One from the re watch pile…
The Devil’s Rejects (2005)
Film: When Rob Zombie burst onto the scene of filmmaker, temporarily turning his back on music, a lot of people were in anticipation of what he’d do, and his film The House of 1,000 Corpses burst onto the scene, dividing the horror community into haters and lovers of its obvious tribute to 70s exploitation film, but with the quick cut/ short attention span editing of the MTV and VEVO generation.
Looking like a 90 minute version of one of his film clips, 1,000 Corpses introduced us the the wonderfully awful Firefly family: Mother Firefly (played by Karen Black in that film, but by Leslie Easterbrook in this one), Tiny (Matthew McGrory), Rufus (Robert Allen Mukes originally, played by an uncredited Tyler Mane here), Otis (Bill Moseley), Baby (Sheri Moon Zombie) and Captain Spaulding (Sid Haig) and their obsession with murder, death and mayhem, but what happens when a family like that gets the police, who were bound to catch up with them eventually due to their sloppy forensic countermeasures, appearing, armed to the teeth on their front doorstep.
Zombie wrote and directed this film which won a bunch of Fangoria Chainsaw and Scream awards and was nominated for another whole bunch of awards including the Best Horror Picture for the Rondos and the Golden Schmoes, not to mention a Satellite award for its original DVD release…wow, was the 11 years ago already?!?
This tale sees the Firefly family on the run from the law. Mother Firefly has been caught by the police, but Otis, Baby and Spaulding and on the run, taking various people prisoner along the way to assist in their escape.
Their big problem, though is a cop by the name of Sherrie Wydell (William Forsythe) whose capacity for dogged pursuit is infallible, and whose methods probably aren’t exactly ‘police procedure’.
Will our heroes (?) get away from the cops and the bounty hunters they hired (Danny Trejo and Diamond Dallas Page) and make their way to Spaulding’s brother, Charlie’s (Ken Foree), or will their lives end in a bloody shootout.
As you can see by the list of cast members I’ve named so far, Zombie’s loves getting old school horror and exploitation actors but there’s heaps more: The Hills Have Eyes Michael Berryman, Night of the Comet’s Geoffrey Lewis, Lords of the Deep’s Priscilla Barnes, Halloween’s P.J. Soles, Dr. Alien’s Ginger Lynn… oh, the list goes on! It’s a 70s/ 80s horror film fan’s wet dream.
This is a pretty full-on film and the violence, both physical and mental, is not for the easily disturbed. Zombies cinematic language is in full swing too, with the heat of the desert, the dripping sense of sleaziness and slow motion shots that make you ache in anticipation, but here, unlike 1,000 Corpses, he uses them far more effectively.
I’m an unabashed fan of Rob Zombie, but not to the point where I think he is some infallible god of music and cinema. I really love House of 1,000 Corpses, but I am well aware of its failings. With this film though, Zombie has managed to distill what was right about that film and improve it. The Devil’s Rejects isn’t as good as say, The Lords of Salem (which I adore), but it’s pretty damned good. Watch it as a double with Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 For good measure!
Format: The reviewed copy of this film was done with Umbrella Entertainments Australian region B Bluray release which runs for approximately 110 minutes. The film is presented in a crisp and sharp 1.77:1 image with an amazing Dolby 6.1 audio track.
Extras: Heaps of extras on this disc! Some of them are background ‘flavour’ bits from the film, but unfortunately no proper ‘making-of’.
Bloody Stand-up sees comedian Brian Posehn do a short stand up routine… whilst he has a bucket load of blood and make-up all over him.
Matthew McGrory Tribute is a nice short reflection on Matthew ‘Tiny’ McGrory’s life. He passed away just after the filming of this film and during the production of a biopic about wrestler Andre the Giant.
Buck Owens: Satan’s Got To Get Along Without Me is a filmclip of Buck Owens singing that very song. It’s twangalicious!
“Mary the Monkey Girl” Commercial is a commercial for Captain Spaulding’s latest attraction.
Captain Spaulding’s Xmas Commercial is a commercial for Spaulding’s Christmas promotion.
Otis’s Home Movies is footage of the depravities Otis committed upon his victims.
Deleted Scenes features 11 scenes deleted from the film. Normally I don’t have a problem with Scenes being removed from films but I would like to see an extended version with some of these back in.
Blooper Reel is actor’s screwing up, this one is a bit too long but it’s pretty funny.
Make-up Test looks at the actors in their costumes.its runs for well over ten minutes but the opportunity to see all the actors in their costumes is pretty awesome.
The Morris Green Show is a rip-off of 70s talk shows in the universe in which the movie exists.
If I am to have any objection to the presentation of the film, it’s the cover. I’m not impressed with the artwork and would have fathered seen something of the original movie posters for it. I’m not attempting to insult the art chosen as I quite like it, just not for this film’s cover.
WISIA: In General I love Rob Zombie’s films so I like to trundle this out now and again.