Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Boll Me Over

Half a day at the day job and a night on the town with a friend tonight, means an earlier than usual post today. And what a stinker I have lined up to dis. Uh, I mean, discuss.

I've chosen this particular entry from German director Uwe Boll's canon, for two reasons; it is the first Uwe Boll movie I ever saw and it is also the only Uwe Boll movie I've seen most of. I've seen the trailers for Alone in the Dark and and clips from Bloodrayne and In the Name of the King. None of it was very encouraging, especially after the outrageously bad reviews Boll's movies generate. Even the presence of my obsession couldn't get me to go see In the Name of the King. But I had dismissed those reviews for House..., simply because most horror movies get bad reviews and I'd never seen Boll's work.

Then I rented it when it came out on DVD and sat down all prepared for a zombie movie, not realizing at the time that it was based on the video game of the same name (as most of Boll's movies are). The credits rolled... Clint Howard. Oh, dear... Oh, no wait - salvation.. Jurgen Prochnow! He's great in Das Boot and The English Patient! Yay! OK, so I'm slightly encouraged. At least there's one good actor...

Then the movie started for real. Prochnow captains a boat that drops a bunch of college kids off on a remote island so they can have some sort of huge tropical rave. But they end up waking the island's dead and everyone gets eaten. There are no characters to care about, ridiculous dialog and no actual plot that I could follow. The effects are atrocious and the shots look like they were set up by a blind six year-old. The action sequences appear to have been edited in a sausage grinder; you can't tell what anyone's doing and I'm pretty certain Boll repeats shots in reverse angle so as not to have to shoot to much. Dark and hard to see, House of the Dead is a terrible, terrible movie with absolutely no redeeming qualities whatsoever. Prochnow knows he's making a piece of crap and it shows in his stoop-shouldered performance. Even Howard, who lives in the bitter shadow of brother Ron's success, seems embarrassed to be in House of the Dead.

See what a good trailer editor can do to make a movie look halfway decent? And I never realized until just now that Rorschach apprently narrated the trailer. Boll's films are hated by fanboys and critics alike. None of them make money, but studios keep giving him money to make them (even after German tax laws were changed). Infinitely worse than Plan Nine... House of the Dead isn't even fit to be called a movie. Remember how I said I'd seen "most of" the movie. I barely made it halfway. To this day, I do not know (nor do I even care) how it ends. Five Out of Five Drumsticks.

So, tomorrow is Thanksgiving. I wish each and every one of you a safe and happy holiday weekend. I don't know about you, but I will NOT be getting up at 3:00 AM to witness the trampling of some poor Walmart temp. What I WILL be doing after dinner tomorrow is posting the First Annual Big Bad Movie Spectacular, a tribute if you will, to the work of one really bad director.

More Limburger, anon


Sam Juliano said...

Well, when I first saw your post here I was thinking for a second of HOUSE OF THE DEVIL, an excellent horror film I saw at the Angelika several weeks back. But I've never seen any films by the German director here, though your dismissal is certainly not an urge to remedy that situation. But I can definitely see it's a stinker. Nice review, and Happy Thanksgiving!

Prospero said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Prospero said...

No, I haven't seen 'House of the Devil,' though I hear nothing but good things, and it's on a scheduled double-feature with someone special this weekend.

Glad you liked the post! Have a great holiday weekend!