It’s been a while since I reviewed anything, but I jumped
at the chance when I heard that, without my help, one of hybridmagazine’s
loyal readers might actually go see this sad, sad excuse for
a horror film. It was held back from release by several studios
who sold it back and forth, and they had good reason. Not
that I dislike Rob Zombie. In interviews, Rob Zombie
is intelligent, interesting, and funny—the perfect dinner
party guest. I just hate his movie.
Take all of the ingredients for a good grinder flick. You
know, four lost young folks, a creepy old house, lots of backwoods
hicks, preferably related, with a taste for mayhem and other
kinky stuff, and a raft of bizarre basements, subterranean
passages, and graveyards with all the trimmings. Then do nothing
interesting with them. You get the idea.
Zombie (should I call him Rob?) starts off well with Captain
Spaulding (Haig) setting the over-the-top creepshow
stage for our four 20-somethings. A little effort was made
to give them motivation for their massively stupid decisions,
and things looked like they might be fun in a totally predictable
sort of way. Baby (Moon) shows up with the T&A
factor, getting the rapt attention of the males in the audience.
And then it all falls apart.
Only one of the four victims—let’s call them cattle or prey—was
even likeable, much less sympathetic. I think this tactic
backfired when I found myself happy every time one of them
died because it meant we were that much closer to the end.
The clan of evildoers all talk in clichés and act in worse
clichés. I kept hoping at some point that something would
happen instead of just sliding into the next scene, but House
Of 1000 Corpses just moves along without tension or climaxes
until the last girl finally lives or dies. I honestly don’t
remember—that’s how little I cared.
How was the acting? It’s so hard to tell how good an actor
is when he has nothing to work with. Nuff said.
Were the sets cool? Of course! It was like the greatest heavy
metal video set of all time. Someone else might have done
something truly disturbing. Could this movie have been good?
Maybe with better editing? I don’t think so. It’s possible
that Zombie forced them to edit his movie this badly, but
I honestly believe his poor editors had nothing to work with.
A pity, really. Somebody put a lot of money into making this
movie look cool. It’ll make a great film to have on in the
background and mostly ignore at a party. That should iron
out the worst of its problems. Just be ready when someone
says, “Hey, this looks cool. Let’s turn on the sound.” It’s
the devil talking, and he must be stopped at all costs.