House of 1000 Corpses

Welcome to the mad world of Rob Zombie. “House of 1000 Corpses” is like a twisted, demented horror ride at an amusement park and Rob Zombie takes you for the ride of your life. It is an extended music video, with red neck serial killers and a great soundtrack. Say hello, to the 21st century version of “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.” It is sick, demented and filled with dark humour. Enter the world of the Firefly family.

It is October 30th in the 1970s and two young couples are traveling across the US, in search of offbeat road side attractions. The vehicle stops at an odd looking gas station where they meet the crazy but charismatic Captain Spaulding (Sid Haig), who plays the scariest clown since “It”. There they learn of the legend of Dr. Satan while riding the Murder Ride, an attraction at the funky gas station. The foursome is lured into the world of death and mayhem and leave Captain Spaulding with a peaked interest in learning more about the murderous doctor.

Upon leaving the gas station the weather takes a turn for the worse and driving becomes quite difficult. They drive by a woman who is wet from the rain and hitchhiking home alone. They pick her up and soon experience car problems. The group later learns this gorgeous vixen with an obnoxiously scary laugh is Baby Firefly (Sheri Moon Zombie) Baby baits the group into the Firefly house to wait out the weather and attempt to fix their car. The consequences of their decision to go with Baby are dire. As the night turns into day, the group is welcomed into the strange sadistic and erotic world of the Fireflies.

“House of 1000 Corpses” introduces you to the Firefly family and shows us what they are capable of. It is the first full length film created and directed by Rob Zombie, the follow up to the film is “The Devils Rejects” (2005). The biggest difference between the two films is that “House of 1000 Corpses” is witnessed through the view of the victim. We see the four victims being hurled into sadistic mayhem and watch them squirm and attempt to escape the occult they find themselves in. “The Devils Rejects” is witnessed through the villain’s eyes; we get to know the background to what makes this sick family tick. I think you get a better appreciation for “The Devils Rejects” having watched “House of 1000 Corpses” because you see into their world before hand and realize what they can do.

Mother Firefly (Karen Black) is the Lady of the house and quintessential whore, who has produced many children from her Johns to add to her murderous cult. She dresses like a madam in a Bordello. Otis Driftwood (Bill Mosley), one of Mother Firefly’s presumed offspring, is the leader of the household. He has long scraggly hair and gangly pale limbs and executes as one of the creepiest villains I have ever seen in a film. He is a cross between Johnny Winter and Charles Manson.

The film attempts to be as grotesque as strange as it can be. When you think the movie can’t get any weirder, it does and goes further. The death sequences are elaborate and well defined. Rob Zombie has no qualms about showing gore.

Sheri Moon Zombie delivers one of my favourite death sequences of all time, when she chases after one of their victims dressed in a bunny suit. She conveys this sense of sexual desire as she penetrates them with a knife. It is completely disturbing and so cool how it comes off. It is a brilliantly executed scene.

What I love about Rob Zombie’s style is how much attention to detail he pays. He thinks about everything. There is a vintage feel to the film, the costumes and props feel authentically time appropriate. The dirty, grungy feeling is accentuated by the dark colours the movie is filmed in. The putrid shades of brown, red and green that add to the sick feeling you get and only get more intense as the movie gets stranger.

There are “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” elements in the film and you can see where Rob Zombie was inspired by the film but it is not a cookie cutter replica of the 1974 movie. I personally do not see anything wrong with being inspired by a classic film.

“House of 1000 Corpses” grabs you by the scruff of your neck from the beginning of the film and does not let go until the credits roll up. It is a heart pounding, edge of your seat adrenaline rush. After watching the film many times, I appreciate the film on other levels including its comic like feel, its effective dark humour and amazing soundtrack.

Moral of the story: never pick up hitchhikers.

Cheers

Crestfallen

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~ by exploitnation on June 17, 2008.

16 Responses to “House of 1000 Corpses”

  1. i can’t believe you failed to mention that the two male leads in the film are fucking Chris “MTV Vee-Jay/Singled Out host” Chris Hardwick and Rainn “Dwight from the Office” Wilson.

  2. I remember there being much talk about Zombie´s “Director´s cut” of this film. I believe it was shown at Sitges and some other festivals. I wonder if we´ll ever get to see that one. Any way you look at it, it´s still a pretty cool film. Zombie needs to lay off the music and start directing full-time.

  3. sans Halloween.

    Dimension gave him a two picture deal due to the success of Halloween.

    i can’t wait to see what they tell him to make next.

  4. I remember that back when it was announced that Zombie was going to remake “Halloween”, I had many discussions with a couple of friends regarding this. My friend was extremely sceptic about the decision to remake Carpenter´s classic, while I had a little more faith in Zombie. Anyhow, we started discussing films that would actually benefit from being remade and one of my dream-films would be a remake of “Motel Hell”, directed by Zombie. Don´t get me wrong, I absolutely love the original and think that Rory Calhoun is great as farmer Vincent but I think that it´s that sort of material that Zombie was born to direct. Imagine the cast and I´m pretty certain that he could compile a great soundtrack with raw, gritty country songs along the lines of Hank III. Maybe get some country singers to do some murder ballads and horror themed songs. I´d definitely watch that film.
    Unfortunately, they are remaking “Motel Hell” according to imdb but it doesn´t have any information about writer or director.
    i guess what I´m trying to say is that, yeah I can´t wait to see what Dimension springs upon him next. I´m not too thrilled about the animated film that´s coming up…

  5. I like the el superbeasto comics…I don’t like that zombie has to include all his idols (foree, mosley, danning, kier) in all his shitty movies.

    -Charlie

  6. I don’t watch the office..sorry CB geez

    I’ll still aching to see another Firefly movie; maybe who knows. It could happen!

  7. What’s wrong with including a bunch of great actors in his movie family, Mosley, Foresythe, Haig, they’re the shit! I dislike the fact Sheri is in all his flick, except for the fact she’s great eye candy.

  8. I didn’t make the office comment. I am more upset that no one remembers the tv show SHIPMATES.

    I think the main thing that is wrong in including all these actors is the fact that gullible people like me watch his movies BECAUSE he is throwing all these names into his films, and then turning out a shitty product.

    Truthfully, I kind of like house of 1000 corpses, but I think it’s sad that his peak was his first film…

    …and his music blows.

    …and my band broke up.

    …and his wife is ugly.

    …and his music blows.

    …and shipmates was a great show.

    …and his music blows.

    -Charlie

  9. dude JC…lay off of him……he’s just human….THAN HUMAN…MORE HUMAN THAN HUMAN…

    j/k his peak was House of 1000 Corpses and Devil’s Rejects.

  10. Who is JC?

    I can’t stand the devil’s rejects. Why I DO like House of 1000 corpses is because I think it is kind of done in fun. The Devil’s Rejects is just so fucking serious…it’s a bummer.

    Charlie

  11. What’s wrong with being serious? I mean not all movies can be as serious as Teen Wolf..

    Seriously though – I think DR is an interesting other side look at the same kind of story. I’m glad RZ did not do the same thing as H1000C

  12. i think CB was hoping Devil’s Rejects would be a little more in the vain of Screwballs.

  13. Nothing is wrong with being serious. It’s just that h1000c wasn’t serious, and I kind of liked that. I was expecting the same with DR and was bummed it wasn’t.

    I like things to be pigeonholed, categorized and bland. Call me crazy.

    -CB

    ps. my cat agrees so there.

  14. Fair enough – I don’t like cliche and the expected. The fact DR was so different than H1000C was a huge attraction for me. I don’t want to watch the same movie twice.

  15. Ok, here is how I think about it.

    H1000C is like a Rob Zombie video. Horror-ish but fun at the same time. Imagery comparable to EC comics and the like. It obviously has serious tones to it, but for the most part-you could find yourself giggling at the “shocking” stuff.

    DR to me is comparable to Last House on the Left in it’s tone. It’s not fun, it’s not a good time, but unlike Last House on the Left I find it’s “shocking” stuff there just for the sake of shock value.

    …and then came a little movie called Halloween…

    the only redeeming quality…danielle harris.

  16. So how do you really feel?

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