The Devil’s Rejects

Review Date:
Director: Rob Zombie
Writer: Rob Zombie
Producers: Mike Elliott, Andy Gould, Michael Ohoven, Rob Zombie
Sid Haig as Captain Spaulding
Bill Moseley as Otis
Sheri Moon as Baby
A family of murdering psychopaths continue the rampage that they began in the prequel to this film, but start this one off with the arrest of the “mother” in the household, and the escape & subsequent chase of the remaining three killers. What ensues is a whole lot of killing, blood and ugliness, and a cop looking to put a stop to it all.
Rob Zombie’s got a ton of things going for him. For one, he’s already had a pretty enviable career and is now taking his talents to the big screen with HOUSE OF 1000 CORPSES starting things off nicely, with a campy, over-the-top murder-fest and now this follow-up carving out an entirely different niche within that same “murder-fest” domain. He’s also married to one sexy hottie named Sheri Moon, who starred in both films as Baby, and lastly, and most importantly to audiences, is that he’s an excellent director who has an eye for all things “cool” and a great ear for fun dialogue spoken by many an odd character. Put all of that together and you’re bound to wind up with interesting movies and if anything else, THE DEVIL’S REJECTS comes across as a damn fine 70s homage flick with a Western-horror touch that you won’t find in many movies nowadays. I really enjoyed Zombie’s eye in his first flick, and liked it quite a lot here as well, with some very nifty shots always keeping things interesting (loved the faded look, the split-screens, etc…) and the continued great use of music in combination with extraordinary sequences on screen. This film includes a few new memorable scenes including an all-out gunfight opening and one of the cooler slow-motion endings of all-time, set to a perfect tune. Despite not being a direct sequel to the previous film, many of the lead characters are back, and three leads in particular, played by Sid Haig, Bill Moseley and the aforementioned Moon, are excellent in their parts. Moseley, in particular, is even more sadistic and badass in this movie, to the point that you sometimes can’t believe that he’s saying or doing the things that he is.

Much like the previous film, this one doesn’t pull any punches either with tons of blood, plenty of murders and even more effectively, a hunk of uncomfortable and entirely disgusting sequences, featuring the torture and humiliation of many o’ people. The rest of the cast also comes through wonderfully with a bunch of B-name actors coming in to play small parts, but making them all work in their own little way. The only character that didn’t seem entirely in sync with the rest of the cast was Leslie Easterbrook and her Mama Firefly character, who was just a little (read: a lot) over-the-top for my taste. William Forsythe was also an excellent addition to the lead cast as the baddest-ass Sheriff of them all. I also loved all of the mustaches and cars all around…good shit! On the downside, being that this was the “unrated” version that I saw, I was ultimately a little bored and turned off by the constant scenes of bloody torture and humiliation, which after a while, just felt tired to me. I can appreciate those scenes as much as the next guy, but at some point, they can overtake the story…or at the very least, make you lose track of it all. I’m also a stickler for believability in most films, and particularly in such gory affairs, and since most of the movie was pretty believable (under the circumstances), I was pretty disappointed by the film’s pre-ending which featured a character coming out friggin’ nowhere to save the day (cheap) and several characters being surrounded by gas and fire, and someway-somehow, surviving it for minutes and minutes on end. I just didn’t buy it and in a movie with so many murderous rampages, you would think that other stuff might’ve taken me out of it, but in my case…it was the pre-ending. I say “pre-ending”, because it actually turns out to be the ending before the real ending, which as I mentioned earlier…is pretty badass!

Some scenes felt “tacked in” for humorous effect as well, including the “do you fuck chickens?” sequence, which didn’t work for me, and the “film critic talking about Groucho Marx” scene, which did work for me, as I found it be both surreal and funny. All that said, I hope that I don’t need to tell you that this film is not for the faint of heart as it’s racked with blood, guts, murders and anything else that you could think of that might offend someone, including the sexual degradation of Terri from “Three’s Company”. Also, the film apparently just beat the record for the most times that the word “fuck” has been used in a movie, so be prepared for plenty of saucy language to boot. Overall, I enjoyed this film as a nice companion piece to its predecessor, and despite a few problems that I did have with it, I enjoyed it on the whole, and continue to be impressed by Zombie’s talents as a director. In fact, I’m looking forward to seeing what he does outside of this world that he created in his first two films. Fun dialogue, excellent direction, many awesome tunes, memorable sequences and tons and tons of blood, all make for an interesting time at the movies.

(c) 2021 Berge Garabedian

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