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[TIFF ’12 Review] Brad Thinks ‘The Lords Of Salem’ Is A Huge Letdown Despite Striking Imagery

I’m hoping I feel differently about this one. Rob Zombie’s The Lords Of Salem premiered last night to a ravenous sold-out crowd during the Midnight Madness portion of TIFF. And Brad (Mr. Disgusting) – who had high hopes – was pretty disappointed.

It would be easy to give Lords a pass. It has genuinely creepy imagery, cool scares, super crazy sound design, and even more mind blowing set designs. But there will be no pass, mainly because of the awkwardly unfulfilling ending and the fact that much of the “cool” doesn’t interact with the characters or plot. Rob Zombie sympathizers are going to eat this up, and will spend their night analyzing the finale as if it were some revelation of brilliance. It’s not

Click here to read the review in its entirety. And – silver lining – let it be known that BD Stringer Mike Pereira really liked the film and will be writing in with his review soon. The Toronto International Film Festival runs from September 6th-16th.



  • divisionbell

    It’s Rob Zombie. Was there ever any doubt it wouldn’t be fulfilling? The real issue with Zombie is that he’s like Tim Burton. He’s all visual flare and zero substance (aside from white trash character spewing out ridiculous phrases comprised primarily of curse words). He’s someone who needs to work with another director. Let the other director handle the story and the dialogue and use Zombie for visuals and murders. Because let’s be honest…Zombie knows how to do a viscious murder. Unfortunately that’s about all he can do at this point.

  • djblack1313

    Brad is really fucking annoying. his, “Rob Zombie fans sat there with a look of shock and disappointment on their faces, displaying the most fake smile you’ve ever seen), it’s not good.” line is a fucking joke. i’m not even really a Zombie fan (i own none of his movie and really only like his H1 & H2) but how the fuck do YOU, Brad, know what the entire audience was thinking? did you go around and survey each one?

    i’m not saying this movie will be good, chances are it may not but then again, i almost never agree w/ Brad’s reviews on movies. BD, (i know you say it’s coming Evan) you guys need to get more reviewers for your site. having it be just Brad, Brad, Brad is wearing really thin.

    Evan & Mike Pereira i eagerly await your reviews.

    • djblack1313

      i meant, “i own none of his MUSIC and really only like his H1 & H2”. 🙂

    • Chris Hortola

      I totally agree. More reviewers is exactly what this site needs. Not everyone will always agree but having more would give users a wider variety without reading only biased reviews.

    • crow454

      I completely agree DJ. He is one of the most biased and subjective reviewers I’ve ever read. And his tastes are atrocious. I hope he has thick skin for when the V/H/S reviews roll in because that was a huge waste of time. Not just a disappointment, but downright awful. Very un-scary. You’d hope that guys who love horror, review horror, would understand horror and know scary. NOPE!

    • Jasonicus

      Well said. The reviews on this site are so lacking and one-sided. It’s useless to read any of Brad’s.

  • He probably also didn’t like Rob’s previous films either. I can’t wait for this film so I can judge it for myself. If I went by other people’s opinions on Rob’s films, I would think they were the worst films ever made. I happen to love all his movies (with the exception of El Superbeasto which was ok). So I do have high hopes, and I have a good feeling I wont be disappointed.

  • ThunderDragoon

    Can’t wait to here what Mike has to say.

  • Blood-Sicles

    I had a bad feeling Sherri Moon was gonna destroy this film with her bad acting.

    • Doornail12

      Sheri Moon doesn’t hinder the film one bit, so don’t worry. Just leave your Sheri Moon baggage at the door when you see it.

  • guttersnipesurfs

    Zombie never has established himself as much of a storyteller though with a couple marginally different remakes under his belt and House of a 1000 Corpses/Devil’s Rejects pretty heavily indebted to the TCM universe, its not like he’s ever really tried to be original. As it stands, I can’t say I’m surprised.

    • crow454

      As a point of comparison, could you tell me what modern day horror film from the same period you would consider “original”. I can’t think of any. I’m surprised that you say “I’m not surprised”. You haven’t seen it. You are making that comment based on a review from a guy who unabashedly hates Zombie and has terrible taste in movies. This clowns reviews are a joke.

  • WalkingDeadGuy

    I don’t know why I was even excited for this film, I despise most of Robs work, except for ‘Devils Rejects’, which I actually concider to be a pretty great film. As Brad mentioned, it’s too bad he doesn’t use his “filmmaking freedom” to give us something we can really sink our teeth into. At the very least, he should stop casting his wife in his films, she’s horrible in almost everything.

    • Chris Hortola

      Its hard to use “filmmaking freedom” when so many things need to be cut in order to get a R rating.

  • JoeyF

    I haven’t seen “Lords” yet but it’s always been clear to me that critics won’t be too enthusiastic about it. If you want to create an image for yourself as a sophisticated, highbrow movie critic, you just have to say how incredibly crappy Rob Zombie movies are. It always works.
    I’m still looking forward to seeing “Lords”. This review sounds really promising:

    • Red_QuEeN

      What a bunch of bull. Critics don’t hate on Rob Zombie movies because they want to be considered “sophisticated and highbrow”, they don’t like his movies cause they suck. The man can’t hold a story together to save his life, flashy visuals do not a horror movie make.

      • JoeyF

        What a bunch of crap. Whether a movie sucks or not is a completely subjective matter. “they don’t like his movies cause they suck”… You should write movie reviews. When someone ends his review with the a sentence like “Rob Zombie fans will spend their night analyzing the finale as if it were some revelation of brilliance. It’s not” it’s the same as saying “the movie and everyone who likes it are so beneath me. I’m just too intelligent.” Those people usually rate the SAW sequels 8/10 cause they are “decent” …

        • EvilHead1981

          I don’t know, most critics I’ve seen praise The Devil’s Rejects like it was one of the best horror films in the past 20 years. Many horror fans(Rob Zombie fans and not)all tend to agree that The Devil’s Rejects was his best movie. Whether or not House of the 1000 Corpses and Rob’s Halloween movies were good, that’s debatable among fans and critics alike.

          • JoeyF

            Ok, you have a point there. Many critics do praise TDR. However, since then there’s been a trend of bashing everything RZ does, just because his name is attached to it. And this has become a popular tactic among critics to cover up that just don’t know enough about horror or movies in general (references in RZ’s works…). What bugs me most is that, at least to me, it seems like innovation and thinking outside the box is punished with low ratings and comments like “well, it’s a R Zombie movie, so what can you expect”. What you’re saying about the quality his other movies being debatable is true, of course. That’s my point exactly. Btw, it’s great that at least some users here, like you, are willing to discuss in a civilized way (unlike the guy who first replyed to my post)

          • Crimsonrain1970

            Not that I don’t agree with what you are saying…but I have to say that I totally don’t see TDR as being a horror movie. HoTC was pretty good…TDR used the same characters but other than that had very little connection to the previous. I was hoping for more of the cannibal, Dr. Satan aspect and less cop chases.

  • DragonSlayer111

    Rob Zombie’s films are never at the top of my list,but always entertain..ill check it out

  • djblack1313

    also on the BD review link for this movie “Doornail12” gave this a more favorable review.

  • Zombie-Killa

    Of course, I haven’t seen The Lords Of Salem just yet, but Brad’s criticisms of Zombie’s wife did catch my attention. From what I’ve seen, she really isn’t capable of carrying a film as an actress. She’s mediocre at best, so I wouldn’t be surprised if she turns out to be one of the bigger problems in this film.

    Still holding out hope for The Lords Of Salem, but I’m not expecting a masterpiece.

    • EvilHead1981

      The thing is, Sherri’s not an accomplished actress. She’s good for bit parts, that’s all. She can play “blond slut #2” really good, but the main character, sorry, just not gonna happen. No matter how hard you click your heels together, Rob, your ruby slippers ain’t gonna grant your wish.

    • Doornail12

      Ask yourself this… do you want to see masterbating mummified priests, witch cesarean sections and acts of torture? If yes, don’t worry about Sheri.

  • crow454

    The chorus of agreement from people who haven’t seen the movie is pretty sad. You actually going to pass judgement based on someone else’s opinion. And that someone is Brad, who notoriously has shit taste in movies? Don’t be sheep. See the flick, go in without preconceived hate-ons, and judge for yourself based on its own merits. To hate it because you disliked Zombie’s other films is sad. That’s like blanketly liking GI Jane because you enjoyed Blade Runner. To hate this because this clown hates it is even sadder.

  • VictorCrowley

    The horrible taste of RZ’s Halloween II has been washed out enough to where I could give a new project of his a chance. I just wish he’d switch up his cast once in a while. His wife doesn’t have to be in every movie he does. It’s getting comical.

  • Aaron Emery

    I’m still really looking forward to it. There will always be good and bad reviews for everything.

  • I’m not sure why people loathe Sherri Moon in RZ’s movies. I agree, she’s not the best, but obviously that’s one of the staples of his movies. I like that he uses the same people, as it’s always interesting to see what character they’ll play next. For instance, seeing Danny Trejo go from the bad ass bounty hunter in TDR to the gentle, kind caregiver in Halloween. I thought Sherri was great as Baby, and was good enough in Halloween. The only time in seemed contrived was in H2, but it didn’t bother me at all.

  • Milk

    The reviews on this website are insanely bias so I don’t really care much about what they say. I am excited about this movie and hope it will be decent. I don’t go into a rob zombie movie and expect to see brilliant plot and acting but rather some fun bloody entertainment.

  • allminearetaken

    I was at the TIFF screening, and it was awful. The first 30 minutes or so was actually pretty great, had a good ‘shining’ feel to it. But it slowly descended into an incomprehensible mess that seemed more like a student art film. Sure, it was visually quite well put together, but it was as though Zombie was using the film as a way of testing different film techniques for his next movie. The ending is awful. Ironically though, Sheri was more tolerable in this role than she’s ever been, but she still can’t hold attention for the whole film. I think a lot of people will say they liked it, but I don’t understand why. This is just me, but when I go see a Rob Zombie film, I don’t want to have to wade through some high art/avant-garde cinema, I want trailer trash dialogue, tits, and lots of blood. Just like his music, it’s popcorn entertainment, not anything that’s supposed to be deep.

  • mR_BuNgLe

    Just saw this: parts of it were completely laughable but overall I thought it was admirable work. With this one he’s handled the overall mood and atmosphere brilliantly, but the next couple of steps is flushing out a stronger story and not casting his wife as the lead. He’ll make a fantastic horror flick one day.

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