. The film and its set pieces are just oozing with wasted potential, man.


They make their way into the dank locker rooms which have a fair crowd of the undead inside them, but it seems only a zombie who springs out of a locker seems interested in actually eating them. A new group of zombies advance upon them, but despite the relatively small space being perfect for a fast-moving swarm, they move slowly towards them as the three soldiers hide in a study room.


This clearly isn't the laboratory they've looking for and they've effectively trapped themselves in here, as the only other exit is a small vent that can't be opened from their side. Ellis' answer to this solution is "improvise," which would suggest something sensible like, I don't know, blowing away the grate with the shotgun? I mean, they haven't got much time before the missile strikes and that is clearly no time for ludicrous ideas, but Ellis has one.


He smears himself in zombie shit.


I am serious.

(okay it's just zombie innards but that doesn't make for an amusing sentence now does it)


The girls think he's quite loopy, but he equates it to the gel trainers use to train attack dogs so they think he's one of them. He leaves his weapons behind, claiming the gun powder smell will alert them, though Nightingale lets him hold onto her knife. He bravely steps out...


And is greeted by a shambling corpse, who sniffs him and moves on without a second thought. Ellis witnesses the large mass that has gathered in the locker room, and he finds himself undetected yet unprotected, walking amongst the living dead.


"What the fuck was I thinking?"

So, yeah, after trying his damndest to keep his ex-girlfriend alive in the first movie, Rudy is eaten by her. Awkwaaaard.

For the curious, no, they didn't rope Alicia's original actor into this movie, and Rudy isn't even seen at all, his death mentioned in a mere one sentence, while Alicia gets three brief separate flashback sequences. There ain't no justice.