THE DEVIL'S REJECTS (DC)
Reviewed by: JimmyO
Sheri Moon Zombie
What's it about
After being ambushed by Sheriff Wydell; Baby and Otis escape while Mother Firefly gets caught taking care of her baby boy. On the road, they meet up with Captain Spaulding and try to keep away from Wydell's twisted brand of justice... while having a bloody good time along the way.
Is it good movie?
The Devil’s Rejects is a sequel to House of 1,000 Corpses in that it continues with the Firefly family adventures. It starts almost directly after the original ends. But unlike the funhouse feel of Corpse, Rejects is a raw, hypnotic, mind f*ck of a movie. Rob Zombie has grown in the course of only two movies and a handful of music videos as a pretty damn talented director. This is the kind of flick that doesn’t just try and shock to offend, there is a method to this madness. He tells us a story about a psychotic family and dares making them human. By doing this he creates a much more disturbing image. These people love like everyone else and they hurt and feel pain as much as they like to inflict it. With strong performances from Sid Haig, Bill Moseley and Sheri Moon Zombie, we somehow care for these people. Sure you want to see them suffer because of who they are. But even Sheriff Wydell (William Forsythe), the “good guy”, is taken to a very dark and disturbing place. His sense of justice is just as perverted as the Firefly’s sense of pleasure. Everything works, even when we simply have Otis refusing to stop for ice cream as they are driving off from committing horrible atrocities to undeserving victims. And for all you gore hounds, this version is uncut. Although very little is added from the theatrical cut it is still pretty damn gruesome… road kill anyone?
As with the original, the Seventies are vividly portrayed here. From the editing to the directing, this film felt genuine. Not only is the look "right on" but we also get a great collection of classic songs used perfectly throughout the film. Especially notable is the use of "Freebird" by Lynard Skynard and "To Be Treated" by Terry Reid. The later used brilliantly as brutal acts of violence fill the screen. In addition to the music, Rob made some truly inspired casting choices. Priscilla Barnes is especially fantastic in one of the most disturbing scenes as Otis’ victim. If you just remember her from Three’s Company you’re in for one hell of a surprise. We also get some incredible performances from E.G. Daily, Ken Foree and of course William Forsythe, dude gives a kick ass performance. I loved the casting here. Even though the “victims” in this film were secondary characters, I felt for them, much more than I did in the original. And Leslie Easterbrook really surprised me as Mother Firefly. I was a bit worried when Karen Black did not reprise her role but it worked. I had nightmares about that woman’s tongue. Yikes! All in all The Devil’s Rejects is a brutal, sadistic and strangely beautiful road trip that hits all the right marks. So pack up your bags and get in the car… We’re going to hell!
Video / Audio
Video: Widescreen 1.85:1
Audio: Dolby Digital Surround EX
Thank you Lions Gate for this loaded 2-Disc DVD. The extras here are fantastic. Where to begin?
For starters, on disc 1 we have tons of good stuff including two commentaries; one from Rob Zombie himself. Funny and informative, he is very good at this kind of thing. It is nice to hear what the hell this guy is thinking. And then we have Sid Haig, Bill Moseley and Sheri Moon Zombie on the “actor” commentary. I loved hearing their take on all the other actors and the more personal side of making this flick. Sheri is not only hot as hell but she is incredibly charming here. Two terrific commentaries you will not want to miss if you dig this flick.
Blooper Reel (5:21) – Funny stuff… it looks like they had a blast during this shoot.
The Morris Green Show – “Ruggsville’s #1 Talk Show” (13:17) – This is the complete "mock" talk show that we only see a few moments of in the movie. I dug it.
Two Captain Spaulding Commercials; the first is Mary the Monkey Girl (1:09) and the second is Spaulding Christmas (1:07). What can I say about this one… only “God Bless Captain Spaulding”!
“Cheerleader Missing” – The Otis Home Movie (:54) – Just a little home movie of Otis where he murders a girl. This is a very twisted little extra… fun for the whole family.
“Satan’s Got To Get Along Without Me” – Buck Owens Video – I really liked this extra. It’s an old television variety show with Buck Owens performing his song. Great song but I’m a sucker for old country. Not the greatest sound quality though… oh, well.
We have several Deleted Scenes (13:16) – they play consecutively so you have to watch all of them together. It would have been nice to be able to watch them separate but still a terrific feature. The scenes include: “Swamp Escape”, “Family Argument”, “Keep Your Cool”, “Dr. Satan Attacks”, “Snake Bite”, “French Tickler”, “Pork Rind”, “Marshmellow Ass”, “Keep Your Mouth Shut”, “Otis and Candy Make Funky Music” and finally “Personal Escort Into Hell”. The best of these is “Dr. Satan Attacks” where Rosario Dawson plays a nurse who meets the wraith of Dr. Satan. Originally the Doctor had been featured in this flick but removed because he didn’t really fit with the rest of the movie. It's a great scene but it I agree that it should have been taken out.
Make-Up Tests (13:07) – Make-Up tests done on the actors. The least interesting of the extra features, we ain’t talking gore make-up, just average, every day make-up. Next…
Matthew McGrory Tribute (2:06) – This is a very nice tribute to Tiny. It includes interviews and on-set footage of the actor. Rest in peace sir, you will be missed.
Theatrical Trailers and TV Spots (3:02) – Again, these run together as with the deleted scenes. Some good trailers but I don’t think they represent the movie that well. Still cool though.
Soundtrack (:30) – Short commercial for the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack. As an extra, nothing special.
And this brings us to Disc 2. 30 Days in Hell: The Making of the Devil’s Rejects (144 minutes). This is by far the best thing about this disc aside from the movie itself. We get an in-depth look at the making of Rejects divided into five parts. This is a fantastic, detailed documentary where we see everything from make up, casting, special effects to locations. Part One (29:58) deals primarily with casting, locations and all other aspects of the pre-production and the first day of shooting. Part Two (26:29) includes day 2 through 6 of shooting. This includes the fantastic road kill scene. Part Three (28:46) includes day 7 through 14; the final “Freebird” sequence and the Dr. Satan moment ultimately cut out of the film. Part Four (30:00), day 15 through 21, this section includes the opening shoot-out. Freakin cool stuff; loved this sequence and really enjoyed the “behind the scenes” of it. And finally, Part Five (29:39) finishes off one of the best DVD documentaries I have ever seen. I would have bought if for this feature alone.
The Devil’s Rejects stands out as one of the best horror flicks in recent years. Rob Zombie’s use of sadistic violence with very human characters is much more disturbing than most of its contemporary counterparts. Add to that a terrific cast and one helluva soundtrack, you get a classic example of modern horror this side of Sam Peckinpah. I for one can’t wait to see what Mr. Zombie comes up with next.