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Face-Off: House of 1000 Corpses Vs. The Devil's Rejects

04.15.2013by: Mike Catalano
Oh, we had a ton of crazed ghouls voicing their pissed-off opinions with our last Face-Off. Many felt that there was no way in hell or on earth that Army of Darkness could best Evil Dead 2. However, a few less frazzled readers were able to open their minds and see how Raimi's medieval third entry could gain the upper (metal)hand.

Today's Face-Off concerns a horror filmmaker that's always ready to stir up the controversy. I'm talking about the man behind the infamous Halloween remake and its sequel, Mr. Robert Montgomery Zombie (you know, Rob Zombie) who happens to have a brand new original horror flick opening this Friday called The Lords of Salem. I can't think of a better time to put his first two movies up against each other! So, prepare to be abused by the Firefly clan as we watch HOUSE OF 1000 CORPSES take on THE DEVIL'S REJECTS!

Violence
Zombie made sure to have his splatter while delivering his first ever movie directorial effort. We get gunshot wounds with blood bursting forth, brutal slicings and stabbings, and even some disgustingly f*cked-up surgery schlock! People are skinned, limbs are dismembered. Yup it is certainly one gory house of horrors.
Where 1000 Corpses had some quick cutaways in terms of violent gore, Rejects gleefully keeps the splatter properly front and center. From gruesome gunshots that spurt, to stabbings that spit the red, the hardcore gore just doesn't stop! My personal top three: Otis removing and wearing Banjo's face as a mask, William Forsythe firing nails into the Firefly clan, and poor Wendy being literally flattened by a truck while wearing her husband's face! Top notch!
Quotes
Nobody does down-home, white trash filth dialogue quite like Zombie. Have a taste:

"Listen, you Malibu middle class Barbie piece of shit, I'm tryin' to work here. Work? You ever work? Yeah, I'll bet you have. Scoopin' ice cream to your shit-heel friends on summer break. Well I ain't talkin' about no goddamn white socks with Mickey Mouse on one side and Donald Duck on the other. I ain't readin' no funny books, mama. Our bodies come and go but this blood... is forever."

"It's all true. The bogeyman is real and you found him."

"I'm the one who brings the Christmas candy. Now tell me, who's your daddy? I'm the one who brings the devil's brandy."

"We like to get fucked up, and do fucked up shit."

"Take his gag out. It's more fun with the screaming."

Not to be outdone, Zombie happily brought back the trash and added a dash of righteous gravity:

"If you're gonna start the killing, you best start it right here. Make sure I'm all the way dead, because I'll come back and make you my bitch!"

"Boy, the next word that comes out of your mouth better be some brilliant fuckin' Mark Twain shit. 'Cause it's definitely getting chiseled on your tombstone."

"I am the devil, and I am here to do the devil's work."

"You listen to me, and you listen good! I am gonna kill every member of your family! I'm gonna hunt them down like the animals they are, and I'm gonna skin em' alive! They are going to feel the pain and suffering of every last victim! They're gonna crawl on on their hands and knees, and they're gonna beg me for mercy! But all I'm gonna have for them is pain! Pain and death!"

Baby Firefly
In Corpses, Baby was basically just this crazy, annoying, hitchhiking sexpot. And there is definitely nothing wrong with that. She was just kinda one-dimensional. Like Zombie just figured, "Yeah, my wife is hot and silly. She's kind of an actress, so I'll write her into this horror flick I'm doing." Though, her little rendition of I Wanna Be Loved By You did project a sultry sense of madness.
Now in Rejects, Baby comes at us in a slightly different manner. Sure, she's still got her whole sexpot demeanor, however she seems to have matured in terms of being a psychotic killer. She actually uses her sexuality to help advance her family's murderous ways and even displays some signs of intelligence (in terms of a serial killer). For me, her full evolution into a major player comes when she is captured by Forsythe and basically asks him to punish her with his nail gun.
Depravity
A team of cheerleaders is abducted, assaulted, murdered, and most likely assaulted again. Another woman is repeatedly beaten, tied up, and berated. A father sets his son and home on fire. An entire family feels right at home with a man who is setting up an experimental super race of mentally challenged freakazoids that are meant to take over the world. Yeah, it ain't even close to normal here.
Well, Otis makes "Terri" from Three's Company strip down to her undies and fondles her nipple with the tip of his gun. He also forces a woman to wear the actual face of her recently murdered husband. Then, William Forsythe, an officer of the law, captures the Firefly clan and instead of taking them to jail, tortures the crap out of them with a nail gun. Pretty f-ed up.
Scares
There is a consistent threat of the strange unknown that follows Corpses throughout its running time. Thankfully, the odd, but creepy pace doesn't seem to stop. You never really know what the f*cked-up family inside this crazy house is going to come out with next. And as the victims begin facing their fates, a new form of terror is born each time as to how sadistically deep the roots of that house run.
While it's true that the jump-scare factor is at a minimum here, seeing as how this flick tells its story from the bad guys point of view, a different kind of scary emerges. Getting an up close and personal look at how the sick minds of the Firefly clan function and how far they are willing to spread their evil is a frightening gift to behold. But it ain't as scary as Corpses.
The Devil's Rejects
Okay, I'm sure I'll get lots of fun flack for this, but I'm just going to go right out and say it: the better movie won here. I actually hated 1000 Corpses the first time I saw it, although appreciated it a bit more after a second viewing. Regardless, Rejects is definitely the superior movie from its acting to its story to its production values, so yeah, I'm glad it took this Face-Off! But who gives a shit what I think? Now's the fun time for YOU to tell me what's right and what's wrong in the bullet-spitting section below. So, go get 'em! And feel free to send any future Face-Off ideas to me at mikecatalano@joblo.com.

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