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Zombie Film Review:

House of the Dead II

Year: 2005

Director: Mike Hurst

Tagline: All Guts, No Glory

Review: Breasts, water pistols and the great Sid Haig over-acting in the first five minutes confused me, as for a while I thought I was watching Animal House or Re-animator rather than a recent zombie flick. Although this is an improvement over the original, and a slight feeling of horror does pervade, the heroes are once again cool in their BMX, sorry I mean, military body armour and the body count is quite pleasantly high, this still retains a kiddy atmosphere no matter what happens… Perhaps its trying a little too hard to be action/horror rather than just the traditional zombie/horror of the genre favourites.

Zombie Quality:***

Good make overall, some are better than others but it's good to see more being spent on the zombie budget than its predecessor. The lack of glowing eyes meant that this film was on to a winner in my opinion straight away.

Zombie Behaviour: ***

They stagger around, eat flesh and infect the bitten people and generally are very good, apart from one scene involving pipes where they windmill their arms like Crack-smoking Tennis players and sprint around the place….

Zombie Threat: ***

The first film I can remember to throw mosquitoes into the infection mix, which would have been scary apart from the fact they use this plot device once and then its completely forgotten… The ending is good but it's no Fulci, although it does aspire to be.

Gore Content: **

Plenty of blood flying around, but when you concentrate, you do find that there is not that much cringe worthy stuff going on and this doesn't stop the film from feeling a bit diluted…

Overall Quality: **

This could have been a three star film on the back of it's budget and zombie effects, but there is one scene that is added for no reason, it makes no sense and basically ruins any of the threat in one fell swoop. Bearing in mind that someone has already succumbed to the zommers through a mosquito bite, the main two characters wrestle their way through probably two or three hundred zombies, hand to hand style, without so much as a scratch or sign of infection. Until this point, it was basically a case of meet zombie, die…. This scene is probably the most blatant excuse for keeping characters alive that I have ever seen, no sense at all… The film would have got three stars on it's production values, sets and budgets alone, but nice try, no Cigar!