House of 1000 Corpses
Visually this is wonderful film. The make-up effects are on par with anything from
the 70's style they are attempting to adopt. The detail and work done
on the "Murder Ride" and the immense work done on the catacomb of death and
then the work on Dr. Satan & The Professor, all phenomenal and gory and
disgusting. As are the death sequences, they are perfectly disgusting
and gory, as vicious as anything done by Joe Dante, Dario Argentino, George
The acting by both Bill Moseley and Sid Haig in the very important roles of Otis and Captain Spaulding respectively is also top-notch. Of course both men are noted character actors and come from a long line of "character roles", so it was interesting to see them still play "character" roles but now be the featured players. Karen Black was also as superb as always as was the dearly departed Dennis Fimple, another genius character actor. The turn by Michael J. Pollard was also fun.
On the other hand I found the four actors playing the victims just to be a waste of screen time. I didn't hate them, I didn't love them, I just didn't give a damn about them. I don't know if I should blame it on the talents of the three mainly unknowns and the very rarely funny Chris Hardwick or if the blame lies in Rob Zombie as a screen writer and director. I think a dual blame probably needs to be taken. The wasted appearance of Irwin Keyes in a pretty much a non-speaking role only taking advantage of his unusual look, was bothersome, as I find him to be a great actor on top of looking weird. There is also a chance that this is exactly what Rob Zombie had in mind. If so... well, he was successful.
My main problem with the film is the utter lack of plot and/or character development. Everyone is a complete cookie cutter personality. In the commentary track Rob Zombie reveals an original ending or revelation that could of saved this lack of plot and character development, but by abandoning it and going for the big visual and more scariness something is lost. I think he could of kept his original ending, still had the film
go gory and still make the big reveal explaining everything and come up with an excuse for how things are now based on how they must have been.
This lack of plot just turned me off. 15 minutes until the end I had in my head another concept for an ending he could of used and I don't think I ruin anything with this.
The film starts with an excellent horror film guy introduction by a Dr. Wolfenstein. My personal ending would have had the film come back to Dr. Wolfenstein revealing that "House of 1000 Corpses" was actually a bad B horror movie.
Maybe that was the whole point, maybe all Rob Zombie wanted to do was make a nonsensical, pointless 1970's style b horror movie. Again, if so... bravo, Mr. Zombie, you achieved it.
My only true major complaint though was... the level of suspense is very low. This is a horror film. There was absolutely NO suspense, no jump out of your feet moments, you could see everything that was coming and while that is a style. I want to be scared by a horror film, not grossed out.
You can purchase House of 1000 Corpses from Amazon.com.