House of 1000 Corpses,2003,USA
Director: Rob Zombie
Stars: Sid Haig, Bill Mosely & Karen Black
''It's all true. The bogeyman is real and you found him.''
Film #33 of The December Project
To say that Rob Zombie has a certain air of sleaziness to his work, would be putting it far to mildly. Zombie seems to thrive on the obscure,the flat out disgusting and inspiration from his own personal favorite Horror films. 'House of 1000 Corpses' is Zombie's directorial debut, and it clearly shows, as Zombie directs the film with a clear sense of ambitious ignorance.
Two young couples travel across the American country investigating urban legends and unsolved mysteries.They stumble upon an almost desolate amusement park ran by Captain Spaulding, where they are informed of Dr Satan, a sadistic torturer whose whereabouts remain unknown. They go in search and along the way pick up a hitchhiker, they meet her family but are in for a world of trouble when they discover their sadistic intentions.
This film makes me wish Rob Zombie would have directed the remake of 'The Texas Chainsaw Massacre' rather than scrutinize my beloved 'Halloween' with his sleazy tactics. With that being said though, he does practically reinterpret 'Chainsaw' with this film only a little more extreme, if that's possible. In addition to borrowing from that film, Zombie also alludes to many other films ,which can become incredibly tiring and deprived, Your a director making your first film shouldn't you be at least attempting for originality and trying to make an impact, not rehashing what we have already seen and loved!
'House of 1000 Corpses' charm is when its attempting to be a grungy and meaningful piece of horror cinema, It never quite gets there but I'll be damned if it doesn't try its hardest. The editing throughout the film is incredibly ludicrous and so hyperactive that it will most likely make you feel intoxicated rather than thrilled. The make up and visual effects are quite effective though, in their utter disgustingness, same goes for the set design.
This is only the third Zombie film I have seen, after the well meaning but heavily flawed 'Halloween' and the woeful sequel. I don't enjoy the guys filmmaking style at all, I have never heard one of his songs or anything so these films don't have that nostalgic factor for me personally that fans of his music videos might have. I will soon be watching 'The Devil's Rejects', which I have heard good things about so hopefully I enjoy that one.
The cast is for the most part pretty entertaining, with the stand out being Sid Haig as the brilliantly enjoyable Captain Slaughter, I almost every second Haig was on screen. Bill Moseley was good and Karen Black was also fun as Mother Firefly. The group of 'teens' were all pretty bad, even Rainn Wilson who is usually entertaining.
'House of 1000 Corpses' is far from a coherent film, there are flaws almost every where you look. but if your familiar with Zombie then maybe you may get some enjoyment out of it but for others I would not recommend it. As I said, Zombie was very inexperienced in the filmmaking department while making this, and its glaringly obvious.