The Devil’s Rejects

(warning: Spoiler Alerts in closing paragraphs)

I was skeptical to watch the follow up to a House of a 1000 Corpses because of its unique feel. I was nervous that Rob Zombie would attempt to capitalize on the movie and make the same movie a second time, and not only would that ruin the first movie, the second would seem like a washed up version of the first. But when I finally watched The Devils Rejects it soon became a classic for me. It is well worth the time and is not at all like the first movie.

In House of a 1000 Corpses we witness the mayhem and destruction that the sociopathic Firefly family unleashes onto their victims. The story line is primarily viewed through the eyes of the victims and we experience with them the Firefly family’s brutality. The feel of the movie is like an extra long vamped up music video. The Devils Rejects does not take the same approach as the first movie, we view the movie through the eyes of the Firefly family. We get into their heads and see their world and by the end of the flick we end up becoming more sympathetic with the Firefly family. Maybe it is just me, but I definitely ache for the family when they end up getting tortured, even though I witnessed the sadistic shit they did. I attribute the fact that we are able to empathize with the killers because of the remarkable acting and the fact we end up seeing a more personal, non-sadistic side to the Firefly family.

The Devils Rejects has traditional ingredients for a fantastic horror movie, including interesting, memorable and detailed characters, intense gore, unnecessary violence and nudity. The fact that the sets were found as is and very little was done to add to them is also impressive. It is kind of scary that there are places out there that look the way they did without any embellishment. The detailed, dirty and authentic looking locations make the feel scarier. The movie also includes a list of amazing retro actors like Ginger Lynn (Porn Star), Leslie Easterbrook (Police Academy), Ken Foree (Dawn Of The Dead), Pricilla Barns (70’s Icon) E.G. Daily (80’s icon), Geoffrey Lewis and Michael Berryman (The Hills Have Eyes). I also love the fact Brian Posehn who is a voice on Mission Hill and is an actor on Just Shoot Me plays a small part in the movie as Jimmy the goofy roadie. The plethora of amazing characters even with the smallest roles makes the movie’s success.

The Devils Rejects revolves around four main characters in the Firefly family including: Otis Driftwood (Bill Moseley), Baby (Sheri Moon Zombie) Captain Spaulding (Sid Haig) and Mother Firefly (Leslie Easterbrook who replaced Karen Black in House of 1000 Corpses.) All of the characters are amazing and full of depth and uniqueness. Who is not creeped out by Captain Spaulding’s clown persona. Captain Spaudling along with the clown from It just furthers the fact that clowns are freaky! All the characters are all creepy in their own way. I did miss Baby’s creepy laugh.

As the movie begins the Firefly family is sleeping peacefully in their abode and is woken up by Sheriff Wydell (William Forsythe) by opening a firing squad on their house. The scene feels almost sci-fi like when the police unleash chemical warfare on them. There is an intense green fog that cloaks their house that ads this eerie feel to it. Wydell has a personal connection to the Firefly family, they have murdered his brother, George, who is also a member of the police unit. We witness his murder in House of a 1000 Corpses. I am so glad they cast William Forsythe in the movie. There is an old southern gentlemanly like charisma that he exudes. This quality is a dying trait, and few and far between so many actors.

Otis and Baby escape and Mother Firefly is captured by the police. The brother and sister team travel off to get in touch with Captain Spaulding and hide out. They decide to hide out in a motel off the beaten track. Otis and Baby break into a hotel room of Roy Sullivan (Geoffrey Lewis) and his wife Gloria Sullivan (Pricilla Barns) and Adam Banjo (Lew Temple) and wife Wendy Benjo (Kate Norby). The group are a traveling band is taken hostage is one of the most chilling scenes I have ever seen. is incredibly disturbing. The intensity of the desert heat added with the small hotel room and the psychedelic music ads to the psychologically disturbing scene. You can really feel the fear of the victims. My stomach was churning when Otis makes Gloria take her clothes off and he shoves his gun down her underwear.

I have watched The Devils Rejects more times than I can count, and there have been many times I have watched the movie with friends and they refuse to watch any further than this scene, they find it way too disturbing. The power of the scene is due to the amazing acting by all of the actors and specifically the dialogue that Otis has.

The hotel scene is followed with Otis taking Roy and Adam off into the desert to have his way with them and do who knows what to them. Bill Moseley demonstrates that he is one creepy guy. He states “I am the devil. And I am here to do the devil’s work.” I have to admit I was incredibly scared when I saw that scene. Bill pulls off a villain unlike I have ever seen. There is some sort of Charles Manson vibe I get from Otis Driftwood.

There are two divisions to the movie. The first is where the Firefly family are on the run and still in control of the situations. They inflict terror onto the Roy Sullivan band for the fun of it, much like they would have in House of a 1000 Corpses. The second half of the film is clearly different. Baby, Otis and Captain Spaulding hide out at Charlie’s place, a whore house, owned by Charlie Altamont (Ken Foree). The Firefly family now become the victims and are the hunted. We start to see the more human side of them, eating ice cream, having a party and engaging in activities which are not sadistic. We also witness Sheriff Wydell start to go mad with revenge. He hires two goons played Danny Trejo (former criminal and ultimate bad ass) and Dallas Page (wrestler) to fuck them up just enough so Wydell can piss on them. Wydell murders Mother Firefly in her jail cell in an almost sexual kind of fashion. We are unsure if he is raping her, and when the camera pulls back it is clear that he has stabbed her.

The final scene of the movie is epic in my mind. Otis, Baby and Captain Spaulding are driving on the sunny open road in a classic Cadillac convertible, awaiting their fates. They are mortally wounded and they see that ahead is a roadblock with too many police to be able to get by. They know they are fucked. Lynyrd Skynyrd, Free Bird is playing. That is the ultimate all American country, working man song. There is a feeling of unity and family when I hear that song. You see the three of them working out their family differences that they have struggled with. Otis and Captain Spaulding who have continuously argued over who is the alpha male in control finally set aside their differences and they all just pull a Bonnie and Clyde and shoot as many cops as they can before it is too late for them. They have smiles on their faces until the end.

My final note, I am crossing my fingers that Rob Zombie decides to make a third movie about the firefly family. I know, I know, how can he, err—um aren’t they all dead? Well as far as we know, Dr. Satan is still alive and Tiny may or may not be alive, we only see him go towards the Firefly house. Who else knows who is apart of the Firefly family who may pop up again, Mother Firefly was a whore. Hey – do we even know if all of them are dead? I know, I know, wishful thinking. Maybe it is best we leave it as it is. But part of me, selfishly wants to see more.

Cheers

Crestfallen

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~ by exploitnation on June 18, 2008.

12 Responses to “The Devil’s Rejects”

  1. There are so mant things that are great about this film and you´ve done a great job pointing many of them out.
    You are absolutely right about the closing scene. It´s actually kind of sad when the family´s being torn apart by bullets, despite tall the gruesome things they´ve done up to that point.
    The motel scene is pretty hard to sit through. I really like Sheri Moon´s performance in this film, and in particular in the motel scene (“Chinese, japanese, dirty knees, look at these”). I think that she´s soo much better in this one, compared to “House of 1000 corpses”. She was pretty loud & annoying in that one, but I actually think that her performance in this one works.
    However, how horrifying and gruesome the things that the Firefly family does in this film may be it is nothing, I mean NOTHING compared to the shock I got when I realized that it was EG Daily I was watching. I mean, she used to be pretty but she looked pretty freaky in this one… Those lips, man. Looked like a blowfish. What a shame.
    I still have fond memories of her as Dottie in “Pee Wee´s Big Adventure”. I´m a loner, Dottie, a rebel!

  2. EG was pretty hilarious though! I love the whole star wars theme they were going for, and she was trying to give something “spec-iale” So funny. there were some great comedic points to it which I loved.

    Is it just me, or am I the only one who sympathized with the firefly family being tortured? Okay it’s just me..I’m weird!

  3. You guys are all crazy. These films blow.
    EG Daily singing the theme song in Better Off Dead however, doesn’t blow.

    -Rob Zombie…I mean, Charlie Brown

  4. Just because you didn’t like it doesn’t mean I blew. I didn’t like the Decent but I am well aware that it was well made.

  5. No you´re not the only one, Crestfallen. In my opinion, Sid Haig is one of those actors that you can´t help but like, no matter what role he plays. One of my favorite scenes is when PJ Soles makes her cameo and Spaulding knocks her out and then asks her kid “What´s the matter? Don´t you like clowns?”. Absolutely hilarious! Zombie really found the right actors for these roles and that´s what makes you sympathize with them when they´re being tortured. Haig & Moseley are quite a team.
    Also, I found it interesting that in “House of 1000 corpses”, Otis was some sort of albino but he seemed to have gotten rid of that in the sequel. Not that it matters that much. The film still rocks!

  6. Oh Crestfallen I am just fucking with you. 😉
    -Mr. Brown

    ps. I loved the decent. ;P

  7. T.L. I know! He totally looked albino in the first and he looks way creepier and white trash in the 2nd!

  8. Hey CB, I know 😉 there is only love!!

    xo!

  9. i just simply hate all of you.

    -andrew.

  10. Sheri Moon called…she wants her pants back.
    -Brown

  11. Matthew McGrory called…

    he wants his life back.

  12. Ginger Lynn called..

    she wants her virginity back

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