If you’ve read much of this blog or know me, you know I’m not a big fan of Rob Zombie’s movies. While he’s clearly a big fan of the horror genre, like me, his movies tend to be pretty shallow, relying way too much on gore and easy scares to make them memorable. Ironically, it took me viewing his first film to become a fan. I guess in a way it makes sense. I mean, has Tobe Hooper made anything good in a long while? Has he made anything even remotely as good as his first, Texas Chainsaw Massacre? I don’t think so. Well, Zombie may not have made a good flick since, House of 1000 Corpses is a great flick if you’re into horror like me.
The movie tells the story of two couples who are traveling around 1977 Texas doing research for a coffee table-esque book about odd roadside attractions. They stop in a small town for gas and see a roadside attraction called Captain Spauldings House of Monsters. They have to see this, which leads them down a very dark road they soon regret. This movie is the classic tale of city-folk who travel into a small country town at night only to find themselves trapped in a world of terror. Think the aforementioned Texas Chansaw Massacre or The Hills Have Eyes or Motel Hell and so on and so on.
This movie was clearly a labor of love for Zombie, who obviously loves studying the dark as much as I do. The house used in the film is the same from The Best Little Whorhouse in Texas. There are actual recordings featured of Aleister Crowley reading his dark magick poem The Poet. There are references to the very evil Albert Fish. And many more. There are also many movie references, both visually and in terms of the character names, like how most of the main characters are named after characters from Marx Brothers movies. It’s not like it’s a perfect movie with a great script, but if you’re a fan of the genre, this movie was made exactly for you. It’s creepy and exudes a rotten, dark, organic feel. The visual style is very interesting and I absolutely love to see Sid Haig totally owning his role, and man does he own it. I mean, who doesn’t love Sid Haig, the dude was in Coffy and Foxy Brown for crying out loud. Long story short, if you’re a horror and movie geek, you will like this movie. If not, well, you should probably skip it.