House of the Dead Movie Adaptations 🧟
Release Date, Cast, Plot, Review, Opinions

House of the Dead Movie Adaptations

If you have ever played a rail shooter videogame in an arcade, those with a gun built on the machine, then there are high chances that you know what The House of the Dead is.

 

This horror-themed franchise was created in 1996 by Sega and has expanded to consoles and home computers, with 14 different titles released since then. 

 

They all share several traits in common: special agents that take on hordes of mutants or undead across several chapters, each culminating in a boss battle. There are branching paths determined by your actions, as well as different endings and unlockable bonuses.

  • The House of the Dead (1996): Released in December 1998, it’s based on the mad Dr. Roy Curien who plans to lead an army of zombies to attack humanity. His attempts are stopped by AMS agents Thomas Rogan and “G”.

  • The House of the Dead 2 (1998): It follows a new undead outbreak in Venice, Italy, led by Goldman, the man behind the “Curien Mansion” case. Once again, AMS agents (James Taylor, Gary Stewart, Amy Crystal, Harry Harris) are sent to stop it.

  • The Typing of the Dead (1999): Released for arcades, Dreamcast, PC, and later on for PlayStation 2 (only in Japan), it replaces the physical game’s guns with the qwerty keyboard. To defeat enemies, you have quickly type out words that appear on the screen.

  • Zombie Revenge (1999): This time, the game title changes to the beat’em up genre, where you control new AMS agents to fight the post-zombie outbreak with a numerous list of weapons (fists included).

  • The Pinball of the Dead (2002): This pinball game released for the Game Boy Advance includes tables, enemies, and bosses inspired by The House of the Dead 2.

  • The House of the Dead III (2002): Based on a post-apocalyptic version of the world in 2019, you infiltrate the EFI Research Facility with the help of your commando team. Daniel Curien, son of evil Dr. Curien, joins to help complete the mission. 

  • The House of the Dead 4 (2005)

  • The Typing of the Dead 2 (2007): Similar to its predecessor but it was only released in Japan for the PC.

  • English of the Dead (2008): Also released exclusively in Japan for the Nintendo DS. Enemies are defeated after Japanese words shown on-screen are translated into English.

  • The House of the Dead: Overkill (2009)

  • The House of the Dead EX (2009): This spin-off is made up of minigames with more humorous twists.

  • The Typing of the Dead: Overkill (2013): It was built with a modified engine and released on Steam for PC, so there are no arcade versions of it.

  • House of the Dead: Scarlet Dawn (2018): The last arcade-based titled announced by Sega.

  • The House of the Dead: Remake (2021): This new title was announced for the Nintendo Switch and it’s planned to release in 2021 (the exact date yet to be known).

 

According to producer Takashi Oda, SEGA interactive is planning to launch three more games for the series in the future. But will new film adaptations release soon?

 

Let’s hope not. Here’s why.

 

Everything About House of The Dead (2003) Movie Adaptation

House of the Dead movie poster
Source: Brightlight Pictures

Production, Release Date, and Reception

 

This German-Canadian film released in 2003 is loosely based on the game franchise. A director’s cut of the film was released later on for DVD in 2008 with “new dialogue, alternative takes, pop-up commentary and animation from the original video game.”

 

Many don’t know that DreamWorks first bought the rights to The House of the Dead from Sega back in 1998. This film adaptation was planned to be the directorial debut of Jesse Dylan (son of Bob Dylan), but DreamWorks lost the rights because it never materialized.

 

Production company Mindfire Entertainment later acquire these rights, due to how “the series’ “cinematic” nature and simple narrative allows more creative freedom.” 

 

But Uwe Boll was attached as director and we know how every project the German filmmaker works in ends: House of the Dead it’s considered by many as one of the worst game film adaptations of all time, with critics around the story, acting, and cinematography.  

 

The film grossed $13.8 million against $12 million of budget. Curiously enough, this is among the few Uwe Boll films that made a profit (thanks to DVD sales and rentals). 

House of The Dead (2003) Trailer

 

Cast  & Characters

  • Jonathan Cherry (Rudolph “Rudy” Curien)
  • Ona Grauer (Alicia)
  • Enuka Okuma (Karma)
  • Tyron Leitso (Simon Cruise)
  • Will Sanderson (Greg)
  • Captain Victor Kirk (Jürgen Prochnow)
  • Clint Howard (Salish)
  • Ellie Cornel (Jordan Casper)
  • Michael Eklund (Hugh)
  • Kira Clavell (Liberty)
  • David Palffy (Castillo Sermano)
  • Sonya Salomaa (Cynthia)
  • Michael Melendez (Mark)
  • Erica Durance (Johanna)

 

Plot/Sypnosis 

 

A group of college students attends an island rave party, then discover that it is infested with zombies. They’ll uncover the island’s dark past as they fight for survival.

 

 

Review & Opinions

 

Let’s say this movie is “aggressively dumb.” It posses an awful story that doesn’t make sense, boring characters, bad acting, embarrassing action scenes, outdated camera work, and a horrific techno soundtrack the ruins the smallest possibility to work out.

 

If I could summarize the movie in one line, would be: characters who make the dumbest decisions and takedown zombies as if they were trained, which realistically they wouldn’t.

 

Somewhere, I read someone said “everyone becomes perfect marksmen with infinite ammo.” which is completely true. But that’s not the worst. For me, the cringiest part in the movie was the quick-clips introduction of the game in the middle on an action scene.

 

Alan Jones of Radio Times“George Romero’s original template has now worn pretty thin so you’ll either love this repetitive gore-fest for its unpretentious dumbness or hate it for being nothing more than a shameless plug for the game.”

 

Jamie Russell of BBC“It’s so bad it could well go down in history as one of the worst zombie movies ever made.”

 

 

Everything About House of The Dead II (2005) Movie Adaptation

House of the Dead 2 movie poster
Source: Lionsgate Films

Production, Release Date, and Reception

 

Directed by Michael Hurst, this sequel premiered at the Sitges Film Festival in Spain (October 2005) and on the Sci-Fi Channel (now Syfy) in the United States (February 2006). 

 

Despite the box office bomb that the first one resulted in, they still got a way with making a sequel that also failed. To give you an example of the bad reception it had: It scored 22% out of +10,000 user reviews on RottenTomatoes.

House of The Dead II (2005) Trailer

 

 

Cast  & Characters

  • Emmanuelle Vaugier (Dr. Alexandra / Alex “Nightingale” Morgan)

     

  • Ed Quinn (Lt. Jake Ellis)

  • Sticky Fingaz (Sergeant Dalton)

  • Steve Monroe (O’Conner)

  • Victoria Pratt (Lieutenant Alison Henson)

  • James Parks (Bart)

  • Dan Southworth (Nakagawa)

  • Billy Brown (Griffin) 

  • Nadine Velazquez (Private Maria Rodriguez)

  • Ellie Cornell (Colonel Jordan Casper)

  • Sid Haig (Professor Roy Curien)

  • Mircea Monroe (Sarah Curtis)

  • Cam Powell (Lonny Evans)

  • Danielle Burgio (Alicia)
 

 

Plot/Synopsis 

 

Professor Roy Curien managed to subdue and contain a “Hyper sapiens” specimen at the fictional Seattle Cuesta Verde University (CVU) just a few months after the events of the first film. This revealed to be his son, Rudy Curien (a survivor of Isle del Morte incident).

 

Curien tries to determine the source of Alicia’s immortality (another survivor) with experiments.

 

It turns out Curien creates a serum to bring back the dead, so he murders the student and injects her. Which, returned her to life, but also infects Curien right after, then breaks out of the building. 

 

 

 

Review & Opinions

 

You might be wondering “why did they make a sequel to one of the worst films ever made?”

 

Well, that’s a good question. Strangely enough, House of the Dead 2 is better than the first film. But that doesn’t say much. 

 

This one fails in similar areas: zombies show up conveniently inconvenient to the characters that somehow are armed and know how to fire.

 

This is only challenged by how Robert Hall and the team of Almost Human F/X did a good job with the make-up and effects, considering they worked on a shoestring budget.  

 

So, Jon Condit of Dread Central thinks it deserves a chance despite its flaws. 

 

And the staff at Bloody Disgusting thinks “Altman’s script skewers everything in its wake, poking fun at virtually anything it can ggetits bloody hands on. But underneath all the pop culture banter lies an effective film, with some palpable tension and enough blood, grue, and boobs to surprise even the most jaded zombie movie hater.”

 

 

 

Everything About Dead and Deader or The House of The Dead III (2006)

 

Dead or Deader movie poster

 

 

Production, Release Date, and Reception

Patrick Dinhut directed this made-for-television zombie comedy horror film, which ended up with the title “Dead and Deader.”

It also debuted on the Sci-Fi channel (December 2006) then a DVD version was later released in the US and Australia in 2007, and had a theatrical release one year later in the UK with the help of Fluid Entertainment.

Filled with pop culture references, this was an experimental production that was originally be titled “House of the Dead 3” but didn’t due to licensing issues. 

At least it had a similar reception of 29% “Audience Score” of 1,000+ ratings in RottenTomatoes.

Dead and Deader Trailer

 

 

Cast & Characters

  • Dean Cain (Lt. Robert “Bobby” Quinn)

     

  • Guy Torry (Judson)

     

  • Susan Ward (Holly)

     

  • Peter Greene (Dr. Scott)

     

  • Ellie Cornell (Dr. Adams)

     

  • Kirk B. R. Woller (Major Bascom)

     

  • Colleen Camp (Mrs. Wisteria)

     

  • Armin Shimerman (Coroner Flutie)

     

  • John Billingsley (Langdon)

     

  • Natassia Malthe (Dr. Boyle)

     

  • Dean Haglund (“funeral home director”)

     

  • Ho-Sung Pak (“superstar merc”)


     

Plot/Sypnosis 

 

A Special Forces squad is sent for investigation after communications to a small medical outpost in Cambodia were cut off. They’re attacked by zombies as soon as they approach the outpost and only Lieutenant Bobby Quinn survives with heavy injuries. 

 

He radios for help falls unconscious, and wakes up at Fort Preston army base to find out the feeling of pain in his right arm is due to the infected green blood that’s flowing inside.

 

He’s infected, with an intense hunger for raw, red meat, and now possess immense superhuman strength.

 

 

 

Review & Opinions

 

Everyone that has seen this film agrees that it makes more sense to have produced “Dead and Deader” as an episode of a bad SiFy show (almost a rejected pilot) that would perfectly fit low-budget projects like this, instead of a whole feature film. 

 

Scott Weinberg of DVD Talk: “it’s also kinda fun” but I didn’t find it funny.”

 

Peter Dendle “The film’s promising opening deteriorates into buffoonery and yawny punch-lines.”

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