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House of the Dead 2: Dead Aim
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House of the Dead 2: Dead Aim (2005)

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Plot Summary:
"A virus breaks out at a University and people start to become zombies. After 29 days, a team of AMS scientists and soldiers are sent in to deal with the problem. But while they search, things go wrong."

Review by
Ryan McDonald
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Review Date: 26 May 2009 My Rating: out of 5


A special military/scientific team is sent to stop a zombie infection at a college campus (mindless zombies, get it? I didn’t pick up on it at first), whilst tracking down the numero uno zombie to gain a blood sample for an antidote. This they have to do within a certain time frame or else the military will be sending in the missiles to blow the place up. Ed Quinn and scientist Emmanuelle Vaugier are joined by hardened soldiers led by Sarge (Sticky, and including buff (yet undeniably sexy) Victoria Pratt, misogynistic a-hole James Jean Parks, and sensitive rookie Nadine Velazquez. Sid Haig and Ellie Cornell turn up in mere cameos as an unscrupulous college professor and a desk-bound military woman, respectively.

A sequel to a film often cited as one of the worst films of all-time, this Michael Hurst sci-fi/horror/action hybrid is surprisingly watchable. Sure, it’s a low-rent “Aliens” with zombies (with Sticky Fingaz in the Al Matthews role, unimpressively. Were Bokeem Woodbine and Ken Foree busy?), but…what? You don’t like the sound of that? Then this film’s charms (few as they are) will be completely lost on you. I had an OK, cheesy time with it. I mean, at least the whole thing was competently done (despite a few dodgy performances and a certain character making more dumb-dumb decisions in a single scene than I’ve seen committed by countless ‘final girls’ in slasher movies), unlike the previous film (How’s that for faint praise?), and it had a fine sense of humour (A title card early on reads: 29 Days Later and there’s an hilarious scene in a library with a shushing zombie librarian).

More scenes developing the characters played by the stunning Pratt (I’ll take her over Jenette Goldstein any day) and Velazquez (who in my view, have seriously romantic/sexual feelings for one another. I can’t see it just being my imagination…well, not entirely), and also genre faves Cornell (“Halloween 4 & 5”) and Haig (“The Big Doll House”, “House of 1,000 Corpses”), would have helped immensely (In fact, the two leads are so useless and bland, I’d have had Pratt and Velazquez as the leads). So would a decent script and a good director, but hey, that’s probably asking too much.

For what it is, it’s better than the previous film by a country mile, and about on par with “Resident Evil”. Take that as you will.

Reviewer: Phil Davies Brown @horrorasylum
Location:Scotland, UK
Review Date: 10 January 2007 My Rating: out of 5

House of the Dead 2 sees a group of Special Forces peeps sent to a University campus when infection breaks out. They are to take a blood sample from the original zombie to create a cure. It soon transpires that Rudy and Alicia (from the first film) had returned home after the events on the island only to discover that they were, in fact, infected. Alicia is the one who started the plague on campus after Rudy’s dad Dr. Curien began experimenting in his quest for eternal life.

The film is as cheesy as they come, but surprisingly isn’t as laugh-out-loud funny as the first. The film is full of unintentional mistakes, such as characters being covered in blood from one angle, and clean as a whistle from another during the same scene, and Sid Haig attempting to cut a girl’s clothes off with a dull implement. As if these aren’t bad enough, Ellie Cornell reprises her role of Jordan Casper, despite dying in the first film. By far the biggest gaffe however is having Sid Haig play Rudy’s father. Black dad, white son? Am I the only one who sees the problem with that? Then there’s a different actress made up to look like Ona Grauer, a character who appears to be lesbian throughout, suddenly announcing she fancies a bit of the male lead, and all kinds of terrible moments to look forward to.

The film’s saving graces are the good solid effects work and its cast, particularly Emmanuelle Vaugier and Victoria Pratt. Without them, this could have been even worse than the original…at least that was technically competent.

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