The Devil's Rejects

Gonna be another short one; I had a bad week at the movies. I've really been looking forward to this one for quite some time. I thought "House of 1000 Corpses" was really warped and strangely different than most slasher flicks; especially the last 20 or 30 minutes. Too bad this sequel did not deliver. I had heard in the days before actually seeing this film that it was brutal as hell and twisted. I did not find it to be that exactly (compared to other films). I actually thought it was just another version of "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" that took forever to get going. We follow the same family of psychotic killers as they run from the cops (who are on them partly because of a personal vendetta). They take hostages and kill along the way, but not in any more brutal or original of fashion as might be on a TV show late at night on TCM. The brutality and atrocities are inferred and mentioned, but never really shown (I know I know, I'm sick). There were scenes in "Passion of the Christ" and "Saving Private Ryan" that were more...intense or brutal; although admittedly maybe not as twisted.

     The way Zombie shocks us in this one is by adding in the element of sexual deviancy. I was expecting a little more effort from Mr. Zombie to be quite honest. After the menacing...whatever they were at the end of "1000 Corpses," I thought we'd be in for a real sick treat. Unfortunately it's just another horror movie with the same types of characters and predictability of "Chainsaw Massacre" and "The Hills Have Eyes" to name just a couple. Which brings up the point of acting. Now, I don't expect oscar-worthy performances in a film such as this, but it's not even close to being believable. There are a few faces that you will recognize from other, mostly campy, B films (Priscilla Barnes of "Three's Company" fame and Danny Trejo among others). You can just tell that all these people are good friends and are just having fun with their hobby of acting and film making.

     It's really too bad. I enjoy Rob Zombie's music and his twisted view of what entertainment should be. I hate to rip him, but this was just not a very good movie. Instead of making an original Rob Zombie movie, he makes a movie only hell-bent (pardon the pun) on paying homage to cheesy 70's horror films. My anticipation was there and that might've contributed to my let-down, but it was just so worthless that I wish I hadn't spent the money. It probably would actually be better as a rental. Having said all that, I'm sure die-hard Rob Zombie or slasher fans will end up owning it and it will be an instant killer cult classic among those of that ilk.

     Although I wouldn't go as far as the last two sentences suggest, here is how I would sum it all up; from film critic, James Berardinelli:

     "Aside from its poor production values, horrendous acting, and ignoble morality, The Devil's Rejects isn't engaging cinema. Even if the simple act of sitting in a movie theater watching people get hacked up for 90 minutes doesn't bother you, the dullness and repetition is likely to. The ending is a cataclysmic misfire - not only is it drawn out and self-indulgent (cut down on the slow-motion!), but it robs viewers of a chance at a catharsis and re-enforces the argument that Zombie's lone point was to create mayhem. The Devil's Rejects doesn't just deserve to be rejected, but to be buried in a hole so dank that no one will discover it. Only there will it be at home."

Official page of The Devil's Rejects
Rob Zombie on iTunes