Doghouse, which was called Zombie Harlem in Japan (I can’t tell if that’s better or worse), is a British horror-comedy that’s been resting in my Netflix queue for the better part of two years. One of those films that sounds interesting, but has an air of uncertain quality about it.
The official synopsis goes a little something like this: a group of men head to a remote village to help their friend get over a divorce, only to find it overrun with women who hunger for flesh. Sounds titillating right? And by titillating, I mean it should have a lot of boobs in it, right? And carnage? And death?
Correct! That’s what it sounds like. But that’s not what it is.
Not counting the zombie gals, we see approximately four humans get killed.
There’s plenty of gore strewn about, a few dead bodies, some disemboweled animals, a lot of stabbings, and a couple of fingers get eaten. The greatest bit of gore is when a head gets hit with an ax.
We see a woman in lingerie and later there are some dead, naked boobs, but the women are surprisingly unattractive throughout. Missed opportunity if there ever was one.
Don’t be an idiot.
Right from the start Doghouse wants you to compare it to Evil Dead II. It does this by having a character work at a comic book shop that is full of memorabilia from the films. The zombie bitches even have a Deadite look to them and beyond your basic zombie skills, these slags almost all use a weapon of some sort, from swords to scissors to axes.
The film spends a lot of time not killing any characters, content to have them be chased around in an almost Three Stooges manner. This is never funny enough or violent enough to be entertaining. The characters of Doghouse also spend a lot of time not easily escaping the situation. For some reason they never really attempt to kill any of the creatures trying to kill them, rather they’re just fine with bouncing golf balls off of them and running around in circles.
This is seriously perhaps the easiest situation to escape from possible. There is literally a bus, with the keys in it, just sitting there. Obstacle: one zombie woman in it. However, we’ve seen that these zombies are pretty stupid and also really ineffective at killing people. When our heroes go for the bus, a few more ladies have hidden on board, so instead of killing them they run away. Later, when the zombies we know were on the bus are no longer on the bus, the gang still makes no attempt to escape.
You’d think the timely, and late, arrival of another friend in a rental car would afford them a chance to escape, but you see, the car is small! Really small! But let’s ask a question – if undead women were trying to eat you piece by piece, wouldn’t you shove as many people into the car as you can? Hell, I’d hang on the roof rack and just drive out of town. You don’t even have to close the doors if that makes more room.
When it comes down to it, the characters of Doghouse are perhaps the dumbest characters in any horror movie ever. Not only do they fail to just easily drive out of the situation, they later, after finally watching a few friends die, basically play games in front of the zombies, courting more disaster.
Doghouse could have been great. It could have killed a lot of people throughout the film and showed a lot of hot naked women being naked.Instead, we get a whole bunch of not naked women being not naked and a ton of characters not dying or doing anything interesting for the bulk of the runtime.
If you decide to stream this flick, you’ll recognize several of the actors, who I’m not even going to bother naming since you won’t give a shit about any of them anyways and they won’t do anything to entertain you throughout. Oh okay, it stars Stephen Graham (Snatch) and Danny Dyer (Severance) and is from director Jake West (Evil Aliens).
After a somewhat promising introduction, Doghouse can only be considered a failure in terms of horror, gore, comedy, and intelligent characters by the time the credits roll.