House of the Dead 2 is an extremely poor zombie flick which is quite fun in places but just generally "grated" my nerves (you'll get that more in a moment). This statement takes some qualification, which I will do right away and with some gusto. One note before I proceed, I watched the TV Edit, which may hav removed some of the point, but I really doubt it.
It was not the poor budget which made it bad, though I have found that adding digital flame to the top of an unburning anything in a movie is probably going to be a pet peeve of mine toward low budget movies until they get the effect to look more than a screencap of a low rated 1995 videogame.
The effects, for the budget, were quite good. Have you seen Savini's 1970 era zombies? Almost all fan made films have more realistic critters than the Dawn of the Dead zombies, and I love that film. Everyone who loves the genre loves that film. That's why they develop their own special effects and make movies in the genre. Mostly because of that film.
The acting is sparse, and generally, when it does show up, is bad. The writing is piss poor, and most of the one liners do not zing. This, in and of itself is ok, as long as they are "fun", it can be overlooked. I think they were going for that cheesy feel (they played that "Ph.D. of Cheesy" Burger King commerical enough for it to be subliminal)
What really sucks about the writing is the fact it is nonsensical. You have a zombie outbreak (hypersapiens, a word I now hate) on a college campus that apparently lasted for DAYS and was not noticed by anyone until a man (can I get a little love for Sid Haig here?) stumbles off campus a month (I swear it said a month, I am hoping I misread the "caption" which was a crack on 28 days later, I hope it said 29 hours) later and bites someone, who changes in a matter of minutes, and apparently bites someone before he even changes himself.
A college campus, for a month, and no one noticed. Not one single commuter student was missed. Not one professor turned up missing. They are practicing for a football season, apparently, that has no games because no games were missed. There were no planned guest lectures. There was no mail man. For a month.
This is a college campus, not a main power supply center, and yet they somehow fail to notice that they could just turn lights on and not run around in the dark. In fact, the film crew apparently put dark filters on some of the cameras to make a college campus' minimal lighting (safety lights and whatnot) appear even darker.
Bugs can carry the disease, yet over-the-top blood splatter, even some actively in the mouth, does nothing.
The biggest nonsense of all is the fact that they send in a highly trained and quite valuable special forces team, and not only do not match their armor (say, thin, resilient mesh in links with a thicker alloy undergarment) or weaponry (ASSAULT RIFLES?) to the situation, they apparently do not even explain the basic rules of zombie kind to them. They just sort of assume that they will figure it out as they go along. And no, its not that they really don't know about zombies: the agency that sends them knows very well. I guess they didn't have three minutes to name off a couple of good tips (shoot from afar, don't fist fight with them, stop putting your unprotected hands near their mouth, that kind of thing).
There is also this one "grate" scene that apparently takes place in Oz for all the real world sense it makes. I have blocked most memory of it, but an aggitation towards it remains.
The last 30 minutes of the movie is meant to last 8 minutes of "real time", though it is shot to seem as though it took up about 2 and a half hours. They only hope of rectifying the whole thing is pretending they have skills in teleportation and are actually talking in super fast time or something.
Oh yeah, I nearly forgot, there is a scene that I believe is a shout out to the game Siren (it copied it almost precisely, not matter what) which contradicts zombie-dom facts stated later, though works better than the facts.
There is a bit of random paranoia tossed in, which makes the point of this entire movie not worth it.
At least they remembered to have a naked zombie. They got that part right.
Written by W Doug Bolden
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