STARS/**** Image B Sound A- Extras B+
starring Jonathan Cherry, Tyron Leitso, Clint Howard, Ona Grauer
screenplay by Dave Parker & Mark Altman
directed by Uwe Boll
by Walter Chaw With Jürgen Prochnow (the production too cheap and/or ignorant to provide him even his umlaut in the closing credits) dressed like his Das Boot U-boat commander and Clint Howard dressed like the Morton's fisherman, Uwe Boll's wearying House of the Dead positions itself as one of those snarky post-modern slasher flicks that isn't nearly so smart as it thinks it is. An early gag about Prochnow's sea captain being named "Kirk" is one of those lifeless jokes that speaks to the desperation and incompetence driving the piece in equal measure; sad to say that after its unpromising opening minutes, the film defies the odds by getting progressively worse. I don't really know how House of the Dead found distribution--pictures piggybacking on the success of both a video game franchise and another film that piggybacked on a video game franchise (Resident Evil) usually go straight to video. But as one of the death rattles of Artisan Entertainment, 'nuff said, I guess.