Howdy there, Scream Freaks! Y’all remember a long time ago when the horror community was buzzin’ with all this hype over a film bein’ made that was promoted as the be all end all event of horror hall of famers? Just like The Expendables gave audiences an excuse to see their favorite action heroes of yesteryear packed into one thrill seekin’ blowout from the retirement home, Death House promised to rally just as many villains of horrors past on a scale even Rob Zombie would be intimidated to attempt. For months, fans like us cheered to watch this highly anticipated mash-up, growin’ more anxious with every delay that prevented its widespread release. Finally, after a year or more of impatience, Death House finally saw the light of day . . . and we’ve never been more regretful!Here’s what little bit of plot we managed to recognize in this shitstorm – There’s an hush hush underground super prison packed with the world’s most evil bein’s, someone engineers a prison break, and fresh fish Kane Hodder leads an army of forgettable extras to meet the baddest super villains of them all in the pit of the facility. In the meantime, the stars are supposed to be these two nobody agents fightin’ to escape the chaos, shatterin’ any sense of story with every scene they’re in. This mess doesn’t just fall short of the hype surroundin’ it – it belly flops in the shallow end of WTF! For all its efforts, this problematic flick feels like it was abandoned after the filmmakers took their first swing at a rough cut with run on scenes, criminally underdeveloped characters, a scattered script, confusin’ action, a non-existent score, and shoddy effects that include a lot of green screen misfires. Most these sours can be overlooked so long as the movie’s entertainin’, but the poor storytellin’ and shitty editin’ robbed it of that.

The biggest short comin’ regardin’ the story has got to be its abysmal attempt at settin’ up its central characters, Kane and the two agents. When the movie opens, Kane is tryin’ to influence Agent Eye Candy to shoot innocent people in some kind of VR simulation for unknown reasons, but she turns on him and sends the sucker on his merry way to the Death House. As Kane’s bein’ processed for his new digs, Agent Eye Candy meets Agent Buff Stuff, and they’re given what seems like multiple tours of the facility with awkward shower breaks in between ’til an attack on Death House in the second act derails their sight seein’. At this point, we don’t have a clue what Kane’s deal is much less how or why he’s a bad guy. There’s no clear understandin’ what his relationship is with Agent Eye Candy, and she and Agent Buff Stuff share these fake lookin’ VR backstories that tease us with Matrix bullshit, questionin’ what’s real or possibly a computerized trainin’ exercise. But, much like the details to whoever planned the attack on Death House, this hinted twist at a mulligan endgame is never revisited, and we blindly barrel on through the movie one confusin’ scene at a time.

Besides a lack of character development, Kane and the agents’ motives are sorely missin’ as well. It’s easy enough to understand everyone would be fightin’ each other to escape Death House when shit hits the fan, but why do the agents think their salvation lies in askin’ Death House’s worst inmates, the Five Evils, for help? Doesn’t that make the run of the mill psychos more evil if the agents are more afraid of them than the posse made up of folks who are seen as threats to the world? It’s even more mind numbin’ when Kane leads a homicidal exodus to these Five Evils, revealin’ he’s some kind of follower at the last minute who wants to join their club. Was this always the game plan from the moment he was captured? Was he the one who hired the Nazi dumpster youth to shove an EMP in a guard and shut down Death House so he could beg to join the Legion of Doom in their basement of existential babblin’? Spoiler alert – we never find out!

There’s a lot of cinematic sins this film commits, but these issues we have with the story and its characters are the only ones we find inexcusable, next to the agents shootin’ wildy at a CGI elevator shaft they’re flyin’ down while a metal tune blasts the speakers off our walls at 11. It’s upsettin’ ’cause this movie has such potential but just doesn’t live up to any of it. In an effort for damage control, we personally would have looked to movies like Escape from L.A., Demolition Man, and Con Air for a storytellin’ blue print, cut down a lot of the philosophical nonsense, and toss most of the VR stuff out. If we had our way, the agents would be newbies at Death House, shit breaks thanks to the Five Evils tryin’ to escape, and the agents would team up with super powered Kane, an reformed anti-hero inmate with a heart of gold, who halfheartedly helps them escape while stoppin’ the Five Evils and their armies of crazies.

But what do we know . . . we like killer tomato movies!

Other than that, be sure to catch up on all past Screaming Soup! Seasons, check out this week’s Howl’n Hottie, read recent reviews for the newer horror films and comics we’re checkin’ out in our blogs, R-Rated Reviews and Sequential Slime, and help us get the word out about the web’s #1 animated horror host show! Please use our social buttons in the upper right corner of the site and follow our tweets, subscribe to our video channels, like our Facebook, watch and share all our vids, and keep that fan mail comin’. You can also warm up some Screaming Soup! leftovers with reruns currently playin’ on Beta Max TV and Sluggo’s The Vortexx!

For all you fearmakers out there workin’ on your next scary feature, remember to shoot it our way as an entry in our Scream Freak Film Contest! Three winners will be reviewed in our 50th episode and promoted to all the Scream Freaks lookin’ for the next big thing Hollywood’s too scared to capitalize on. The deadline is open ’til we publish our 49th episode!

And remember to deface your calendars for Screaming Soup!’s first official convention appearance at Mad Monster Party Carolina Feb. 22-24 2019 where you can meet and greet the talents behind your favorite animated horror host show for free autographs!

See ya later, Scream Freaks!

TwitterFacebook Youtube