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[Deleted Screams] Dr. Satan Attacks in ‘The Devil’s Rejects’

Deleted scenes have always fascinated me. Some of them are totally useless, while others would’ve made for interesting additions. We focus on the latter scenes in Deleted Screams.

As much as I love House of 1000 Corpses, Rob Zombie’s debut film, it’s The Devil’s Rejects that I consider to be his masterpiece – it’s also, for my money, one of the best American horror films released in the last twenty years. You can say what you want about Zombie as a filmmaker post-Devil’s Rejects, but there’s just no denying that he hit a home run with his second tale about the murderous (but oddly lovable) Firefly family. The ’05 film, a horror/western/road movie, is absolutely brilliant from top to bottom, capped off by one of the genre’s all-time great finales.

House of 1000 Corpses and The Devil’s Rejects, though technically part of the same franchise, couldn’t possibly be more different. Like Tobe Hooper’s two Texas Chainsaw Massacre films, they both feature the same characters, but one is an over-the-top cartoon while the other is a gritty, grounded-in-reality experience. Fans often compare House of 1000 Corpses to the original Texas Chain Saw Massacre, but it actually has way more in common with Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2. As for The Devil’s Rejects, it’s a complete tonal departure in every sense of the term.

And it’s because the two films are so different from one another that Zombie had no choice but to nix certain aspects of House of 1000 Corpses when it came time to bring the characters back for the sequel. His 2003 debut introduced Firefly family member S. Quentin Quale (aka “Dr. Satan”), a character who was originally supposed to return for an appearance in The Devil’s Rejects.

Portrayed by Walter Phelan, Dr. Satan appeared in the final act of House of 1000 Corpses – with a medical mask over his face and gnarly surgical apparatus’ attached to his arms, Dr. Satan needless to say made a huge impression in his brief appearance. Naturally, The Devil’s Rejects being a sequel to Corpses, Zombie initially figured that he’d have to bring Dr. Satan back with the rest of the surviving Firefly family members. His idea was that Dr. Satan would be wounded in the opening shootout sequence and then taken to the hospital to commit one last barbaric act.

As you’ve surely seen by now, Zombie filmed that hospital scene, wherein Dr. Satan literally rips a nurse’s (played by Rosario Dawson) throat out. The bloody scene was like something out of a Lucio Fulci film, and the imagery of Dr. Satan in a hospital setting was incredibly cool. In fact, it’s one of my favorite deleted scenes of all time. That said, I’m glad Zombie got rid of it.

The Dr. Satan attack scene may be cool on its own, but I just don’t think it would work within the confines of The Devil’s Rejects. Zombie himself has stated that the reason he cut it is because the character of Dr. Satan would’ve tonally clashed with his vision for the follow-up, and I completely agree. As perfect as he was for House of 1000 Corpses, he just doesn’t fit in the real world that The Devil’s Rejects takes place in. It’d be like Chop Top showing up in the original Texas Chain Saw Massacre; the scene, cool as it may be, would’ve stuck out like a sore thumb.

Go figure. An awesome deleted scene that the movie was actually better off without. Just goes to show that sometimes cool ideas are left on the cutting room floor for good reason!



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COMMENTS

31 Comments
  • Creepshow

    1000 Corpses was pretty much based around the lore of Dr. Satan. To ignore him in Rejects was Bush League. As great as Rejects is, that was (and still is) a MAJOR gripe of mine. He was too bad-ass to ignore.

    • Shane Wolfensberger

      I agree we need more Doctor Satan!

  • Flu-Like Symptoms

    Dr. Cockblock

  • dsxy

    Rob zombie giving you lot kickbacks? The way you lot gush about him is embarrassing.

    • American Atheist

      Guitar picks

  • Raziel Talos

    they probably just werent able to use the same set

    • CB Punk

      House was originally shot for Universal Studios but they felt it was too violent to release. Rob picked up and took it to Lions Gate who did. The original House was on Universals backlot so that’s why they couldn’t use the original house.

  • Blue_Seven

    Devil’s Rejects was a damn good movie but nowhere close to perfection. Doctor Satan could have easily been incorporated into the movie. It’s a continuity flaw not to have done so in my opinion. The example you gave with Chop-Top didn’t convince me otherwise, considering the hitchhiker in TCM ’74 is pretty much a more subdued version of Chop-Top from the sequel.

    • I really like Devil’s Rejects, but I think it has one of the absolute worst horror finales of all time.

  • Brian VonDerahe

    I’ve seen that deleted scene before as it lives on the European release that I picked up several years ago on eBay. Thanks scene would have definitely stood out in a bad way. An I know that Rob is tossing around the idea of a third movie in the Firefly universe as we speak. My guess is Raised Eyebrows and then a DR sequel…

  • David Oliver

    I must be one of the few people who finds The Devil’s Rejects really awful, I simply can’t warm to any of the Firefly family at all. I hated them infact.

    • John Lackey’s Teeth

      Nope, I’m with ya. Corpses was an original but Rejects wasn’t much more than a home invasion-torture flick (that occurred in a hotel) with a final scene that dragged on way too long.

    • Dan Warren (Forgottenretroworl

      I think it was Zombie trying to be shocking by making them repugnant f*cks and then depicting them as a happy family. Both true. Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 did this, obviously years before. It’s a mind-f*ck. Like Forsythe’s sheriff said, “There is no line.”

    • sliceanddice

      yeah – couldn’t get on side with either the heroes or the villains.

    • ShadowInc

      As a film, I found DR to have it’s ups, and down. But as far as the characters are concerned, there is never a reason to feel any sympathy for this loathsome bunch.

  • American Atheist

    I used to think The Devil’s Rejects was one of the greatest horror films for a long time until I just recently rewatched it back to back with House of a 1000 Corpses. House of 1000 Corpses is by far the superior horror film between the two.

    Something about all the different music in The Devil’s Rejects ruins the film’s atmosphere and pacing. The mood is constantly ruined by some sappy 70’s classic rock song. Fucking Forest Gump of horror movies. Nobody gives a shit about Free Bird. Awful. Unlikeable characters didn’t help the cause either.

    House of a 1000 Corpses rocks! Highly underrated film. I don’t know why I always thought The Devil’s Rejects was so special when Zombie nailed it with his first feature film. Creepy as fuck. It gets better with each viewing because there is so much shit going on. Never know who or what is going to jump out of anywhere. Dr Satan!?! I’m good on that! House of a 1000 Corpses is a superb film. Sorry for the rambling, I’m stoned.

    • uriah369

      I love HOATC, but in my opinion William Forsythe really made Devil’s Rejects something special. Both great films, and I love me some 70’s classic rock, being a drummer and all.

    • Blade4693

      I like seeing 1000 get some love here lol I always felt like the odd ball for like 1000 more, even though I do like both. 1000 feels more like a horror movie to me, I love the atmosphere and grit.

      • Creepshow

        I like House better as well. I saw a teaser for it in the theater before Mummy Returns. And then had to wait 3 loooong years before its actual release in theaters. It has a higher re-watchability than Rejects, I feel.

        • Blade4693

          Damn dude that sucks! I have heard about how it was in dev hell for a while back in the day. I was so young when the movie came out and I remember my parents going to see it but I never did. I actually didn’t see it until a few months ago where I binged all of Zombie’s movies because previously I had only seen his Halloween movies lol

          • Creepshow

            Needless to say, it was quite the experience when it finally came out. I left the theater feeling pretty grimy (in a good way). lol

  • American Atheist

    Dr. Satan has currently been residing in a retirement home in Florida. He didn’t handle the Trump election well. He calms his frail nerves with warm milk, animal mutilations and a couple bowls of Bubba Kush.

  • SpacemanSpliffz

    that freebird ending was some hokey stupid shit. 1000 was so much better, by eons.

  • Dan Warren (Forgottenretroworl

    Saw that scene on the DVD when I bought it over ten years ago. Anyway, nice for BD to bring it up. True that it wouldn’t have fit in with the style or story of Rejects. Corpses is equally as disturbing with the Dr. Satan idea: the Willows County Mental Hospital as a sort of SS Nazi Camp with the patients being tortured neverendingly. And the ending is way more disturbing, though I liked Rejects’ Peckinpah-esque shootout to that classic song.

  • Corgen1988

    This belongs on the cutting room floor, for the fact that Rosario Dawson would’ve jarringly added to the bloated cameo list alone. I love Devil’s Rejects and was glad to see Rob move away from Dr. Satan. He could always make another film, more in the 1000 Corpses vein, which shows the parallel path taken by Dr. Satan in the aftermath of the raid.

  • Blade4693

    Damn that old guy must have quite the grip strength lol

    And maybe it is just me, but something about the scene (after the nurse’s throat is actually ripped) reminded me of the scene in Zombie’s 2007 Halloween film when young Mikey stabs that old b**** with a fork lol

  • Crooked Mile

    I remember standing up and clapping during the very first teaser for House before the Exorcist 30th anniversary. It’s good. Sat on the shelves way to long

  • Jack Derwent

    It’s kind of funny how people act like the first film was *about* Dr Satan when he was basically a macguffin to get the kids to the house. Plus the actual Dr Satan character was thrown in at the last minute; the original cut of the film had the whole thing be a hoax to lure people to the house and was just a role that the Grandpa played. Rob had already filmed an entirely different ending before changing his mind.

  • Adam_Shields

    Is Dr. Satan gonna have to choke a bitch??

  • GinsuVictim

    Must have been a slow news day if you’re dragging out old-ass deleted scenes from DVDs most of us own.

  • Alanmac

    Ha! I bet Speedwagon is STILL playing the fairgrounds this weekend.

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