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House of 1000 Corpses was released 14 years ago today

04.11.2017by: Mike Sprague

Happy 14th Birthday HOUSE OF 1000 CORPSES!

I remember first seeing the trailer for HOUSE OF 1000 CORPSES before a VHS copy of PITCH BLACK I rented one weekend. This was back in 2000. Little did I know I'd have to wait three years to see the film...

Turns out, I was working at a movie theater when the film was finally released so it's "I'm cooler than you" time. I was able to see the movie a week before its official release, after midnight, with one other employee who wanted to watch it. We became fast friends after that.

Today I want to share some history on the film, some trivia, behind the scenes pics, and art. 


HISTORY

In 1999, Zombie came up with the idea for HOUSE OF 1000 CORPSES while designing a haunted maze attraction for Universal's Halloween Horror Nights. He later pitched the idea to Universal: 

I was in the office of the head of production or something and he asked me if I had any movie ideas and I pitched him Corpses, which was very rough at the time because I wasn't ready and I made it up on the spot. He liked it, I went home, wrote a 12-page treatment and met up with them. Two months later, we were shooting." 

Production on the film began in May 2000 and was shot on a twenty-five-day shooting schedule. Filming was completed by Halloween of 2000 and was set for release through Universal. The studio completed a theatrical trailer for the film, which was shown in theaters. Zombie later learned the studio's fears of the film receiving an NC-17 rating had led to the company's refusal to release the film.

Zombie later made a deal with MGM to release the film. MGM later refused to release the film following a controversial remark from Zombie claiming that the company had no morals for releasing the film. Lionsgate then stepped up and agreed to release the film in 2003.

HOUSE OF 1000 CORPSES was finally released on April 11, 2003, debuted to $3.4 million in limited release before opening wide and collecting an official opening weekend of $2.5 million. The flick opened second that weekend behind ANGER MANAGEMENT. It went on to gross $12.6 million domestic and $16.8 million worldwide.

The flick was then released on home video August 12, 2003.

The rest is history.

TRIVIA

There is more than one instance where you see a poster for two missing young boys. Those boys were actually pictures of Rob Zombie and his brother (the lead singer of Powerman 5000) as children.

Most of the cutaway scenes (Otis torturing cheerleaders, Baby masturbating with the skeleton, etc) were filmed in Rob Zombie's basement after filming wrapped. He would invite cast members over to his house on the weekends and shoot the footage himself with a 16mm hand-held camera. With the exception of the shot of a setting sun, he created the opening credits the same way.

Filmed in 2000, but wasn't released until three years later.

Universal pictures (original production company) refused to release the film, believing it would be given an "NC-17" rating by the MPAA.

The actual house is the same used in The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (1982), which can be viewed during Universal Studio's tram ride. However, during filming, Universal refused to cease the tram tours, which delayed filming during many scenes.

This was Dennis Fimple's last film. He was increasingly sick with heart disease during filming and a few of his scenes were filmed with him sitting down.

Rob Zombie has said that he was constantly shooting two versions of the gorier scenes to appease Universal. For instance, a shot at the start of the film in which the robber who was stabbed with the Axe is on the floor was shot two ways: with blood and without blood. Several scenes were also shot twice involving regular lighting and red lighting to give it a more gruesome effect both of which were edited into the final cut. Note several scenes with cross-cutting involving sets lit with white light, and red light

When Denise calls her father, there is a Missing Dog Head poster in the phone booth. The exact origin is unknown, but the poster is a very strange "real" item that was spotted in New York City.

During the "murder tour" segment, there is a brief glimpse of a fetus-like creature. This is one of the failed clone experiments from "Alien Resurrection"

Harrison Young is wearing an almost identical outfit to the one he wore while playing older Ryan in Saving Private Ryan (1998).

The film's script was constantly changing throughout filming, leading to an entirely different ending at one point. Originally Grandpa Hugo was going to be revealed as the mad doctor (who in the rough cut was not even called Dr. Satan).

As you can imagine, my suggestion is for you to put aside whatever flick you were planning to watch tonight (unless you were planning to watch Mike Flanagan's OCULUS - which was also released on this date back in 2014) and, instead, re-watch Rob Zombie's neo-classic HOUSE OF 1000 CORPSES.

Share it with someone you love.

Extra Tidbit: Goddamn motherf*cker got blood all over my best clown suit.

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