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My favourite director is Eli Roth -- because he's awesome. I don't care what you think about that.
I recently graduated university with a degree in English Literature and Cultural Criticism. I write, compulsively, and for an increasingly long list of magazines and websites. I can almost justify calling myself a "freelance film critic".
I've worked on two short student movies, one of which I wrote, directed and edited, as well as doing camera work and acting. This tends to make me pretentious about filmmaking, even though I'm really, really not entitled to be.
I still haven't entirely learned that arguing on the internet makes you a spaz.
Disturbing? Yes. Worth watching? Not so much.
Sadly, I had the misfortune of seeing this movie at FrightFest 2006. Essentially, it boils down to an hour and 39 minutes of a woman screaming, with some random, badly thought through gore thrown in, seemingly at random. The same torture sequence (which could well be a Saw outtake) is repeated multiple times, and while intestines are undoubtedly unpleasant, the impact is lessened each time; it's just sadistic for the sake of it, without any intelligence or humour to back up the violence.
There's something immature about the whole business -- it's mindless, the plot is non-existent and full of gaping holes (apparently half the movie was re-shot, which might explain why it doesn't make any sense). Broken feels like a ten minute short dragged slowly and painfully out to almost ten times that length, with clunky dialogue, poor acting, and generally no redeeming features whatsoever. Gracelessly shot, even the micro-budget doesn't excuse the complete hash of a movie the filmmakers made of this.
House of the Dead (2003)
Possibly the most entertaining zombie movie ever.
There are two factors working against House of the Dead from the outset. Firstly, it's the back story for the game of the same name, and computer game movies are notoriously awful. Secondly, it's a zombie movie, and, say what you like about Romero's brilliant social commentary, zombie movies are inherently trashy. House of the Dead's zombie infested island is instantly reminiscent of Lucio Fulci's Zombie Flesh Eaters, and when a girl unwisely ventures into the ocean clad in only a thong, an underwater confrontation between a zombie and a shark seems inevitable. Instead, she's merely one in a long line of girls to get gratuitously naked before being eaten alive -- but after all, isn't that what you want in a horror movie? There's nothing clever about House of the Dead, but you wouldn't want there to be. After piles of precious "thrillers", it's good to see a horror movie that isn't ashamed to be a horror movie. The plot -- teenagers at a rave on an island get attacked by the living dead -- is pretty straightforward, in spite of the rather convoluted story about Spanish pirates creating the elixir of life, which allows the action to take centre stage. And so it should, because these action scenes are pretty damned impressed. Director Uwe Boll packs a record number of cuts into a very short time frame, which, though not quite the mark of genius he might have been hoping, is certainly a one-of-a-kind achievement. Using hundreds of cameras and special rotating equipment, the film is packed with spinning shots, which evoke exactly the air of a computer game.
House of the Dead really revels in the ridiculous; references range from Lord of the Rings to Gone with the Wind; "Captain Kirk" commands the Lazarus V; and a starred-and-striped Spandex catsuit clad "Liberty" is anything but all-American: and this is the beauty of it. The whole production feels like an elaborate joke between the filmmakers and their audience -- sadly, it's a joke most people don't seem to have appreciated. Lighten up and see House of the Dead for what it is: one of the most entertaining zombie movies of all time.