|Blogs > rm_XTheJesterX > The Jester's shack of madness|
Art is not safe.
Art is not safe.
This summer, a movie was released by Lion's Gate Films.
The title was, The Devil's Rejects.
Its release was greeted by primarily genre enthusiasts like yours truly. But it was also given the fabled "Two Thumbs Up" by those movie critic guys. This is an annomaly considering those movie critic guys usually look down their snouts at every genre picture that comes out.
After I saw the film in theaters I wrote the following review in email to my friends and family.
"Wow" pretty much sums it up.
I don't know how Rob Zombie got this kind of high caliber performance out of Bill Mosely. (Best known for his role of "Chop-Top" from Texas Chainsaw Massacre II, the guy with the metal plate in his head.) But if there was ever such a thing as justice, he (Bill) should win some kind of an award.
This movie is a Who's who of B rated movie stars. Ken Foree(Original Dawn of the Dead, and TCM II, Michael Berryman(The Hills Have Eyes and Weird Science), Danny Trejo(Pretty much every Robert Rodriguez movie), The chick who replaced Chrissy on Three's company....Only one missing was Bruce Campbell.
I think this movie goes a long way in proving that even B rated stars are still STARS. For fuck sake, Bill Mosely in this movie is a thousand times better than Travolta was in Pulp Fiction....nay a million times better.
William Foresythe (sp?) was brilliant in this too. He plays the lunatic Sheriff. And he does it to a tee. Even the pro wrestler Diamond Dallas Paige was decent.
I didn't catch the name of the woman who took over the role of mother firefly from Karen Black, but she's a hell of a choice. She made momma a new animal. In House, momma was a dangerous bimbo. In this movie Momma is a raving psychotic. She might've overdone a few parts but the performance on the whole was good.
Why isn't this guy in real movies? He's had a few bit parts in some Tarantino films. He had a spot in Jackie Brown, and he played the bartender at the tittie bar Bud worked at in Kill Bill II, but this man could really carry a movie himself. Or at least play a major supporting role.
The dialogue in this film is a bit weak. "Fuck" is thrown in almost a bit too much even for me, but by the mid way point that seems to lessen.
But I forgive this flaw because...well...how would one expect deranged maniacs to carry a conversation? I mean really...c'mon.
A word on Mrs. Zombie.
She's gorgeous. But that's about it. In this movie she was the weakest link. If it weren't for her bare ass, she wouldn't have been missed.
What this movie is, can not be described as a horror film. Its more of a Sam Peckinpah type flick or maybe a kind of Last House on the Left meets Straw Dogs meets Bonnie and Clyde.
This is a movie about BAD people doing BAD things and eventually having BAD things happen to them.
What I like best, is that it only pays the slightest of nods to House of 1000 Corpses. Inasmuch as the Sheriff in this film is the brother of the Sheriff from House. None of that Dr. Satan crap in this movie at all. So basically you needn't have seen House in order to be able to follow this movie. Its almost as if the first one never happened. (Save for the dead Sheriff.) The main Characters are all very different.
Otis isn't a philosophical goffball albino in this movie, where he was in the first one.
Baby isn't a cackling she-demon this time around, she's more of the sinister quiet psychotic type. Her job is mostly being the bait to get the victims to drop their guard.
Capt. Spaulding is still similar, just toned way down. And much more bent. He's still funny though.
Many of the reviewers I read were absolutely right.
Halfway through the movie, your loyalties subtly start to shift, as the maniacs get more and more human, and the cop gets more and more monstrous.
If this movie has a message, its that deranged psychotic murderers are people too. That and revenge ain't pretty.
That saying is true in this film...Be careful hunting monsters, because you may just become one yourself.
Some other thoughts.
The soundtrack is killer. Mostly southern rock, Like the Allman Brothers, Three dog Night and Lynyrd Skynyrd. But there's a touch of 70's pop in there too, Like David Essex and Joe Walsh. The ending sequence of this movie made me no longer sick of "Freebird".
The look of this movie is pretty genuine too. I'm no expert, but if I had to guess, I'd say that it was shot on 16mm and reformatted, like the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre was. Or even the Hills have Eyes. Its just grainy enough where you notice it, but it doesn't drive you nuts. Makes it feel more authentic. Like it really is taking place in 78. (good year.) Also, there's none of that music video nonsensical razzmatazz that House had either. The camera work in this movie is pretty solid. The camerawork for the footage during the end credits is even pretty cool. Going along the empty highway, as if yer in a car, and then suddenly up over a hill and into the sky. Very cool. But like I said...no shifts to monochromatic red tinted negatives or anything wacky like in the first movie. Just a few freeze frames and split screens, but they're not at all frivolous.
One a final note, the violence is not as graphic or intense as some of the reviewers made it out to be. Point of fact, the violence is pretty tame compared to a lot of other movies in this genre.
Its still a bit unsettling at times, and there was one scene I even had a hard time with. I won't wreck it for you though.
So, save for some shitty dialogue and Sherri Moon-Zombie's iffy performance...this movie is an all around winner in my book.
In this...the golden age of remakes...this movie is a refreshing bit of originality.
A minus maybe a B plus
Ok that review was for the theatrical version of the movie. Now we have the splendor of DvD. This means the films can be released the way the creators actually want the film to be, rather than the way the MPAA will allow them to be released.
If you ask anyone about this infernal cabal of Puritanical Nazi feces eaters called the MPAA, they will tell you that they don't in fact censor anything. They just "rate" what they are presented with.
Here's the thing about these "ratings".
Anything stronger than an "R" rating may as well never bother getting made. Stronger than "R" used to be "X". The old fashoined "X" rating has now been replaced with the more family friendly "NC-17" rating. Mainly because "X" conjures up visions of red-light district movie houses, populated by raincoat clad deviants doing god-knows-what in the dark.
Any movie with an NC-17 rating is dead in the water. Most chain theater companies, Like Marcus Cinema, or AMC wont show the films. Many newspapers wont advertise them either. Movie Phone only mentions them infrequently.
The theaters wont show these kinds of movies because they don't want to waste a screen that could be playing "Herbie Fully Loaded" and having the seats filled with mindless teenage girls, on a movie that is probably not going to get too many of those same teenage girls.
There was a time back before "Titanic" when teenage boys were the target demographic for film studios. But after Little Suzie spent $7.50 ten or fifteen times to go see Leo freeze to death in the North Atlantic, the target audience has been recalibrated.
OK, I'm griping about three things at once here. Back to my original topic. The movie itself.
If you go to blockbuster, or look for it on Net Flix, its most likely going to be catergorized as a horror movie.
It is NOT a horror movie. It is a revenge picture through and through. As I said in my review, this film harkens back to the days of Sam Peckinpah. Gritty, realistic violence that isn't glorified, just presented for what it is. It isn't pretty.
So now you ask..."Why is he writing about this?"
Most of my Blog friends don't seem to be the sort to enjoy movies like this. They like sappy films like "Elizabethtown" or "The Notebook". This is fine with me. Everyone likes what they like and I make no judgements. But here, I am begging you all....
Please see this movie. But no matter what, watch it all the way through. Let go of that urge to stop it in the dvd player and put on "Finding Nemo". Do not spare yourself from what you are seeing. Because once the end credits are rolling, you will tell yourself..."This wasn't so bad."
Then once you are done watching the movie, ask youself why any single second of the movie bothered you to begin with. But honestly answer...don't just give the obvious answers. Once you have the answers, the real answers...Watch it again. This time you know what's going to happen, so don't just watch the plain movie...If you're renting the dvd watch it with the commentary on.
Guess what, the people talking about making the movie...the STARS of this awful, immoral, American Family destroying, makes kids shoot up their highschool, movie...are saying the same things you were thinking about when you asked why this movie is so bad.
They didn't like filming some of those scenes..if you watch the movie, you'll know which ones I'm talking about. You will hear them talk about how difficult it was to portray some of the things they portrayed. Then why did they do it? Because they are Artists. And as the director, Rob Zombie...(Yeah yeah) said, "Art is not safe."
He may have a phoney last name, but the man is right. Art isn't safe. Its supposed to evoke an emotional response. Its supposed to touch something in the person that experiences it. AND...sometimes its not supposed to be pleasant.
Ok ok...my soapbox voice isn't so great. I lose track of myself. Basically what I'm trying to say is this.
Watch this movie. Get outraged. Ask yourself why. Watch it again with commentary and listen to what the artists who made the movie have to say.
11/27/2005 10:39 am
Yeah but some of us are flexible enough to like movies such as Elizabeth town AND try this one. Sappy movies...I missed that the first time around, LOL...|
Yeah, I'm still [blog 1hotwahine]
11/27/2005 6:12 pm
I havent seen it yet, I wnat to though.....lend it to me?|
12/1/2005 5:32 pm
I'm a huge B-movie and cult movie buff. I've seen just about every banned or highly controversial movie ever. I'm partial to the dememted and dirty John Waters movies myself and any movie with "cannibal" and "holocaust" in the title. As I know of every character, actor, and director you've mentioned, we should kick back with a few beers and watch some good flicks. Throw in a couple of midget belly dancers and its a date. I'll add the Devil's Rejects to my list if I haven't already.|
12/7/2005 1:49 am
I haven't been to a movie in years....but i like you.|
12/8/2005 9:04 am
OK, you've convinced me to add this to my Netflix queue. I wasn't going to bother, as I wasn't all that impressed with "House of 1000 Corpses." I just took a look at the cast over at the IMDb, and well, it's also missing Angus Scrimm and Jeffrey Combs. |
Now, speaking of Sid Haig, I have "Spider Baby" sitting here in the Netflix pile. I'm going to have to watch it tonight.