But Rob Zombie is onto something.
House of 1000 Corpses was amusing. The story behind it was better than the actual movie. You know, the one where Rob Zombie is Universal's posterboy. The one where he actually got to make scary rides for Universal Studios during the Halloween season. You know, the one where he lost his distribution with Universal for the CORPSES movie because it was deemed too rough.
House of 1000 Corpses. Did it ever make it to the theatres? I have no idea. The rip for that thing was online way beforehand, and one of my students hooked it up. I was hungry for it, because I had heard so much hype. I was mildly disappointed. I blame my disappointment on the hype machine. HO1KC was basically a broken down Texas Chainsaw Massacre. I haven't seen the new one, but I sure do remember the classic.
DEVIL'S REJECTS. I stayed away from this one. I stayed far away. the trailer just looked too sadistic for me. It looked sadistic in the way that the Hostel franchise looks sadistic. I haven't seen those either. But along comes my good pal Matt that tells me that DEVIL'S REJECTS is genius, and I should see it just for the showdown with the police at the end. I watched it a few weeks ago (on the laptop) and I was mildly impressed. Then FREE BIRD kicked in and the showdown was on and I was literally glued to my office chair. Devil's Rejects is the conclusion to the mess that began in HOUSE. It is good. It is rough. Everyone gets paid.
Sid Haig as Captain Spaulding was one of the best movie treats I have had in awhile. Captain Spaulding is the most perverse clown I have ever dealt with on film. So perverse in fact, that you are forced to scrutinize him in order to determine how deep the depravity goes. When I fell asleep watching SHAKES THE CLOWN last year, that wasn't the issue. I knew that Shakes had a level of depravity, and it didn't go much deeper. Tim Curry's Pennywise in that stupid STEPHEN KING tv-movie IT, was definitely damaging. I think that is the clown that most kids (including my own) are currently afraid of. However, I will posit to you that Pennywise has NOTHING on Captain Spaulding. DEVIL'S REJECTS also does you the favor of telling you that Captain Spaulding's name comes from a Marx Brother's skit. I am not going to link it up, and it isn't really much, but it is all over youtube if you want to do the research. It is one of those crass Groucho bits where he is on the line and this time the humor is bordering statutory rape.
William Forsythe's sheriff in Devil's Rejects PUTS IT DOWN. I have always loved that guy...ever since he was the white-guy in the barrio back in AMERICAN ME. Then, he next stuck out to me as a misfit in THINGS TO DO IN DENVER WHEN YOU ARE DEAD. I have seen him here and there, but his performance in DEVIL'S REJECTS literally woke me back up to decent horror. He is a sheriff with a vendetta against the killers on the loose. His vendetta is mirrored with his own prey's bloodlust and the obvious message is that he is no better than those he needs to put behind bars. Forsythe is sadistic, foul-mouthed and understandable. The part of him that is understandable (a gnarly revenge complex) is basic scripting, but this actor brings it home.
William Forsythe is in Zombie's remake of Halloween. I have been fighting it, but I am feeling a gut-level excitement for this. Michael Myers is the baddest of badasses. I just watched Freddy VS Jason a bit ago and I realized then and there that the killing machine that actually gets to me is neither of those asshats. It is all about Michael Myers. It is all about that William Shatner mask. I have watched all of the incarnations of Halloween. I will admit that towards the end they get pretty shoddy. I mean, LL Cool J in a Halloween movie? I forgive the Busta Rhymes episode for the scene that I have bookmarked to your right...but really. Halloween has gone downhill.
Here is the new poster.
Here's to hoping for new, fresh breath in the franchise.
The original version isn't really the best of horror films anyway. It seems to me that there is no way but up here.