The 10 Most Terrifying Rob Zombie Characters

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The 10 most terrifying Rob Zombie characters

For the horror aficionados out there, you are most likely aware that Rob Zombie is back, hard at work editing his long-awaited sequel to The Devil’s Rejects, titled Three From Hell.  Since we’re officially in October as of this writing and the spirit of Halloween is fast approaching, a bit of Rob Zombie love is merited.  Say what you will about his variable cinematic successes, but the man has a unique vision. He has an uncanny ability to emulate classic 1970’s horror style while satiating the blood lusts of the modern horror audience.  Even his less appreciated outings like the all-style-no-substance Lords of Salem and the less-said-the-better Halloween II, are gorgeous, meticulously crafted films.   His filmography is not incredibly vast, but in the 15 years since his House of 1000 Corpses, he has provided us with some perfectly nightmarish visions.  Here is a list of his 10 most terrifying character creations.  It should satiate you all until his next frightening gore-fest is released.

Matthew McGrory as Tiny Firefly – House of 1000 Corpses (2003)/The Devil’s Rejects (2005)

For the limited amount of screen time Tiny has, his presence is as intense.  The main Fireflys are horrible, meticulous murders. Tiny is the lumbering Brute who is there to protect them and clean up the mess.  He is reminiscent of Michael Berryman’s portrayal of Pluto in Wes Craven’s 1977 horror, The Hills Have Eyes.  He is a bit too big, a bit too deformed, and all you know is the moment you see him is that you have to get as far away from him as humanly possible.

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Karen Black and Leslie Easterbrook as Mama Firefly – House of 1000 Corpses (2003)/The Devil’s Rejects (2005)

The only Firefly character played by two different actors, Mama is particularly disturbing in both films.  One would hope that the matriarch of the family would have some reservations about the family’s horrors; some voice of reason that brings a smidgen of restraint toward the rest of the crazies.  What hope do they all have when mom is just as murderous, profane, and grotesque as anyone else? The way she has disdain for law enforcement and anything decent in The Devil’s Rejects makes her come across like a caged, rabid animal…hardly resembling anything human.

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Pancho Moler as Sick-head  – 31 (2016)

Few people got around to seeing Zombie’s splatter-fest 31, but it is a lot of fun.  Zombie didn’t bother with much character development this time.  He just set out to film 100 minutes of mayhem. Just throw a bunch of innocents into a locked warehouse where they are stalked by a stable of homicidal clowns.  The first killer clown we are introduced to is Hispanic, a little person, and a Nazi. You read that right. It is gloriously ridiculous but that little guy packed a dangerous punch. He also made the viewer wonder what else in God’s name could show up later in that warehouse.

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Sheri Moon Zombie as Baby Firefly – House of 1000 Corpses (2003)/The Devil’s Rejects (2005)

Rob Zombie casts his wife, Sheri Moon, in almost all of his projects. That is a good thing because she certainly has that 1970s scream queen vibe.  As Baby Firefly, she comes across as an innocent, porcelain doll of a girl. You soon learn, however, that she is just as horrible and bloodthirsty as the rest of her grotesque family.  What makes her particularly frightening is that when you encounter her, your guard is down. There is no way a pretty girl like this could be a threat, right?  That is just when she is planning to slit your throat.

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William Forsythe as Sheriff Wydell – The Devil’s Rejects (2005)

Sheriff Wydell is the only protagonist on this list.  William Forsythe portrays Sheriff Wydell with such ferocious intensity.  Even though the audience is on his side, they are always on edge.  That kind of ferocity is necessary because for a law man to take down the Firefly family.  He has to be almost as crazy as they are. The interrogation of Mama Firefly really accentuates that he is a man willing to do anything to stop those psychopaths.

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Walter Phelan as Doctor Satan – House of 1000 Corpses (2003)

Dr. Satan is a character hinted at and teased throughout the entirety of House of 1000 Corpses.  While the character is revered in the background, we are further introduced to the Firefly family causing mayhem to their victims.  When it comes time for the audience to first lay eyes on Dr. Satan in his subterranean lair, it really is a phantasmagorical nightmare. It only lasts a few seconds, but the visual imprint it leaves the viewer with is mentally scarring.  

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Tyler Mane as Michael Meyers – Halloween (2007)

There are many detractors of Zombie’s 2007 take on Halloween, but even if you are not a fan of his adaptation of the horror classic, it can not be denied that he made his version unique (although, There is little to no defense of his Halloween II).  John Carpenter’s Michael Meyers was brutal, but without much context. He was almost a supernatural presence as he stalked and killed.  Tyler Mane’s newer portrayal gives him a backstory, and transforms him from a ghostly stalker into a deranged, psychotic Goliath. You can’t get away from the 1978 Meyers because he is akin to a killer apparition.  You can’t escape from the 2007 Meyers because he has the unstoppable determination as the shark from Jaws.

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 Sid Haig as Captain Spaulding – House of 1000 Corpses(2003)/The Devil’s Rejects (2005)

Out of a bunch of great stuff to come out Rob Zombie’s famous Firefly family franchise, Sid Haig’s clown-faced killer is the best.  Having the same affect as Heath Ledger’s Joker, his makeup is done sloppily.  He is also the man all of these other lunatics defer to whilst causing their mayhem.  He is inherently such a forceful presence, but when that anger flashes in his eyes, your breath catches in your throat and your heart races to an almost unbearable speed. Besides his murderous proclivities, he is also the most disgusting and off-putting.  He has sickening teeth. His disregard for children and women is despicable. Watching his sexual encounters are almost as hard to watch as the most violent kills Rob Zombie can offer us.  An absolute horror.

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Richard Brake as Doom-Head – 31 (2016)

Currently, The Devil’s Rejects stands as Rob Zombie’s masterpiece, but there is no contest that Doom-Head, as portrayed by the beyond brilliant Richard Brake, is the greatest villain he has yet conceived.  From the moment we are graphically introduced to this harsh, demonic, ace-in-the-hole killer, we simultaneously can’t wait and dread the moment he will hit the kill floor in 31.  While the other clowns are ridiculous, loud, and obnoxious, Doom-Head is quiet  and reserved.  He artistically paints his fave and has 100% confidence in his ability to butcher whatever contestants are left alive.  He is head and shoulders above any of the Firefly family because where they are finding unbridled joy and pleasure in their antics, Doom-Head is cold, emotionless, and is only concerned with his own efficiency.  There is no sanctuary against that.

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BONUS: Nicholas Cage as Fu Manchu – Werewolf Women of the SS (2007)

Rob Zombie was given the privilege of directing one of the fake trailers during Quentin Tarantino’s & Robert Rodriguez’s Grindhouse experiment.  Zombie went with the absurdly ridiculous Werewolf Women of the S.S.  The trailer is a lot of fun using the talents of Udo Kier and Zombie’s wife, Sheri Moon again, but it isn’t until the final seconds when the trailer announces Nicholas Cage as Fu Manchu and Cage screams some incomprehensible line that could be THIS IS MY VISION!!!! Followed by manical laughter.  GLORIOUS!!

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