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Rob Zombie Talks 3 From Hell, Devil's Rejects and Laurie Strode in Halloween

The first time I took notice of Rob Zombie was when I happened upon a music video from his band White Zombie. Frankly, from that point on I was hooked. And then came HOUSE OF 1,000 CORPSES. I loved the madness of this fun house insanity, and I especially dug Sid Haig, Sheri Moon Zombie and Bill Moseley bringing a ton of crazy to this psychotic family. And then came THE DEVIL’S REJECTS. What began as a charnel house of horrors soon became something more, something twisted and something intensely brutal. However, after that final showdown with “Freebird” blaring out of the speakers, I thought we were done with Baby, Otis and Captain Spaulding.

However, the nutso band is back together with the release of 3 FROM HELL (OUR REVIEW HERE), a direct sequel to THE DEVIL’S REJECTS. Now I’m not going to spoil how they return, but I will say that they are back to their old ways of bringing destruction and gruesome horror to Zombie’s fans. And happily, I recently chatted with the maestro of mayhem to talk about the sequel, how the Firefly clan survived, and even a bit of HALLOWEEN. Rob discussed returning to the Rejects, a grueling sequence that was based on his own life, and he even opened up about his approach to Laurie Strode in HALLOWEEN and HALLOWEEN 2. 

If you are willing to take a ride with the devil, make sure you pick up your tickets for the September 16th/17th/18th nationwide release of 3 FROM HELL which are available at FathomEvents.com/3FromHell! The Firefly Clan is back and they are ready to raise hell!

Did you think originally that it would be the last we’d see The Firefly Clan when you did THE DEVIL’S REJECTS?

I mean, I always figured it was the last we would see of them. After I finished the movie, I moved on to other things and figured that was that. I shot that movie about fifteen years ago so… yeah, I never thought that I was going to return to it. But as the years went on and the characters seemed to become more popular, and the movies became more popular, the idea would enter my mind every once in awhile. But I’d never act on it. It wasn’t until a couple of years ago that I thought, you know what, I really want to do this now and I’m gonna try to make it happen.

What was the reason? Was it the time we’re living in or did it just feel like the right moment for you?

I don’t know what it was, there was just something about it. I don’t know. I mean, I always loved the characters and always thought it could be a thing to do. But for some reason, at that moment, I just really wanted to do it. You know, I went in, took a meeting at Lionsgate and pitched the idea of doing another film, see if they were interested. And since they were interested, I thought, well okay, I’m going to start moving forward with this. That’s when I started working on the script and you know, making it a reality.

I guess the hard part was bringing them back because it looked like they were goners the last time out. But I think you did a pretty good job with that. How much time did you spend trying to figure that out?

Well that was really the only thing that I knew I was gonna do. I mean, I had a more elaborate way of bringing them back. It was still reality based, and kind of what you see in the movie that I had in my mind. I thought, I could do this, this would be believable. But I never quite did what I pictured, that was the same basic idea. Yeah, I thought bringing them back to life, since we never technically saw them dead - small technicality - but it’s not like you saw them lowered into the ground in coffins. You know, you saw lots of bullets hitting the car, lots of bullets hitting the windshield and lots of bullets hitting them. So I wanted to play up this sort of, the three people in the world who should not have survived are the three exact people that survive.

3 From Hell, Rob Zombie, horror, The Devil's Rejects, House of 1000 Corpses, sequel, JoBlo.com, AITH, Arrow in the HeadI do find that fascinating Rob. In these movies you are technically rooting for three people that you’d never want to run into in real life.

They’re horrible.

Yes! Yet it’s kind of fun to live vicariously in their world.

Yeah, what I think about it is, these characters are like rock stars. They’re punk rock. They’re the f*ck you people to everybody. Whereas most horror movies are about watching the good people try to survive. Which is fine. It’s what they are you know. But I always felt like, well, why do we have to care about that? Why don’t we get caught up in what the maniacs are doing? Follow their journey. That’s why I always took that approach. I mean, the first movie, HOUSE OF 1,000 CORPSES, was a little more conventional in the the beginning. Here’s four normal people getting themselves into bad business. But quickly, the bad people become the fun, charismatic ones. And by THE DEVIL’S REJECTS, forget about it…

What was the change for you? Why did you end up going in that direction? And why continue to take their journey making them sort of (anti) heroes of this story?

Well after HOUSE OF 1,000 CORPSES… I mean, the bad people are always more interesting anyway. When I was making HALLOWEEN, I was really caught up in Michael Myers and that stuff because I thought the character of Laurie Strode was totally boring. Like, oh, she’s a really nice high school girl. BORING. It wasn’t really till the end of the movie when you can tell that she’s kind of gone nuts. She falls through the ceiling, she’s got her face all busted up, she’s all bloody and she’s holding a gun. I was like, well now she’s interesting. That’s why when I did HALLOWEEN 2, I was like, well now she’s interesting. Now she’s damaged. Now she’s f*cked up. Now she’s dark. There is a character there that’s interesting to get into. But people that are just sweet little nothings…

You definitely turned her into something that we hadn’t seen at all in that franchise.

Well yeah, I tried to look at it realistically. If that had realistically happened, the people that did survive it would be so f*cked up from it.

Absolutely.

You know, when teenagers get f*cked up they rebel. So she rebelled against everything because, her parents are murdered, all her friends were murdered, and then she finds out, “oh great, and I’m related to the murderer so I probably caused it… oh good, now I’m completely off the deep end.”

3 From Hell, Rob Zombie, The Devil's Rejects, House of 1000 Corpses, horror, sequel, AITH, JoBlo.com, Arrow in the HeadThat’s true, that is something rarely explored in horror films, just how badly someone gets f*cked up from that experience.

Yeah, I mean, that’s why when they make a sequel and the person is kind of normal and they’re like, I’m gonna fight back… fight back?? You would be a mental patient by that point.

That’s very true.

Everybody you loved in the world is slaughtered in front of you.

In 3 FROM HELL you continue to steer it a little bit away from straight genre, although clearly it’s gruesome, especially the sequence with the warden. But you’ve kind of gone away from the horror genre with these films, is that a place you want to continue to go in the future?

Maybe. Not necessarily. For these films it’s where I wanted to go because I’ve always been a fan of that type of movie, like those Seventies crime films. I always loved that. I mean, I love THE TAKING OF PELHAM ONE TWO THREE as much as I loved, whatever, THE TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE. I always loved that stuff. So with the second film, it edged more toward that direction. So with this, I was like, that’s what it is now. It’s like IN COLD BLOOD, it’s these crazy people on the loose. I don’t know what makes something quote, unquote a horror movie, you know, there’s not monsters in it but these people are monsters. They are just chasing people in broad daylight. Butchering them on a well mannered front lawn, you know, it’s pretty crazy.

That scene f*cked me up by the way. That poor woman just getting attacked like that in f*cking daylight. That was intense.

I based that whole thing on an actual incident that I remember as a kid. When I was a kid, there was this naked guy covered in blood that had been stabbed a bunch of times running down our street. And much like the old lady in the movie, who kind of reacts but doesn’t react, that’s like what everybody was doing on our street. Like people were mowing their lawns and they were like, what did I just f*cking see?! 

Oh my God!

In that sort of setting, your mind is not used to seeing it so you don’t even react almost. At first you are like, did I just see that? That always stuck with me, so that’s why I did it like that. Not at night, but in the broad daylight with the beautiful lens flares happening behind and the bright green trees.

Well now I’m even more disturbed by that. Wow man! At this point, are there more stories to tell? Is this the last we’ll see of the Firefly clan?

I have no plans to do anything else, but I don’t know if my mind could change next year, or the year after. I mean I don’t have anything planned. So we’ll see how this goes and see how we feel. But I definitely feel that I could easily do more because I think Baby, Otis and Foxy are a great trio together. And they could easily cause more destruction.

What is next for you?

Well, I have an album coming out early next year. And I’m shooting music videos. And then I have a couple other film projects in the works, but as always I’m never sure which one is gonna happen first.

3 From Hell, Rob Zombie, The Devil's Rejects, House of 1000 Corpses, horror, sequel, JoBlo.com, AITH, Arrow in the Head

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