- Written, Co-Scored, and Directed by Rob Zombie
- April 11, 2003
A group of teenagers are kidnapped and tortured by a psychotic family on Halloween.
I have watched more than a few slashed movies in my time and I can clearly see the connection from them to House of 1000 Corpses. I will say though this movie is done in a way like one would remember those 70s slasher movies are but not how they actually were. Having re-watched a few in the present day they are a lot less gory than my young memories recall them as.
The victim characters in House of 1000 Corpses are done just well enough that you care what happens to them. That’s important. You don’t need well-rounded and fully realized characters. Rather you need characters that are just likable enough and just relatable enough that when a machete lops off their head or they are stabbed it hits home. Zombie manages to accomplish just that.
All the killer characters, from Otis (Bill Moseley) to Tiny (Matthew McGrory), were disturbing except for Baby (Sheri Moon Zombie). She was just kind of whiny and annoying. I guess it pays to sleep with the director. Baby’s best moment was in the liquor store where she was just a bitch. If Zombie had proceeded from that and made her into a killer I would’ve enjoyed her character a little more here.
Like some of the better slasher flicks the killers are the primary focus. And they are some seriously messed up people. It’s a very The Texas Chainsaw Massacre vibe going on here but with a much higher level of depravity. Say what you will but Rob Zombie can reach into the darkness and do messed up.
House of 1000 Corpses is certainly a dissent into insanity. It just gets more and more bizarre as the narrative progresses. What we encounter in this movie is a hidden nightmare world that gets uncovered because, well, they decide to attack the wrong group of individuals.
Our young victims get caught up in their mess when they want try to search out information on a local legend called Dr. Satan (Walter Phelan). That there is a name right out of an old-school horror film. And the payoff to all the ever-increasing levels of madness is when we actually meet Dr. Satan. What we get is some Silent Hill crap right there!
Rob Zombie is a very polarizing individual when it comes to his film work. You either really love him or really hate him. There is an extremely small minority such as like myself that’s okay with him. He is certainly no auteur, but he is good and stands out among horror directors. He has a unique vision and style and his movies look different than other horror films. I think he just lacks polish. He is a little rough around the edges. I’m not calling what he does bad. I do enjoy it.
What we get in House of 1000 Corpses is a detailed slasher world. They just do not imply that these people are messed up. They show that they are messed up in various visual ways. These killers exist in a dark and hidden place all their own that is apart from our world. Think of it as a nightmare fantasy land.
Slasher films have not gone away but they have lost something since their peak. This was the first slasher film I had seen in quite some time that took the essence of what they were and modernized it without losing anything. We get real gore and unrepentant violence.
House of 1000 Corpses certainly isn’t for everyone. For the general film goer I do say skip this. You’re probably not going to be into it. However for the horror aficionado who likes gore then this is something you should check out.