House of 1000 Corpses
I saw House of 1000 Corpses and The Devil's Rejects back to back on a Sunday night. House of 1000 Corpses satisfied one of the needs I have in movie-going now: it was different from anything else I'd ever seen. While it certainly paid homage to The Texas Chainsaw Massacre school of filmmaking, it certainly put its own spin on the artform.
House of 1000 Corpses is about two teenage couples on a road trip who fall afoul of a family of serial killers after exploring a sinister clown's museum of the macabre. The serial killer family (The Firefly family) torture, degrade, and utterly foul their victims in a bizarre comedy of horrors that is surprisingly gruesome. Even an old cynic like me occasionally was more than a little aghast at their behavior.
Sid Haig's performance as the evil, bearded, fried-chicken-cooking clown was brilliantly funny and creepy at the same time. Sheri Moon Zombie is beautiful and eerie at the same time, and Bill Moseley portrays his serial killer as a demented madman that's utterly terrifying because he's probably closer to the truth of serial killers in his portrayal than most. Moseley's character is no urbane, sympathetic Hannibal Lector; he's a twisted, sinister, ugly misshapen beast of a man.
This was Rob Zombie's debut as a feature film director, and the movie was so out-of-the-ordinary and offensive that Universal backed out of distributing the picture. Luckily, Lion's Gate picked it up and ran with it. Zombie's direction is stylish and unusual. No matter how offensive or gruesome this film might get, it's never dull.
I'm not sure I can recommend House of 1000 Corpses to most movie-watchers. Unless you're a fan of this genre, you probably won't like the movie. It's disturbing, it's gruesome, and most of the characters have no redeeming qualities, even the victims. There's no happy ending to look forward to in this film either.
On the other hand, if you loved all the Texas Chainsaw Massacre movies, you'll probably enjoy this too. I enjoyed watching it, but I don't know that it's a movie I need to see more than once though.
Copyright 2005, Rob Zombie Movies. All Rights Reserved.