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The UnPopular Opinion: House of 1000 Corpses

Jun. 5, 2013by: Alex Maidy

THE UNPOPULAR OPINION is an ongoing column featuring different takes on films that either the writer HATED, but that the majority of film fans LOVED, or that the writer LOVED, but that most others LOATHED. We're hoping this column will promote constructive and geek fueled discussion. Enjoy!
**** SOME SPOILERS ENSUE****

Hollywood is full of natural progressions. People in front of the camera naturally gravitate behind the camera for better or worse. Sometimes, musicians will make the leap from the world of stage and recording to the world of movies, for better or worse. In some cases, music video directors will take that step from short form film-making to theatrical endeavors, again for better or worse. Only sometimes do you get that one-two punch of someone going from the world of music to the world of film-making, but directly behind the scenes. Rob Zombie made that leap in 2003 with HOUSE OF 1000 CORPSES, a movie bad that it may actually be better considered for our Awfully Good column rather than this one. But, seeing as the majority of fans seem to have found something special in the horror debut, I needed to take a moment and set the record straight.

HOUSE OF 1000 CORPSES is bad. I mean not just bad but reprehensibly so. The movie is so god awful that I cringe at the thought of it the way that one would when taking a deep swig of expired milk. Zombie is one of those people who figured making a movie would be a slam dunk only to find out that it takes a lot more than a library of references to classic films to make yours any good. For all the hate that some have for Quentin Tarantino or even Guillermo Del Toro, those two are legitimate directors who have taken their love of cinema, especially B-movies, and turned out high quality homages to their past favorites. Rob Zombie has done nothing for movies but put a name on the poster that would sell albums as well as movie tickets.

Like Zombie's name implies, this movie is dull, plodding, and lacks braaaaaaaains.

Before I go into HOUSE OF 1000 CORPSES, I will say that since making his debut, Zombie has stepped up his game and then down again. THE DEVILS REJECTS was a much better exercise in the grindhouse genre than HOUSE OF 1000 CORPSES if only because the stylistic touches were not the only thing on screen. THE DEVILS REJECTS at least had a comprehensible plot to follow. After those two movies, Zombie turned to HALLOWEEN where he summarily took a massive dump on John Carpenters legacy. Instead of making his own HALLOWEEN, he took the original film and remade it with his soundtrack and a lot more gore and nudity. The original HALLOWEEN worked because it was a slow burn, not a heavy metal orgy. Since his two HALLOWEEN films, Zombie made the insufferable LORDS OF SALEM which returns him to the realm of nonsense he explored with his debut film.

By this point, many of you are probably either agreeing with me and wondering why this is the UnPopular Opinion while others are fuming mad that I would speak ill of Mr. Zombie. For those individuals, I ask this: what did Rob Zombie bring to the world of horror that was not done numerous times better by less talented filmmakers? The movie feels like a music video retread of THE TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE without adding much to it. I would honestly rather watch any of the CHAINSAW sequels a second or even third time than sit through HOUSE OF 1000 CORPSES again.

Do you smell fish because this movie stinks.

Dont even give me that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery because that is bullshit when you cannot edit yourself. The problem with writer/directors is that they dont know when to say when. See M. Night Shyamalan or George Lucas as prime examples of that. At least Quentin Tarantino evolves his films from the writing to filming stages. Sure, he may be overlong and could edit things a bit, but at no point do his movies feel like half-completed tales. HOUSE OF 1000 CORPSES is so bloated with dropped subplots and characters like Dr. Satan that you are just left confused and thinking that you missed something.

I will give Rob Zombie one pat on the back, though. He sure as hell did a nice job casting the movie. He has a nice nerd reference in seeing Chris Hardwick and Rainn Wilson even though both were not yet the popular fixtures they are today. The inclusion of genre stalwarts Sid Haig and Bill Moseley gives the movie some good credibility as a horror film but neither has much to do with their roles aside from look menacing and insane. Both knocked their parts out of the park in THE DEVILS REJECTS while here they just feel wasted. Michael J. Pollard and Karen Black appear as well and gave me the feeling that maybe this movie would be a special ode to midnight movies and horror gone by but nothing sensible comes of it.

Being attractive and a trophy wife does not exempt you from criticism. You suck.

But, for f*cks sake, why in the hell does he include Sheri Moon Zombie in everything he does. Mrs. Zombie is lucky as hell she has a career single handedly provided by her husband because if it wasnt for him she would be doing porn by this point. Even then I think her acting would be considered lacking. She is okay to look at but she delivers her lines in a stilted and amateurish manner that I almost wish I was watching porn. HOUSE OF 1000 CORPSES would have been better if it has been directed by Eli Roth because it feels like it was made by Uwe Boll.

If Rob Zombie makes another movie, I hope it is a feature version of his GRINDHOUSE trailer for WEREWOLF WOMEN OF THE S.S. Coming from the world of music videos, Zombie works better in a short form. That fake trailer is loaded with more honest homage and fun that anything he has ever directed. In fact, that is exactly what HOUSE OF 1000 CORPSES is: a good music video. If you watch the movie in five minute increments, it is likely tolerable and may even make sense. But, the final product feels like a 5 minute music video repeated 18 times.

Oh, and if you have any suggestions for The UnPopular Opinion Im always happy to hear them. You can send along an email to alexmaidy@joblo.com, spell it out below, slap it up on my wall in Movie Fan Central, or send me a private message via Movie Fan Central. Provide me with as many movie suggestions as you like, with any reasoning you'd care to share, and if I agree then you may one day see it featured in this very column!
Source: JoBlo.com

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4:42PM on 06/06/2013
I dont know if its right for this to go in the UNpopular opinion since lots of people hate him. I loved his two Halloweens for the reason that they were his own version of the story and dident try to duplicate Carpenter. I really am not a fan of this movie at all but please dont say Eli Roth would have done a better job because he's a far worse director without half the style of imagination of Zombie.
I dont know if its right for this to go in the UNpopular opinion since lots of people hate him. I loved his two Halloweens for the reason that they were his own version of the story and dident try to duplicate Carpenter. I really am not a fan of this movie at all but please dont say Eli Roth would have done a better job because he's a far worse director without half the style of imagination of Zombie.
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+1
11:35PM on 06/05/2013
Once again, I had no idea
which way he would be leaning when I opened the article. For all I knew, House of 1000 Corpses was an acquired taste if not a generally disliked film. I enjoy it to a point, and if it's ever on late at night I always give it a whirl.
Once again, I had no idea
which way he would be leaning when I opened the article. For all I knew, House of 1000 Corpses was an acquired taste if not a generally disliked film. I enjoy it to a point, and if it's ever on late at night I always give it a whirl.
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+6
8:29PM on 06/05/2013
I forwent reading this one because this seems like an ill fit for this article. House is a cult hit at best. I know maybe 1 or 2 people into the 70's grindhouse style that like this film. Most I know who have seen it don't. However, I will not deny that Zombie knows what he's doing. This film is an extension of a style that he displayed in his music videos and a clear demonstration of the kind of films he loves. A lot of people dislike Rob Zombie. I am not one of them. I like what he did with
I forwent reading this one because this seems like an ill fit for this article. House is a cult hit at best. I know maybe 1 or 2 people into the 70's grindhouse style that like this film. Most I know who have seen it don't. However, I will not deny that Zombie knows what he's doing. This film is an extension of a style that he displayed in his music videos and a clear demonstration of the kind of films he loves. A lot of people dislike Rob Zombie. I am not one of them. I like what he did with the first Halloween movie and I dug The Devil's Rejects. The man makes the films he wants to, plain and simple. You may not like them, but he makes them the way he wants to make them and succeeds at doing so. That said, I was not a fan of House and think that it's his second worst film behind Halloween II.
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6:12PM on 06/05/2013
House of 1000 Corpses currently has a 17% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. How is this an unpopular opinion?
House of 1000 Corpses currently has a 17% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. How is this an unpopular opinion?
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4:52PM on 06/05/2013
ALSO, the sexist and ridiculously offensive digs at Sheri Moon were beyond uncalled for. If she didn't have a career single-handedly given to her by Zombie she'd be doing porn...are you serious? Let's step aside for a second and examine that...WHY would it be porn she'd be doing? As if there'd be no other outlet for her to support herself?
She got her start as a choreographer and is also a designer. I do not think she is an incredible, or even a particularly good actress (she does strong work
ALSO, the sexist and ridiculously offensive digs at Sheri Moon were beyond uncalled for. If she didn't have a career single-handedly given to her by Zombie she'd be doing porn...are you serious? Let's step aside for a second and examine that...WHY would it be porn she'd be doing? As if there'd be no other outlet for her to support herself?
She got her start as a choreographer and is also a designer. I do not think she is an incredible, or even a particularly good actress (she does strong work in all of his films, though), but that is not the point.

If the rest of this poorly-written piece weren't enough, that little tidbit right there assured the fact that no one with any intellect or good sense would take any of what was written here seriously.
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8:30PM on 06/05/2013
Don't get your thong in a wad. She's terrible. Move along.
Don't get your thong in a wad. She's terrible. Move along.
11:51PM on 06/05/2013
This is not about her talent. I specified that above. It's about the principal of what was said, and it was offensive. Then again, judging by your response, I'd hardly expect you to understand why.
This is not about her talent. I specified that above. It's about the principal of what was said, and it was offensive. Then again, judging by your response, I'd hardly expect you to understand why.
4:38PM on 06/05/2013
I have never known anyone who didn't like or appeciate House of 1000 Corpses. It's not a perfect movie by any means but is pretty solid for a 1st feature by Rob Zombie. It's weird, crazy, funny & over the top. It's really a homage to old school horror before the days of Freddy, Jason & Michael Myers. The sequel Devil's Rejects is even better IMO.& way more intense & that ending with Freebird is classic.

Bit of a harsh review though & just seems more like your own opinion instead of an
I have never known anyone who didn't like or appeciate House of 1000 Corpses. It's not a perfect movie by any means but is pretty solid for a 1st feature by Rob Zombie. It's weird, crazy, funny & over the top. It's really a homage to old school horror before the days of Freddy, Jason & Michael Myers. The sequel Devil's Rejects is even better IMO.& way more intense & that ending with Freebird is classic.

Bit of a harsh review though & just seems more like your own opinion instead of an UNpopular one. Just really trying too hard & get a rise out of people again, kinda like you did for The Avengers.
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2:07PM on 06/05/2013
"It's cool to hate on Rob Zombie so I will."
"It's cool to hate on Rob Zombie so I will."
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1:32PM on 06/05/2013
"...After those two movies, Zombie turned to HALLOWEEN where he summarily took a massive dump on John Carpenters legacy..."

Um, where were you when "Halloween: Resurrection" was released? Objectively, that film took a bigger dump on the entire Myers mythos than any other entry. You cannot possibly deny that without sounding like an imbecile. I personally loved his take on the "Halloween"'s, and adore "House of 1,000 Corpses" as well as "Rejects".
"...After those two movies, Zombie turned to HALLOWEEN where he summarily took a massive dump on John Carpenters legacy..."

Um, where were you when "Halloween: Resurrection" was released? Objectively, that film took a bigger dump on the entire Myers mythos than any other entry. You cannot possibly deny that without sounding like an imbecile. I personally loved his take on the "Halloween"'s, and adore "House of 1,000 Corpses" as well as "Rejects".
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10:01AM on 06/06/2013
I feel sorry for you.
I feel sorry for you.
10:01AM on 06/06/2013
I feel sorry for you.
I feel sorry for you.
4:42PM on 06/08/2013
Because I merely stated the obvious? I have never once spoken to a horror fan who thought "Resurrection" was a superior film to Zombie's. People may not have liked what he did with them, but his films were at least ambitious and not insipid sequels utilizing Busta Rhymes. "Resurrection" was an insult to fans, and, really, anyone with a brain.
"Trick or treat, muthafucka"...honestly, what the hell was that?
Because I merely stated the obvious? I have never once spoken to a horror fan who thought "Resurrection" was a superior film to Zombie's. People may not have liked what he did with them, but his films were at least ambitious and not insipid sequels utilizing Busta Rhymes. "Resurrection" was an insult to fans, and, really, anyone with a brain.
"Trick or treat, muthafucka"...honestly, what the hell was that?
1:19PM on 06/05/2013

evil eric

Sid Haig and Bill Moseley save this movie for me. There are a few shining moments that really make it. But it seems like someone edited it to death. I could see a cut of it that takes out the music video type portions of the movie. It's not bad, just not great either.
Sid Haig and Bill Moseley save this movie for me. There are a few shining moments that really make it. But it seems like someone edited it to death. I could see a cut of it that takes out the music video type portions of the movie. It's not bad, just not great either.
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1:02PM on 06/05/2013

To each their own

Visually, I enjoy the shit out of this movie. While it may not have been original, it has a vibe that is unique in its own right. I could totally watch this movie on mute, but play a badass mix of music that I feel encompasses the tone of the movie, and be completely satisfied. (I guess this could support the "music video vibe" opinion.)

While I enjoy watching it, I do agree that the acting isn't up to par and the dialogue is cheesy. I'm a sucker for B-movies, so it didn't bother me
Visually, I enjoy the shit out of this movie. While it may not have been original, it has a vibe that is unique in its own right. I could totally watch this movie on mute, but play a badass mix of music that I feel encompasses the tone of the movie, and be completely satisfied. (I guess this could support the "music video vibe" opinion.)

While I enjoy watching it, I do agree that the acting isn't up to par and the dialogue is cheesy. I'm a sucker for B-movies, so it didn't bother me enough to nitpick every flaw and cause me not to enjoy it for what it was. If this is what Zombie was going for, he succeeded.
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11:42AM on 06/05/2013
I liked the introduction of Captain Spaulding, I liked Karen Black's nymphomaniac, I liked how Zombie did the scene where the sheriff and his deputy get offed. And I liked the very last shot. But the movie as a whole, in particular toward the end, when the girl gets chased by what looks like a henchman from a Saturday morning cartoon, all suited up in armor, was just a complete mess. More often than not it's style over substance, and a bit too much like a circus to be taken seriously. The kids
I liked the introduction of Captain Spaulding, I liked Karen Black's nymphomaniac, I liked how Zombie did the scene where the sheriff and his deputy get offed. And I liked the very last shot. But the movie as a whole, in particular toward the end, when the girl gets chased by what looks like a henchman from a Saturday morning cartoon, all suited up in armor, was just a complete mess. More often than not it's style over substance, and a bit too much like a circus to be taken seriously. The kids don't get properly developed, and the killers, except for Bill Mosely, don't really come off as particularly real-world threatening.

But it did set the stage for The Devil's Rejects, which left off pretty much everything that didn't work in the first movie (like the underground army of homicidal maniacs), to focus on the core Firefly clan and a lawman who's scarier than any of them.
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+2
11:27AM on 06/05/2013

heh

To me it was a movie of moments. As a whole it is pretty bad but there are several moments sprinkled through it that were entertaining and fun. Any scene with Sid Haig were great. My fav was how long Otis holds the gun to the cops head before pulling the trigger, that would be so brutal sitting there waiting. What i can't stand is every movie R. Zombie has made since and his near psychotic need to put his trailer trash wife in to every one.
To me it was a movie of moments. As a whole it is pretty bad but there are several moments sprinkled through it that were entertaining and fun. Any scene with Sid Haig were great. My fav was how long Otis holds the gun to the cops head before pulling the trigger, that would be so brutal sitting there waiting. What i can't stand is every movie R. Zombie has made since and his near psychotic need to put his trailer trash wife in to every one.
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10:58AM on 06/05/2013

the third act

the third act just came out of nowhere and was riddled with ADD. very disappointing.

But i gotta agree w/ drama. still liked it!
the third act just came out of nowhere and was riddled with ADD. very disappointing.

But i gotta agree w/ drama. still liked it!
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10:49AM on 06/05/2013
I didn't realize that this movie was popular enough to be unpopular not to like it.
I didn't realize that this movie was popular enough to be unpopular not to like it.
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10:45AM on 06/05/2013
Losers.
Losers.
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10:00AM on 06/05/2013

Disagree

While I may like Devils Rejects better, I still like House of 1000 Corpses. I still remember watching it for the first time and thinking how sick and twisted it was.I think the only thing I hate about Rob's movies is the use of the same actors over and over. Especially his wife. So while he's not my favorite director, I do enjoy his movies and feel he brings something different to the table. I'd rather watch a zombie movie over paranormal activity 4 or pg 13, CGI filled horse shit like the
While I may like Devils Rejects better, I still like House of 1000 Corpses. I still remember watching it for the first time and thinking how sick and twisted it was.I think the only thing I hate about Rob's movies is the use of the same actors over and over. Especially his wife. So while he's not my favorite director, I do enjoy his movies and feel he brings something different to the table. I'd rather watch a zombie movie over paranormal activity 4 or pg 13, CGI filled horse shit like the Unborn or Mama
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9:41AM on 06/05/2013
It's unpopular to say this movie's shit? Since when? It's always been a shit film.
It's unpopular to say this movie's shit? Since when? It's always been a shit film.
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8:54AM on 06/05/2013
Can't hate this film - the scene in the phone booth where there's a flyer in the background saying "Missing Dog's Head" - Zombie knew exactly what sort of trash he was making, and made it well. The Devil's Rejects is a totally different beast, and a far better film, but I still dig 1000 Corpses.
Can't hate this film - the scene in the phone booth where there's a flyer in the background saying "Missing Dog's Head" - Zombie knew exactly what sort of trash he was making, and made it well. The Devil's Rejects is a totally different beast, and a far better film, but I still dig 1000 Corpses.
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8:37AM on 06/05/2013
Good article. Rob Zombie is a piss poor excuse for a director.
Good article. Rob Zombie is a piss poor excuse for a director.
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7:43AM on 06/05/2013

Why has this article been written?

For a movie that holds a 17% on rotten tomatoes, and an IMDB rating of 5.8 out of 10 how is it the "popular opinion" to like it? This movie is far inferior to the follow up, The Devil's Rejects. House was below average and just a very messy slasher flick. Why don't you do an unpopular opinion that actually is unpopular?
For a movie that holds a 17% on rotten tomatoes, and an IMDB rating of 5.8 out of 10 how is it the "popular opinion" to like it? This movie is far inferior to the follow up, The Devil's Rejects. House was below average and just a very messy slasher flick. Why don't you do an unpopular opinion that actually is unpopular?
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7:05AM on 06/05/2013
House of 1,000 Corpses has a lot of merit, IMO. Zombie's movie has two central virtues.
One, the story works. It is no different from other successful movies. Naive, semi-arrogant young people go looking where they should not. In turn, they encounter dark forces. As often noted, House of 1,000 Corpses resembles the revered Texas Chainsaw Massacre. In the case of the Firefly family, these forces are even mostly realistic. The Firefly family resembles real houses of horror and real serial
House of 1,000 Corpses has a lot of merit, IMO. Zombie's movie has two central virtues.
One, the story works. It is no different from other successful movies. Naive, semi-arrogant young people go looking where they should not. In turn, they encounter dark forces. As often noted, House of 1,000 Corpses resembles the revered Texas Chainsaw Massacre. In the case of the Firefly family, these forces are even mostly realistic. The Firefly family resembles real houses of horror and real serial killers. Granted, these cases do not happen all of the time, but they are around. In real-life, sickos sometimes set-up sick lifestyles and an elaborate compound in which to live them.
Two, in 2003, House of 1,000 Corpses brought extreme horror back to general audiences. It brought it back to the local cineplex. I remember watching the movie and wondering where such extreme horror had gone. House of 1,000 Corpses gave a lulled horrorfan a fix. Its realistic horror included emotional horror; a person felt for the characters. It took risks. And, one of its virtues is that House of 1,000 Corpses is not for every taste.

However, I give this article a "I'm neutral" because everyone is entitled to his opinion.
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6:45AM on 06/05/2013
I love dissenting opinions when it comes to art because it makes it more interesting. That being said - this article is just lazy. It reads like an over indulgent youtube comment, something that should never constitute an article.

With Zombie being such a divisive filmmaker there was an opportunity for strikeback dialogue that was wasted using the tone of a person who is contrarian for the sake of being contrarian. The result: a number of readers thinking, "why would I even type out my
I love dissenting opinions when it comes to art because it makes it more interesting. That being said - this article is just lazy. It reads like an over indulgent youtube comment, something that should never constitute an article.

With Zombie being such a divisive filmmaker there was an opportunity for strikeback dialogue that was wasted using the tone of a person who is contrarian for the sake of being contrarian. The result: a number of readers thinking, "why would I even type out my opinion and try to discuss Zombie's catalog with this guy when it is clear that he isn't even going to listen - not to mention, based off this piece, I question if he has even fully watched some of the films mentioned here."

And then there is the fact that this is in the general news section, (not AITH), where Zombie has never been highly regarded. So if anything this article was just dumped out as an easy way to get a bunch of "hell yes! what a hack!" circlejerk responses.

Maidy might as well have written about Lindelof and how he "ruins" endings.

And don't get me started on Maidy...how is this dude still working for you guys?
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6:32AM on 06/05/2013

Glad to learn someone else dislikes his stuff

I'll disagree with LickMyLovePump in that it seems this website is filled with guys who can't get enough of Rob Zombie's work. I am glad to see someone here give his work a very hearty thumbs down.
I'll disagree with LickMyLovePump in that it seems this website is filled with guys who can't get enough of Rob Zombie's work. I am glad to see someone here give his work a very hearty thumbs down.
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6:12AM on 06/05/2013

hell yes

This is a pile of shit. Agree with every word!!!
This is a pile of shit. Agree with every word!!!
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2:57AM on 06/05/2013

I'm giving your headline a thumbs down......

How is disliking it an unpopular opinion?....I thought it was a known fact that it's unpopular to like it.
How is disliking it an unpopular opinion?....I thought it was a known fact that it's unpopular to like it.
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+0
2:29AM on 06/05/2013

So right on

Bad bad bad movie. The clown guy was played very well, but this movie sucks.
Bad bad bad movie. The clown guy was played very well, but this movie sucks.
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