First EVER Review for ‘The Devil’s Rejects’!!

They had a top secret test screening in California tonight for Rob Zombie’s The Devil’s Rejects, the follow-up to his film House of 1000 Corpses. Inside you’ll find a viewers thoughts on the film, which is still having its effects worked on. The film, which hits theaters August 12, centers on a band of bounty hunters led by Sheriff Wydell’s brother who is fueled by revenge when he finds out that his kin was slain by the Firefly family. The film will pick up shortly after the first with the Firefly clan going on the road after their house is burned down and a few family members have been gunned down during a police raid.

Click here for 50 images from the film.

Mr Ben writes in:

I just got back from seeing a screening of ‘The Devils Rejects.’ The audience was told that this is the first screening of the film in the United States. So, I have to wonder: has this film been screened outside of the United States? Anyway, let’s not get too far off into the peripheral.

What did I think of the movie? Well, that’s what it comes down to, isn’t it? Did I like the movie? Yes, I liked the movie. More than likely, though, this film will be tweaked before its release. Here’s my initial and brief response to the movie.

As you may know, The Devil’s Rejects is a sequel to House of 1000 Corpses. The sequel has a different feel than the original – entirely different. It picks up from where the last one ended. Three of the members of the Firefly family – Captain Spalding (Sid Haig), Otis (Bill Moseley), and Baby (Sheri Moon Zombie) – escape a police ambush to proceed on a murderous spree as they seek to elude pursuing police and bounty hunters.

Is this a horror movie? Well, not really. But it’s definitely horrific. It’s visceral, bloody, irreverent, and disturbing. It’s filled with blood, bullets, murder, and mayhem. Without a doubt, this film has some deeply horrific elements, but plays more like an ultra-violent western/crime drama/revenge movie. It’s an intriguing fusion of cinematic elements, to say the least.

This is not high art, folks. Pop art? Yeah, perhaps that’s a little more like it. It’s a macabre and subversive piece of filmmaking. Take the Manson Family, add a few relatives from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, make them the protagonists, have it take place under the desert sun, add lots of bullets, blood, bodies, four letter words, dark humor, murder, and mayhem, and you may have an idea of what to expect.

The first fourth of the movie was hit and miss for me. There are lulls here and there, but all in all, I liked the movie. I was put off by the first forth or so because I was expecting something more along the lines of a horror film. With the exception of the film’s opening shootout, I would have liked for things to get rolling sooner at a brisker pace. But once the three protagonists finally come together at the local Motel, the movie kicks into gear- with only a minor lull here and there. The sequence at the local Motel is a highlight of the film, and will more than likely have you drop your jaw.

The acting works for the given material. There are also a couple of loose ends that could use some resolve. But hey, this is not Merchant Ivory, folks.

The film appears to admire its psychotic “protagonists.” In the film’s climatic shootout, over Skynyrd’s “Free Bird,” our protagonists take on mythic proportions. The protagonists appear to be a subversive (and perhaps even abstract? complex?) symbol of freedom, revolution, and individuality, as well as of societal failure, irreverence, and hostility. Perhaps there’s a part of us that wants to be like the Firefly family, to roam freely like a wild vagabond, taking what is desired without conscience, spitting on everything sacred, and taking pleasure in the suffering of others, or in the suffering of those who oppress us.

I overheard a viewer express that the film wasn’t scary. I overheard a few persons express that it wasn’t a horror film. And I thought, wow, what was just up on the screen was horrific. I saw horror on the screen and I was hearing “not scary” and “not a horror movie.” I could not help but think “what a desensitized group of folks.” And finally, I heard a viewer express, “it was sexy.”

Not quite what I expected in a sequel to House Of 1,000 Corpses, but its an interesting piece of “pop art,” or perhaps “pop cinema.” I liked the movie (being of a depraved and reprobate mind… heh, heh), but thought it could be tighter and have less lulls here and there. So, if you’re looking for a deliciously depraved good time, you may find yourself digging this.

And I really hope they keep the ending.

- Mr. Ben