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Sci-Fi TV Review: House of the Dead 2

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Taking two of the writers from the original mess that was House of the Dead, this sequel that no one in their right mind would ever ask for ends up being mildly entertaining. It has one thing going for it this time out: House of the Dead 2 knows it had no chance of succeeding, so the entire movie plays out as hilarious camp. It doesn’t always work, and it’s still an awful piece of schlock, but at least someone had the idea not to take this seriously.

As with the first film, there’s little here that has to do with the video game it’s based on. In fact, there’s not much going on here that relates to the original as far as the story is concerned either. Since the vast majority of people were smarter than to see that one, it’s all for the better. Instead of college kids racking up a kill count against a zombie armada, it’s a special forces team.

Set on a college campus to skimp on the budget, House of the Dead 2 confines itself to a few same-looking locales. There are a few solid scares here, though zombie fans will likely be well prepared. There’s nothing here that truly sticks out aside from a few moments of over-the-top comedy. You’ve likely seen this same movie before in a different form as nothing here breaks up the monotony of soldiers firing rounds into the heads of the undead.

Certain plot points are introduced and then dropped immediately. One of the soldiers is bitten by a mosquito and infected. It would have made an interesting device to carry the story on, yet we never hear of it again. The scene even plays out as if it’s going to change the entire film, including another piece of the grating soundtrack that sounds like death is about to be brought down on every character.

Unsurprisingly, there’s little actual character to go around. Most of the offensive force delivers typical military chat that offers nothing to the film. There’s almost no background info on anyone, and aside from attempting to pull some emotion from the actors when they shoot an infected mate (which is a bad idea in something played for straight camp), there’s no current information either.

While this is unquestionably a better movie than the first one, the actual need for a sequel coupled with the atrocity of the original doesn’t make this feature stand out. It’s a generic zombie flick slapped with the name of a video game. At the very least, Uwe Boll didn’t return to splice in footage from the video game every 15-seconds. House of the Dead 2 is enjoyable for strict for zombie fanatics.

Note: Sci-Fi Channel’s attempts to edit this from an R rating are funnier than the movie. The opening sequence featuring numerous naked bodies is priceless as the camera cuts away, the sound skips, and the dialogue is cut in half. It’s likely the only way they would have pulled it off, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a laugh at the censors expense.

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About Matt Paprocki

Matt Paprocki has critiqued home media and video games for 13 years and is the reviews editor for Pulp365.com. His current passion project is the technically minded DoBlu.com. You can read Matt's body of work via his personal WordPress blog, and follow him on Twitter @Matt_Paprocki.
  • http://draven99.blogspot.com Chris Beaumont

    I’d been looking forward to your take on this. I must say that I enjoyed the heck out of it and thought the zombie effects looked quite good. My review went up a couple of days ago, I felt inspired to write about it.

    The mosquito guy does make a return, but I agree, the device could have been used to better effect.

    Looking forward to the DVD release!

  • http://www.breakingwindows.com Matt Paprocki

    Yeah, I read your review too. It’s rare to find two people who enjoy these flicks, and it’s even more shocking when it’s a sequel to something that awful.

    Shame most people won’t see it.

  • http://draven99.blogspot.com Chris Beaumont

    Well, perhaps someone will read our reviews and give it a shot. I bet it will do well as a rental when the DVD comes out next month.