Warning: This review contains spoilers.
With the “highly anticipated sequel” about to come out in theatres, I decided it was way past time that I sat down to watch the first movie from the wild mind of Rob Zombie. I had been highly negative on this movie since it came out in 2003 because I couldn’t nearly understand what all the flack was about. It appears to be some sort of cult hit with some people, because clearly the critics didn’t like it so much.
I tend to agree with the critics.
First off, with a name like Zombie and a title like “House of 1000 Corpses,” did anyone else expect a movie about zombies? I did. Poor me.
It was exactly like I imagined it would be, a glorified Rob Zombie video. Zombie seemed to have way too many ideas to put into one film. You have the whole Gas Station/Horror House movie, the Texas Chainsaw Massacre-like family in the middle of no-where movie, and then the ultra weird Dr. Satan short film tacked on at the end. What exactly were we to concentrate on? There was almost zero cohesion between the three.
Aside from the randomness of the storylines, there were also tons of random, and quite silly, transitions between scenes. I kid you not, I think these were some of the same effects he’s used in videos. They served no purpose. Although I did like the use of “previously recorded footage” to show what happened to people when they were off-camera.
The acting was pretty bad in spots, but not horrible. But what didn’t enhance the acting was the dialogue. You have this secluded hick-like family that makes several mentions of how the city-folk think they’re too good for the country. But at the same time, they all speak in a highly educated way… much like Rob Zombie’s, or Marilyn Manson’s, persona – we look like weird crazy people, but we’re very smart. And the annoying laughs, from both Otis and Baby, they gotta go… no one laughs that crazily, even if they are insane.
What really bothered me were the strange plot holes. The afore-mentioned family kidnaps people, or traps them in their house, and then tortures them. Creepy, right? But when the cops show up, or at the end of the movie when they’re making two of the kids get in a coffin, they use guns to either kill or threaten their prey. Guns? You’ve just tortured these people, and enjoyed it, why shoot them? Hobble them, mame them, something other than using a gun – the style doesn’t match.
The point that Zombie was trying to make about the Charles Manson-like cults was lost, big time. Aside from the evident Charles Manson plug in the beginning of the film and the small footage of Baby talking about how it’s necessary to kill sometimes, the rest of the film was just a freakshow ride. There was very little audience engagement.
But like I mentioned, the film was pretty much in line with what I thought it was going to be. Zombie, in my opinion, tried way too hard in making a freaky film. If he would’ve taken some key aspects of his film and expanded on them a little bit more (maybe throw in some actual zombies), this movie would’ve been much stronger.
+ original post date: July 14, 2005 04:09 PM
+ categories: Bad Movie Night