House of 1000 Corpses

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Rating: R

Starring:
Sid Haig as Captain Spaulding
Bill Moseley as Otis Driftwood
Sheri Moon as Baby Firefly
Karen Black as Mother Firefly
Chris Hardwick as Jerry Goldsmith
Erin Daniels as Denise Willis
Jennifer Jostyn as Mary Knowles
Rainn Wilson as Bill Hudley
Tom Towles as Lieutenant George Wydell
Walt Goggins as Deputy Steve Naish (as Walton Goggins)
Matthew McGrory as Tiny Firefly
Robert Allen Mukes as Rufus ‘R.J.’ Firefly Jr.
Dennis Fimple as Grandpa Hugo
Harrison Young as Don Willis
William Bassett as Sheriff Drake Huston

Special Features:
Director’s Commentary
Making Of Featurette
Behind The Scenes Footage
Joke Short
Audition Footage
Rehearsal Footage
Cast And Crew Interviews
Still Gallery
Theatrical Trailers
Interactive Menus Directed by Rob Zombie

Other Info:
Widescreen (1.85:1) – 16×9
2.0 Stereo Music Only Track
Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound
English and Spanish Subtitles
Running Time: 88 Minutes

Synopsis:
In 1977, two couples travel across the U.S. documenting bizarre roadside attractions for a new book they are writing. They eventually come across a gas station / chicken stand / museum of serial killers. The place is run by a bizarre clown named Captain Spaulding. He tells them of a local serial killer named Dr. Satan who killed many people, then disappeared and was never seen again. Intrigued, the group asks to see the house where the killing took place.

Captain Spaulding directs them to the house, but they end up finding more than they bargained for. Living there is a freak show redneck family. The couples soon find themselves trapped in a house of horrors more terrifying than they ever imagined.

House of 1000 Corpses is rated R for strong sadistic violence/gore, sexuality and language.

The Movie:
I’m really not a big fan or horror movies, so it was with great reluctance that I viewed this DVD. As it started out though, I found myself quickly pulled in by the story. First time director Rob Zombie created a cast of bizarre and unique characters and gave the film a creepy yet professional look. He also wrote the score for the film. I started to feel very much like I was watching a John Carpenter movie. Seeing as how I’m a fan of John Carpenter, that was a good thing. With redneck killers, clowns, and other freaky things, Zombie had all the elements of a great horror movie. Throw in a tongue-in-cheek approach along with a great sense of humor and this is what I’m looking for in a horror flick.

However, it quickly went downhill after the beginning. House of 1000 Corpses eventually degenerates into a sick, twisted gore-fest that is neither clever or entertaining. Rather than being a 70’s style horror flick as they’d like, it ends up being nothing more than a bunch of bloody effects with little else. What little remaining plot there is winds up being nothing more than character X running from point A to point B with freak W chasing them through set Z.

That being said, this film is probably going to end up being a cult classic. The twisted Captain Spaulding character is quite memorable. Horror fans will thoroughly enjoy it and Rob Zombie fans will get even greater enjoyment out of it. Unfortunately, though, it simply wasn’t my cup of tea. I would like to see what Rob Zombie could do with a better script, though. I think he definitely has potential.

The Extras:
While I wasn’t keen on the content of the film, I have to admit that the extras on the DVD were well produced. On each menu, one of the characters comes out and introduces the section. It’s quite funny to hear them, in character, describe each feature and then berate you for being slow on making a decision. These menus were directed by Rob Zombie himself. Here are some of the highlights of the extras:

Director’s Commentary – Rob Zombie’s commentary is actually pretty good. As a first time director, he has a lot to say about the trials and tribulations of getting the movie made. He points out a lot of bits of trivia, cameos, and other things you might not have spotted while watching the film. If you liked the movie, this is a commentary worth listening to.

Making Of Featurette – This is a short five minute or so look at the making of the movie. It has your typical interviews, behind the scenes footage, etc. It also very briefly interviews Rob Zombie himself. Not much, but it’s the most you’re going to get on the DVD.

Behind The Scenes Footage – This video looks like someone took a camera to the set and followed people around for an evening. You see crew setting up props, cast chatting with each other, and the stars eating dinner in makeup. This, too, is very short.

Joke Short – This features Baby, Otis, and Captain Spaulding telling dirty jokes all with the same profane punchline about Tiny. Weird, but there you have it.

Audition Footage – This shows the audition of the grandfather character and nothing more. I would have liked to have seen the auditions of more of the cast.

Rehearsal Footage – This shows the main cast rehearsing some of the big scenes from the film. It’s strange to see them out of makeup.

Cast And Crew Interviews – Four of the cast members are briefly interviewed. The questions aren’t particularly insightful. (They seemed like they were written by a fan website operator.) The answers aren’t all really insightful either.

The Bottom Line:
This DVD is for horror fans and fans of Rob Zombie only. General audiences will probably want to steer clear.

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