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House of Blood - Kino Grozy - DVD Print E-mail
User Rating: / 3
Written by Jay Creepy   
Monday, 24 November 2014


AKA: Olaf Ittenbach’s House of Blood, Chain Reaction, House of Horrors, Zombie Onslaught.

Directed by:
Olaf Ittenbach
Written by:
Olaf Ittenbach, Thomas Reitmair
Produced by:
Olaf Ittenbach, Hans-Arnd Jovi
Cinematography by:
Holger Fleig
Editing by:
Eckart Zerzawy
Music by:
Michael Ehninger
Special Effects by:
Olaf Ittenbach, Sandra Lipps, Ilka Kabourek, Sascha Kolmikow, Alex Lemke, Pit Rotter, and many more.
Christopher Kriesa, Marina Ittenbach, Dan van Husan, Simon Newby, Luca Maric, Jaymes Butler, Daryl Jackson, Klaus Munster, Jurgen Prochnow.
1h 42min

Distributor: Kino Grozy/Carisma Entertainment

Olaf Ittenbach, a spot on make-up artist, special effects man, but a director and writer/co-writer? We've had two bad experiences with his films before this one. The first was Legion of the Dead, a Tarantino rip but extremely gory and full on -- then pulled the 'it was all a dream' trick!!! What? Why? In fact there was a convention reported in Fangoria around the time of its release and the 'peanut crowd' said things to him like, “Did you write the script after you'd shot the movie?” Ha ha ha, to which, Olaf, microphone in hand retorted: “Fuck you.

So we bought and watched Beyond the Limits. Again, soaking wet in the gore factor, a ‘couldn't take it seriously’ story which was fun, then, oh dear, a 'look into the camera' moment. Breaking the fourth wall buggery. I've said it in a previous review for Mausoleum, it is a pet-hate, the only two people able to do it right are The Fresh Prince and Oliver Hardy!!

So we sat a little ho-hum about this third venture into Olaf's sticky red world. House of Blood, also known as Chain Reaction is a simple little tale of escaped convicts, hostages and a family living deep in the woods, all supposed to be near Seattle.

The convicts happen to be involved in a crash on a road miles away from anywhere. They're in a prison bus surrounded by guards. Most are killed in the accident but a handful survive and shoot it out with the surviving guards. Our main character is Dr. Douglas Madsen, who is haunted by the deaths of his parents and has a deep scar on his leg from the night of the tragedy. In flashbacks we see him as a child dragging his maimed leg along a road until a strange lady sees him. He is the person in the other vehicle.

A falling dead crow is shown throughout at various times to signal another tragedy, or the fact the director fancied being arty for a moment. Our orange jump suit gang take apart the guards, one's jaw is ripped to pieces, another is forced to radio through to their destination and lie to delay back-up, before having his head gorily blasted. One fella has his head literally exploded by a shotgun.

The main convict is called Arthur, he's hot headed and trigger happy. His brother, Spence has been shot in the arm, so it's lucky for them that their hostage is a doctor. After they've changed into the guards uniforms -- which incidentally fit them to perfection -- they retire into the surrounding woodlands. The other two escaped prisoners are Steve, who's big, bald and black, and has a tattoo on his forehead, and Vince, smaller with a deep Euro accent. (Jaymes Butler, who plays Steve, has appeared in Resident Evil and Mission Impossible 3, as well as Glee, usually in small parts, and Christopher Kriesa who plays Dr. Doug, has had a very long career ranging from the original Karate Kid, Dallas, Shocker, Eve of Destruction -- which I reviewed, The Dentist... and so many more. He also portrayed Psycho Mike in Olaf's Legion of the Dead....uuuh)

Flashback to the falling dead crow, the crash, then back to the woods and a huge debate between Dr. Doug and Arthur as to whether Spence should go to a hospital. “The only hospital willing to take him would be a maximum penitentiary!” shouts Arthur. “I'm not going back to that shithole.” snarls Spence eventually and that seems to decide it. So Doug decided they need shelter if he's to remove the bullet. Arthur spends most of his part in the film yelling, threatening and aiming his gun at Doug. He finally slaps him which for some reason causes Doug to throw his medical bag into a lake. Vince really kicks off now at Arthur. Steve, for the most part, insists that Spence will be dead soon.

Flashback time again and we see more of how it all went down, including a guards head totally pulped by a rock and Vince mentions the giant odds against two vehicles colliding on such a lonely stretch of road.

Back to the now and they're walking for miles through the dense woods, through some mist, and finally see a building. Outside is a woman (who looks like the lady who helped Doug when he was a child), though he doesn't recognise her. She is cutting a lamb’s throat, draining blood, then rubbing some black muddy stuff on the wound which heels it.

Arthur gets all excited. “Please, no more violence,” Doug pleads. Arthur swears a lot in return. In fact a majority of his script is simply “Fuck!” At one point as we watched the movie, volume up, our eldest son called down the stairs. Perfectly timed, Arthur shouted; “Shut the fuck up!” to which our son replied, “That's nasty!

They home invade the church-like building and find an old world style family or gathering sat around a table. No one seems to notice they are eating bowls of raw bloody meat.  “By heavenly father, what bringeth thee, children?” asks the long haired leader of the group. They all seem to speak old world dialect. Our convicts soon take over and Dr. Doug has to convince Arthur that Spence -- who is lapsing into unconsciousness -- needs his arm amputated due to blood loss and the fact he hasn't the correct instruments to remove the bullet. He's also sick of the threats. “You wanna shoot me? Go ahead!” Arthur backs down. He orders the girl from outside to assist the removal. Her name is Alice. “Aye, by your will.” Doug is convinced the black gunk used on the lamb will also help Spence. Steve locks the rest of the family in a spare room whilst Doug hacks at Spence's arm. Afterwards, Alice sees a cross around Doug's neck, a cross she gave him as a child. It dawns on her who he is so she starts pleading with them all to leave, and that it's not safe.

Soon enough, Vince finds a family member chewing on Spence's severed arm. “Crazy man! He ate Spence's arm!” he runs to Steve. Suddenly the family are changing into flesh eating creatures who spout prayers and biblical quotes in demonic slow voices. Bullets slow them down, but not for long. It's a slaughterhouse! Arthur and Steve put up a good fight, but ultimately end up as meat.

Alice meanwhile helps Doug escape. She is caught by her group, Doug runs and runs, and is found by the police. Enter Jurgen (Das Boot, Judge Dredd, House of the Dead) Prochnow, in a cameo role as an interrogating officer. This interrogation is a complete irritation. Instead of it being in a single part, the creators decide to spread it through the rest of the movie for no reason. Doug's telling him simply what we've seen already. It's a headfuck.

Whilst his guiltiness is undecided, Doug is plopped into a prison bus with a mob of angry looking convicts. He sits next to a big bald guy who sports an extremely large vocabulary. His name is Paul Anderson (big LOL's) and of course the dead crow falls, the bus hits a woman, killing her instantly and messily, and Paul has everybody dispatch the guards quickly. This time, a large bloke called George is: “shot in the nads!” as bearded Jimmy says. Of course, Dr. Doug is required again. Paul is far more unpredictable and violent than Arthur ever was, and he quotes Roxy Music lyrics.

No, not again. It can't be.” Doug whispers. They find the same path, the same mist, and the same building. Finding Alice chained to a wall, alone, Paul has been told about the place by Doug. “I would love to meet your family.” he says. Alice scowls, “Liveth we as family, but we are not!” They're all out hunting. Alice has to help Dr. Doug again. “Maybe later, you can meet Big George,” George smiles at her.

Soon after the family return from their hunt, and all gory hell breaks loose. That's the focus point of House of Blood, the effects and gore are incredible. There are no faults anywhere. Monsters, buckets of blood, severed limbs, heads, bites, hearts torn out, exploding heads; it's all like a showcase reel. Cool.

This is by far the best we've seen of Olaf so far, considering the two turkeys we'd tried beforehand (see the beginning of this review) and for this one, he gains respect. The acting is okay to pitiful. Christopher Kriesa, Jaymes Butler, and Dan van Husan as Paul, are standouts. Simon Newby and Martina Ittenbach do become annoying after a while.

The tale is simple and has no surprises, but that's not the point. House of Blood is low budget, wet, and fun to watch. However, I have to wonder, if the 'family' are caught in the ways of old, then why do they possess a chainsaw which is just laid on the floor? An invention beyond the time they live.

Extras are rather dull; a trailer and a language option. Oh dear. Wouldn’t it have been nice to have at least one making-of possibly?



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 AUDIO: 1 
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 Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 16:9
 Region: PAL R2
 Audio: Dolby Digital Stereo 5.1

 - Trailer

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3.22 Copyright (C) 2007 Alain Georgette / Copyright (C) 2006 Frantisek Hliva. All rights reserved."

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