Director: Rob Zombie
Writer: Rob Zombie
Producers: Andy Gould
Sid Haig as Captain Spaulding, Bill Moseley as Otis, Karen Black as Mother Firefly
As much as I enjoyed my 88-minute ride through this horror-fest, I can’t say that much of it resonated with me when the lights switched back on…kinda like a real campy Haunted House ride actually. Looking back, it even felt a tad redundant at times, especially after its first half hour “set-up”, after which there was a stronger emphasis on just the violence, killings, nuttiness and blood. Not that there’s anything wrong with that…I mean, this IS the ultimate Halloween movie if I ever saw one, but if you’re looking for something a little more “substantial”…Zombie didn’t really bring that to the table in this go-around. The four lead characters were also bland parodies of your typical “geeky kids caught by the side of the road”, while the family of killers, who were fun as heck, didn’t really present us with any juice other than the fact that they were basically all “nuts”. I did like most of the family members though including the foul-mouthed grandpa, the ass-kicking Bill Moseley as Otis, the extremely creepy “Tiny” (listed in Guiness as the man with the world’s largest feet?), the over-the-top tart known as Karen Black and most especially…the lovely assed, Zombie-wife and fun-time killer honey-bunny aka Sheri Moon! Sid Haig was also a blast as Captain Spaulding, and spit out many of the film’s funnier dialogue moments. As mentioned earlier, the movie also goes out of its way to play with the camera and sound, and I especially loved the “I Remember You” slow-motion sequence as the cops made an “interesting” discovery in the back of the house. Very cool. Another fun scene featured the lovely bare-assed Moon walking into the Pussy Liquors store and ordering up a storm of drinks, and how about that wicked super-close-up of that girl’s eye as “someone” is nearing her from the back? Once more…very, very cool.
In the end, the film doesn’t really bring enough originality to the plate, and along with some odd editing choices and an ending that didn’t really do much for me, doesn’t overwhelm, but it certainly managed to ghoulishly entertain me for an hour and a half, and I guess that’s something in itself these days. Another commendable aspect of the film was its ability to balance the comedy and gore well overall, with the picture’s first half playing a little less serious than its much darker second round. That was also one of its problems though, since it was hard to take its more serious elements as “seriously” since a lot of the stuff alongside it, felt like parody. All in all, if watching a movie on Hallo’s Eve is what you’re looking for, HOUSE OF 1000 CORPSES is an incredible freak sideshow with just the right amount of horror, fun, gore, music and mindlessness to fill your pallet. It also “looks” and “feels” as horrific as any such film should. If, on the other hand, you want to be truly “terrified”, challenged creatively or engrossed within an entrancing tale of well-developed characters…well, this Haunted House is likely not for you. This flick is having fun and if you’re hip to that vibe, you’re likely to enjoy its homage-driven ass as well. And get this…no shitty CGI anywhere in sight!! Jan DeBont…take note.