When the police catch up to the Firefly clan, they are faced with a literal house of horrors, with decaying corpses strewn about like so much garbage. Despite a furious firefight, in which Otis (Bill Mosley), and Baby (Sheri Moon Zombie), escape and join up with Captain Spaulding (Sid Haig), the clan’s patriarch. Our trio of thrills killers’ latest spree is interrupted by Sheriff Wydell (William Forsythe), a lawman with more than justice on his mind.
Remember, the key thing is to just blend in...
'House of 1000 Corpses,' Rob Zombie’s, initial foray into filmmaking, was the recipient of some of the most scathing reviews in recent years. Unfortunately (or fortunately depending on who you talk to) it is one of those movies that never made it onto my radar, but it must have made some money at the box office or in rentals, as he somehow managed to get the green light for a sequel. Regardless, it was obviously decided that “House of 1000 Corpses 2” wasn’t exactly a big selling point and the title was changed.
'The Devils Rejects' is Zombie’s homage to the 1970’s ultraviolent exploitation horror flick, most of which never saw life beyond the drive-in (today they’d be known as straight-to-video fare). Zombie populates his movie with a veritable who’s who of 70’s fixtures: 'Three’s Company’s Priscilla Barnes, 'Too Close For Comfort’s Deborah Van Valkenberg, porn star Ginger Lynn, wrestler Diamond Dallas Paige, and retinue of B movie actors, including horror movie staple freak Michael Berryman. Trying to figure out where I had seen the actors was by far the most entertaining component of the movie for me. Beyond the cast, Zombie makes use of recent cinema-verite techniques, including bouncing camera shots, fuzzy video, and faux newscasts, that help to maintain that 70’s feel. A little too well as it turns out.
Like the very movies it’s modeled after, the 'Devil’s Rejects' has a free flowing throwaway storyline that makes little sense, and characters that are either so bland or loathsomely irredeemable that you can’t be bothered to care about any of them. With regards to the dialogue, I have a piece of advice for Mr. Zombie – invest in a thesaurus! I hated the constant flow of four letter words, not out of any reasons of morality, rather I found it to be frighteningly unimaginative and downright boring. As for the reviews I’ve read that take Zombie to task for the violent content, I’m somewhat confused – while there are indeed several potentially disturbing scenes, they were no worse than those showcased in legions of slasher flicks. Finally, the ending is particularly confusing, as it seems to suggest that the movie’s antagonists are somehow reformed, when clearly they aren’t.
I think 'The Devil’s Rejects' has a future as a novelty rental for people who want to test their 70’s knowledge. Other than that, I predict a quick disappearing act.