Director – Rob Zombie
Cast – Sid Haig, Bill Mosely, Sheri Moon Zombie, William Forsythe, Ken Foree, Matthew McGrory, Leslie Easterbrook, Geoffrey Lewis, Priscilla Barnes, Dave Sheridan, Kate Norby, Lew Temple, Danny Trejo, Dallas Page
Release Year – 2005
Reviewed by John of the Dead
Two years after the moderate success of his debut film House of 1000 Corpses, musician turned director Rob Zombie gave us his best effort to date, The Devil’s Rejects. Probably the grittiest film and most reminiscent of the exploitation flicks of the 70s, this flick gives viewers a fun and brutal experience we seldom get in films these days. Some may refer to Rob Zombie as a hack(I sometimes do), but this flick is epic.
This sequel to House of 1000 Corpses brings back Otis(Bill Mosely), Baby(Sherri Moon Zombie), and the always lovable Captain Spaulding(Sid Haig) and their usual joyous gimmicks. Sheriff Wydel(William Forsyth) is out for blood on the gang after they killed his brother, and is hot on their bloodbath of a trail. The Firefly(the Rejects) family will face a much stiffer battle than expected when Sheriff Wydel enlists the help of two bounty hunters to locate the family, which leads to a final and gory confrontation.
This flick really reminds me of a modern day Texas Chainsaw Massacre. No, not like the modern remake of TCM, but the ACTUAL Tobe Hooper Texas Chainsaw Massacre. The grit and brutality this film brings is very reminiscent of older exploitation flicks, which gives a feel we never get from modern horror flicks. Aiding this element is the best writing Zombie has come up with so far. He use of characters is what really sells this film. Every one of the main characters, except for Baby, has a highly enjoyable persona accompanied with some awesome dialogue and great acting. Almost as if Zombie was aiming for a Tarantino-esque use of characters, but not as awesome of course.
Zombie’s direction in this film is positive, and is also his best effort this far. I’m really glad that for the most part he used live action gore for the film, trying to keep this as close to a 70s feel as possible. If you are a gorehound as I am, you will not be disappointed. The kills are great and the Firefly family work awesomely together at giving us what we want. The pacing for the film is well done also, and only slightly drags at times. As if this flick couldn’t be anymore of a 70s shoutout, it takes place in the era and is accompanied by a pretty sweet 70s-esque musical score. Fans of anything Southern will enjoy this flick as well.
I only have one major complaint for this film, and it is Sherri Moon Zombie. I cannot fully explain to you how bad and unreal her acting performance was for this film. All of the main actors put on great performances, except for her. I found her highly annoying and unbelievable in EVERY single scene she was in. I felt bad for Guy Ritchie when he married Madonna, but WOW, Rob Zombie has taken his spot in my mind.
Overall, this is an awesome flick that I recommend to all horror fans. Those who love the old exploitation flicks from decades ago will enjoy this piece and it’s awesome feel towards that sub-genre.
– I ranked this film #40 in my Top 50 Horror Movies of the Decade(31-40) post.