Welcome back to the Week of Rockin’ Movies. Each movie we take a look at this week will have a significant connection to rock music. If you missed Monday’s installment, click below.
MONDAY: House of 1000 Corpses (2003)
THE DEVIL’S REJECTS (2005 Lionsgate)
Directed by Rob Zombie
As stated yesterday, I’m generally not a horror movie guy. I grew up on all the classics (good or bad) in the 80’s, but I thought I just outgrew the genre. Then I saw Rob Zombie’s House Of 1000 Corpses, and its sequel The Devil’s Rejects.
Picking up several months after the end of Corpses, the cops are closing in on the murderous Firefly family. The house is surrounded, and a surprisingly cool gun battle ensues. It is only the first of many surprises in this cool conclusion. It may be a sequel, but its stark realistic texture is completely different from the bizarre original film. Set mostly outdoors in the deep south, the titular Rejects are soon on the run. But not all of them.
Mama Firefly (recast from Karen Black to Leslie Easterbrook) has been arrested. Rufus is dead, and the giant Tiny has escaped. Hitting the road, Baby & Otis meet up with Captain Spaulding, who is revealed to be Baby’s daddy! The three are on the run from a cop out to even a personal score. Like something out of a Sergio Leone film, music and scenery complement each other to take you on a trip that will shock and disgust. There are no heroes, only victims and killers. This is not for everyone.
There are buckets full of blood, lots of parts removed from the body to which they were originally attached, and lots of deeds beyond evil. I must stress again: This is not for everyone. The images contained herein will disturb. You may question why they even need to exist. I suppose Rob Zombie would be the guy to ask, I don’t know. All I know is, sometimes I can go for a good horror movie, and The Devil’s Rejects scratches the itch.
Much like the original, there is humour to break up the carnage. Cranked up a tad, Captain Spaulding portrayed by Sid Haig always has a foul line to elicit a reluctant chuckle. I enjoyed that, but I also enjoyed the sudden change of gears that is the epic ending. Going out in a blaze of glory, I will never hear Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Free Bird” again without seeing the three faces of the Devil’s Rejects.
As seen here, I own this movie with House of 1000 Corpses in a great DVD 3-pack. The disc has plenty of special features on its own, including a tribute to the late actor Matthew McGrory (Tiny). Also look for a cool deleted scene with Rosario Dawson and Dr. Satan that ties the two films together. Included on the bonus third disc is a feature called 30 Days in Hell, which is the making of The Devil’s Rejects. I enjoyed seeing Zombie work on the finer details; for example finding a specific T-shirt (Cheap Trick) for Brian Posehn’s roadie character.
4/5 stars, and 1 blood-splattered face.
Sid Haig as Johnny Lee Johns
Bill Moseley as Otis Driftwood
Sheri Moon Zombie as Vera-Ellen Firefly
William Forsythe as Sheriff John Quincey Wydell
Ken Foree as Charlie Altamont
Matthew McGrory as Tiny Firefly
Leslie Easterbrook as Gloria Firefly
Danny Trejo as Rondo
Diamond Dallas Page as Billy Ray Snapper
Brian Posehn as Jimmy
Tom Towles as George Wydell
Tyler Mane as Rufus “RJ” Firefly Jr