House of 1000 Corpses

art, n. 1. the production, expression, or realm of what is beautiful.

If some of you are reading this review again, you’ll notice that I’ve edited it. Why? Because my initial review didn’t do the movie justice, it just gets better and better with every viewing. As I sit here after almost a three year wait, which has finally came to an end thanks to our member Gabriel, I find it extremely difficult to review Rob Zombies directorial debut House of 1000 Corpses. After much consideration and putting all of the hype in the back seat of my mind, the conclusion I’ve made is that House of 1000 Corpses is art. House of 1000 Corpses is just plain fun and one of the best horror films I’ve seen in years.

The film follows two couples on a trip writing a book about roadside attractions and come across Captain Spaulding’s Museum, which is a mix of a gas station, fried chicken joint and a museum. Captain Spaulding leads them on a journey to find one of the legendary mass murderers, Dr. Satan. As they seek this Dr. Satan, they have their tire shot out and end up sitting with a crazed family waiting for their tire to get repaired. The only problem is, this family dabbles in murder, witchcraft, and cannibalism, which are just a few of the 1,000+ secrets buried in the field behind their house.

As my review for the soundtrack noted, House of 1000 Corpses definitely took a taste of Natural Born Killers and Oliver Stones directing job and added it to the flick. Zombies use of colors, dialogue, and soundtrack mixing could easily have someone misconsque this as NBK at first glance. I’m not saying that he stole Oliver Stone’s brilliant vision, but what House of 1000 Corpses has is a touch of this magic.

The storyline is simple, very cut and dry, very cliche’. It’s a throwback to old classic psycho family flicks such as Texas Chainsaw Massacre 1 and 2 and the classic Spider Baby in its simple but effective approach. What makes House of 1000 Corpses so good is the art of it, not the story. Zombie uses a mesh of colors in his story telling, from red’s, to greens, to blues. Zombie’s numerous editing jobs’ seems to have been worth the time and effort, it brings alot more life to what could easily have been a dull flick. The color use, fantastic editing and cheap special effects make Zombies House of 1000 Corpses feel like an hour and a half long music video.

But something very important to many of us waiting for House of 1000 Corpses was missing. That’s right, much of the blood and guts were missing in action! For the most part, if any of the blood was shown, it was drowned out by Zombies use of a red tint over the film. If someone was shot or stabbed or lets say… scalped, it was mostly implied with a little dash of blood here and there. After all of the rumors about it being totally disgusting and needing to be re-edited over and over again, I didn’t see what the hype was all about. Even though the blood is MIA, it doen’t really mattter to be anymore. I find this movie to be so entertaining, that if there was more blood, it would have been just an added bonus. Hopefully when he releases House of 1000 Corpses 2, we’ll see an unrated directors cut released with it. Either way, I’m happy with the way it turned out.

One thing that made this movie so spectacular is the acting, What an incredible job by all of the horror veterans Zombie hired. First we get the amazingly insane Bill Moseley (Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2). As usual, he brings much disturbance to the table and makes House of 1000 Corpses one of his best performances yet. Also in this incredible cast is film veteran Sid Haig (Spider Baby, Blood Bath) who plays Captain Spaulding. His performance is by far the best of the big list of stars. He’s funny, scary, and violent as all hell! Another fantastic addition to the cast is another veteran to the big screen, Karen Black (Killer Fish, Evil Spirits). She plays the sick and twisted Mother Firefly. Making her debut in an incredible fashion is Rob Zombies wife, Sheri Moon as Baby Firefirely. Sheri has one of the most unique voices that captures your attention every time she talks. She sweet, yet sadistic, and if you were trapped in that house, she’d saduce you in a second. Other notable cast members include Michael Pollard (Roxanne, Sleepaway Camp 3) as Stucky, Jeanne Carmen as Miss Bunny and Tom Towles (Night of the Living Dead) as Dr. Wolfe.

All in all, House of 1000 Corpses is a fun and fast-paced flick. The movie ended before I even knew it! The problem I had viewing House of 1000 Corpses was that I had been waiting so long with much anticipation that I had a little piece of the film ruined for me, until I finally came to accept what it was, now I can’t get enough! Had this movie been released when it was originally slated to, I would have enjoyed the film much more the initial viewing. So here’s an advance warning, do not expect much and you will enjoy House of 1000 Corpses. Expect tons of blood, guts, gore, zombies and a sophisticated storyline and you’ll be greatly disappointed. Expect a simple storyline, with great acting, tons of visuals and great one-liners and you’re in for a good ol’ treat.

A Special Thanks to our member Gabriel for getting me an advance copy of this flick!

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DVD REVIEW BELOW

I’m having trouble trying to describe how I feel about Rob Zombies House of 1000 Corpses DVD. I mean I absolutely love the flick; I’ve seen it ten times, literally! But the word that sticks closely to my mind after my recent endeavor with the DVD is disappointed, HIGHLY disappointed. Now keep in mind that I already knew there was no extra gore or deleted scenes and yet I’m this frustrated over the DVD.

But here’s the dilemma, back about three years ago, I would have been ecstatic to get my hands on a copy of House of 1000 Corpses on VHS early, so what’s the deal? I think now that DVDs have come so far, we expect so much more out of them and more for our money. So I guess what it comes down to is that if you love House of 1000 Corpse, like me, you should be happy that you can sit down and watch it whenever you want. On the other hand, if you’re looking for great behind-the-scenes footage, documentaries, and interviews, you are looking in the wrong place.

When I first popped in the DVD I was so incredibly surprised, it was awesome! Rob Zombie brought in all the actors to film special segments just for the DVD, so while you try to decide what you want to do; they talk to you, very cool stuff. But from there things went straight downhill…

Of course having seen the movie nine times before this, we went straight to the special features hoping for some great interviews and behind the scenes goodies. Every single thing on the extras menu fell flat on its face.

First we watched the “Making of Featurette,” which is a whopping four-minutes long! Although there is some footage of some guys in masks exhuming corpses from the ground, I also remember this footage from the original trailer back when Universal was distributing it, I wonder…

Next we dropped into the worst behind-the-scenes footage of all time, its an entire two minutes of them setting up the scene at the well. Besides being boring as hell, and only two minutes, there’s absolutely nothing going on, not much talking, nothing, garbage.

Then there’s this feature called “Tiny Fucked Up Stump.” I’ve heard a lot of about this useless extra. It’s the cast making jokes back and forth, pure boredom.

Although, there’s a cool extra, which is casting and rehearsals. Its exactly what it says, but its really cool watching Bill Moseley looking normal going ape shit! Too bad this is longer than the behind-the-scenes and featurette.

I want to complain that they have are missing Universals trailer, which is completely different, but I don’t think they could use it. Anyways, they have all of Lions Gates trailers and TV Spots, which is really cool.

The biggest joke on this DVD besides the behind-the-scenes are the interviews. They show the question on the screen and then the actors answers the question in pretty much one sentence, can you say YAWN.

Another thing that sucked are the Easter Eggs, yeah I know they are only easter eggs, but they still sucked. I though Rob Zombie was more creative than having them sit around and laugh and make stupid jokes.

All in all, best part of this DVD besides the incredible movie is Lions Gates previews. Yeah, I can’t believe I’m saying it either! The trailers for Cabin Fever, May, and Godsend are all so awesome, I can’t wait to see some of those flicks!

I expected a lot more from Mr. Zombie, who I would have dubbed Mr. Creativity before I saw this disc. He designs haunted houses for Universal, he make’s House of 1000 Corpses, he’s working on comic books and has one of the most original sounds in music today, and this is the crap he conjures up? Very VERY disappointing. If you liked the movie, you still MUST get the DVD, just don’t get all excited.

Otherwise, I give the DVD 1/2 out of 5 stars.

 

Official Score