THE BOOGYMAN IS REAL, AND YOU FOUND HIM!!
Pamela Scarangello | Middletown, NJ USA | 08/17/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I snatched this DVD off the shelf the day of its release, and for good reason. "House of 1000 Corpses" is absolutely the greatest grisly horror film I've ever seen! Watching the movie in its original theatrical premiere gave me the thrills and chills, and I don't even listen to any of Rob Zombie's music. What makes this film quite excellent is that it has finally reawakened the celluloid corpse of the horror genre; before this, Hollywood has churned out an obscene number of dull PG-13 teeny bopper flicks, including "Scream" and "I Know What you Did Last Summer." While paying homage to the low-budget shockfests of the 1960's and 70's, Zombie gives "House" a post-millenium twist with acidic photo negativity and twisted montages incorporating topless strippers, mutilated cadavers and snippets from campy black-and-white monster movies (provided by Dr. Wolfenstein's Creature Feature Marathon). Rob Zombie himself commented that a majority of "House's" gritty home video footage was shot through a hand-held camera in parts of Zombie's own basement! Also notice how NO high-tech computer effects were used; because "House" is set in the rural American South in 1977, the makers intended to stay true to that period (not to mention achieve realistic gore without overspending the budget). And of course the larger-than-life characters of "House of 1000 Corpses" are just as memorable as those in "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." In fact, in the DVD's featurette, Sig Haig happily confessed how he would like to see this film presented in any tiny theatre where audiences can yell back at the screen! Who wouldn't love to visit Captain Spaulding's Museum of Monsters and Madman and sample a bag of tasty fried chicken? Would you dare purchase a ticket to the scary Murder Ride and learn the legend of Dr. Satan? Or how about the psychotic Spiderfly family, who light up the flickering candles on Halloween night and fiendishly participate in a gruesome celebration (one in which cheerleaders are gagged, tied up and tortured)? Better yet, when was the last time a cinema fanatic witnessed a cult ritual of blood and fire, dedicated to the famous Dr. Satan himself?! Although I enjoy watching this film from beginning to end, I do have a few favorite moments. The first that immediately comes in my head is none other than the creepy Murder Ride, complete with cross-shaped tombstones, animatronic zombies and the awesome Captain telling the tragic tales of real-life serial murderers, molesters and cannibals (most notably Ed Gein, the notorious killer whose farmhouse was borrowed for "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.") I love the part when Baby (Sherie Moon) struts her way to the stage in her glittering evening gown, lip-synching to "I Wanna Be Loved by You" like a cute Hollywood starlet. Such bizarre charm! Yet another moment that stands out in my mind is when the sadistic Otis (Bill Moseley) lops off a victim's right hand with an axe...all while the funky Commodore's hit "She's a Brick House" blares on the radio! Mother Firefly (played by the voluptuous Karen Black) sort of reminds me of a blond, venomous Sharon Osbourne from the South!
You kiddies will be happy to know that actors Sid Haig, Sherie Moon AND Bill Moseley actually host the different menus on the DVD; after returning to their delightfully creepy roles in the film, they each provide color commentary DIRECTLY TO YOU! Unfortunately, the list of extras DOES NOT include any hardcore deleted scenes, but if you carefully listen to Zombie's commentary, you might get just a hint as to which kind of footage was edited out. The interviews segment is quite interesting to watch too. I think I like the part when Sid Haig (clown greasepaint and all) chose "House of Wax" as his most favorite horror movie. Each interview even unveils a brand new character action figure!
I can hardly wait to see what Rob Zombie has in store for us in the future, when he prepares to unleash an even more violent sequel! RIP Dennis Fimple."
Cult Classic Wannabe: Rocky Horror Meets Texas Chainsaw
David M. Elder | Pacifica, CA USA | 08/20/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"OK, this movie got a generally bad review by the Brie-sniffing, wine-swine critics who feel only foreign movies are worth a view. Having said that, House of 1000 Cropses is not a 'GOOD' Film: It's a 'BAD' film, a really 'BAD' film! And yet it has those endearing qualities that fans of bad horror films have come to love: the stuff of what cult classics are made of. It's clearly what director Rob Zombie had in mind. To the question of whether or not he has succeeded, only time will tell.In a nutshell, two teenage couples on a Halloween date end up in a gas station museuem run by a foul-mouthed clown named Captain Spaulding and an aged Michael J. Pollard (remember him from Bonnie & Clyde). The mueseum is sort of a chamber of horrors, depicting modern day serial killers such as Ed Gein (the basis for Tobe Hooper's TSM movie). Here the kids learn of the legend of the mad Dr. Satan, the local serial-killer.Dragging their dates along, the boyfriends want to go in search of Dr. Satan landmarks and end up running into a beautiful blonde hitchhiker named 'Baby' who leads them right into an ambush. The couples take refuge in an old farmhouse that turns out to belong to Baby and the rest of her demented Pyscho-Killer family who proceed to put the teenagers through a series of tortures right out of the Tales of Arabian Nights. Karen Black (Trilogy of Terror, Easy Rider, Five Easy Pieces) plays Mother Firefly, trying to outdo her equally demented daughter Baby in the tortures she puts her 'Guests' through.OTIS (Otis was the name of serial-killer Henry Lee Lucas's sidekick), played by Bill Mosely is the head of the family resembling a mean-spirited Riff-Raff (Rocky Horror Picture Show).
His Mansonesque vision underscores the remainder of the movie's scenes which mostly depict a series of fun-house horrors.Characters and scenes are, for the most part, culled from Texas Chainsaw Massacre, itself heavily spoofed throughout the movie. The DVD adds something special over the film: a selectable menu hosted by Captain Spaulding who berates the viewer with filthy-mouthed taunts, while a less intimidating, but equally menacing baby seduces you with herseself and nit-wittery through a menu of of the usaual DVD Featurettes.A must see for any true Horror/Cult Film Fan."
A Breath Of Fresh Air
Stanley Runk | Camp North Pines | 04/29/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I'm not a big fan of Rob Zombie's music, but I've always admired the man's taste in horror films. At a concert I saw, he showed scenes from Fulci films and such on his big screen, and I thought that was the coolest part of the concert. Well, for his first film, he certainly tried to make it all he could. If you're looking for another I Know What You Did Last Summer, you'd better hightail it outta the theater, coz Zombie has made the kind of film that he enjoys; The kind of gruesome, schlocky film that us horror fanatics have grown up with and loved. Because of this, many people just aren't gonna like this film, but that's okay, coz I'm sure Zombie himself knows that this movie is going to appeal only to a certain crowd of people: People like him.....and myself. There's no message, no moral play, no real scares for that matter. The movie's just messed up and gruesome. It's got a great cast. Zombie didn't take the easy route and rely on young, fresh star power for the film's success. He uses veteran, cult horror actors like Sid Haig, Karen Black and Bill Moseley(and if you don't know who they are, shame on you!). The plot "borrows" very heavily from the Texas Chainsaw Massacre films(Part 2 had Bill Moseley in pretty much the same role, only crazier!) and Spiderbaby(which had Sid Haig). Zombie had to compromise to get this picture out by cutting out many scenes deemed too gruesome and disturbing for our fragile little minds. This would have awarded him an NC-17 rating-THE TRUE MOVIE KILLER. Well, I went to see the trimmed version to support Zombie and hopefully get him some cash back to release the version he wants on dvd. Plus, I wanted a taste of what the film was gonna be like. I'm not sure if it was as good as everything I've read in the last few years, but I really admire the ballsy move of making this, knowing he was going to have alot of people saying, "Boy, that was terrible!" My only complaint is the little artsy touches he throws in, in the form of Oliver Stone-esque flashes of stock footage and grainy 16mm film. It looks too much like he's trying to make a rock video or he's trying out all the cool little toys on his camera. That's a small complaint though, and you get used to it pretty fast. So, if you wanna experience a cinematic time warp that'll take make you feel like you're back at the drive-in or your local run down/small/yucky/sticky/bad acoustics theater(the kind you could actually smoke in, GOD FORBID), House Of 1000 Corpses is the best real horror flick to come along in a long time......and I doubt we'll see one like this again for quite some time. So, get off your behind and see it."
Excellent. One of the few great horror films
nightmarewalking | Galt, CA United States | 10/31/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I was one of the fortunate few who received advance screenings of this film for focus group purposes. It was complete in story but some of the effects and music were not finished. As you all have heard from Rob, it is an Homage to all the early 70's slasher films. It was gritty, graphic and gory. The story was simple but very taught and suspensful. It has one of the best death scenes I have ever seen (Deputy Barney). Myself and a small group of others were chosen to stay after the film and give our opinions to the producers and to Rob himself. Once this film is released, it could very easily be the next big MIDNIGHT MOVIE. I am looking forward to see how much it has changed in the two years that have past since I saw it, but it is definitly something I could watch over and over again. A horror film made by a horror fan for horror fans. What more could you ask."