97 of 117 people found the following review helpful
on August 16, 2003
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.
26 of 30 people found the following review helpful
on April 19, 2003
I went into this movie expecting to see a fun-filled throwback to the classic drive-in slasher movies of the 70's and that is exactly what i got. This movie was awesome. Unwanted by two major studios, Lion's Gate gave Rob Zombie the chance of a lifetime. He wasn't trying to make the most amazing horor film of all time, he was trying to pay tribute to classics such as: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Last House on the Left, and The Hills Have Eyes. Taking a classic plot: a group of kids is stranded in the middle of nowhere, onlt to be terrorized and brutalized by the family from hell, he twists it into a fun-filled nightmare. The family in this movie is one of the funiest and most terrifying families you will ever see on film. This family lures unsuspecting passers-by with the youngest member of the family (played by Zombie's real life girlfriend) and then proceeds to torture, eviscerate, sodomize and do just about everything you can to someone. The actors delivered as well. Sid Haig is hilarious as the foul-mouthed Captain Spaulding. The acting is corny, as well as it should be. Some might get bored after the hilarious opening scene. The first two thirds of the movie introduce the characters and the disgusting family. The final one third of the movie is a terrifying nightmare that morphs from a gore-filled slasher film to a science fiction acid trip. The ending might make some mad, but I found it fitting to the whole plot. I had heard a lot of hype saying how violent this film was. It is to a point. I am a gore hound so I din't find this as violent as Dead Alive or Cannibal Ferox(One of the sickest movies of all time) and the r rating takes a good chunk of the film away from the viewer. I can't wait for an unrated director's cut to be released
43 of 52 people found the following review helpful
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.
42 of 54 people found the following review helpful
Fans have anxiously awaited Rob Zombie's directorial film debut for over 3 and a half years now, and while the finished product of House of 1000 Corpses isn't scary one bit, it's a very fun dirty little film that reminds us that horror films are supposed to be fun. In the late 70's, four kids go cross country and come across hearing the legend of Dr. Satan; an insane doctor who performed ghoulish experiments on his patients. Soon they pick up a hitchhiker (the oh so hot Sheri Moon; Rob Zombie's real life girlfriend), and from this point any veteran fan of horror films knows whats going to happen next. Soon we meet her family which includes Trilogy of Terror vixen Karen Black and the always excellent Bill Moseley. Next there are plenty of predictable scares followed by some nice gore and make up effects, and the film bares a stunning resemblance to the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Zombie partly succeeded his intention; to make a truly scary horror film like the ones of old, and while House of 1000 Corpses isn't the most brilliant piece of horror film (or the most intelligent for that matter), it's a fun ride nonetheless, and Zombie shows some true directorial talent. The performances are great with Moseley stealing the entire show, his performance bearing striking similarities to his zany and hilarious deliverance of Chop Top in Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2, and the cast also includes a foul mouthed clown faced Sid Haig and a southern drawl spewing Walt Goggins (Shane on TV's The Shield). All in all, House of 1000 Corpses is a gritty little movie that horror buffs will find some appreciation for. If you find you like this check out older horror films like Texas Chainsaw Massacre 1 & 2, Last House on the Left, and the original Hellraiser.
37 of 48 people found the following review helpful
on August 20, 2003
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.
14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on October 30, 2002
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.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on April 30, 2003
I was waiting for a long time among others to see this movie. Now i'm not the biggest fan of rob zombie's music but the guy can write a horror movie. How many "Good" horror movies are out there that hit theatres? "The Ring"? c'mon now that's a thriller... "Darkness Falls"?? that's just .... What happened to the old horror movies? the good ones.. The first couple of Halloweens? The Nightmare on elm streets before they got really silly? That's not even mentioning some of the "B" horror flicks out there. What rob Zombie accomplishes in this film will hopefully save the horror genre.
It's funny! It's not gory gory... But violent enough to keep the gore kids happy.. And the plot is so [messed] up and that's just how it should be.
"Horror" has evolved into something not even worth watching anymore. House of 1000 Corpses brings it back where it should have stayed. Sid Haig is the man and Karen Black is great. thy are all great. C'mon you're not Ebert and Roeper.. Don't look nto this movie so seriously.. It's a great film that we all needed... So stop your whining...and just enjoy.. there may never be another one like it...
Great Job Rob Z.! I hope you keep makin' em!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on January 27, 2004
Rob Zombie is the best!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am utterly sick and tired of all the brainless and unoriginal "Scream" wannabees out there (there are too many to even name any titles - just walk into any chain video store and look in the horror section).
House of a 1,000 corpses is probably the best horror film (in the traditional haunted house, ghost story, slasher film genre) to come along in a decade. This film, the brainchild of Rob Zombie, truly is an artistic triumph. There is real depth and density to the images Zombie has created.
I can watch this film again and again and always experience something new. There is such a tremendous attention to detail. The characters, sets, music, costumes, everything in it is clearly the result of a focused vision - and NOT the by-product of ten Hollywood Executives trying to figure out what will "sell".
I applaud Zombie for his vision and artistic creativity. He clearly is a terrific filmaker (to be honest, the main problem with his film could be that it is just too good a horror film - people don't know how to react to something that is this strong - and make no mistake - this IS strong, scary stuff.).
Anyway, all I can say is I hope Rob himself reads this review, if he does: PLEASE KEEP MAKING FILMS ROB!!!!!!!!!! WE'RE ALL BEHIND YOU!!!!!!!!!!!
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on February 27, 2004
I'm not a big fan of Rob Zombie's music, only slightly with White Zombie. So the idea of him making a movie sort of gave me the same feeling of nausea that Dee Snyder did when he crossed over from the world of glam shock rock to the world of directing horror films. I couldn't have been more wrong in my confidence of Zombie's work...he is a far better filmmaker than a musician. His videos sold his band White Zombie and they are what really put Rob on the map, so after putting that into perspective this should be no surprise. House of a Thousand Corpses is a horror fan's delight complete with gore, madness, nudity and a set that pulls at the darkest corners of our imaginations...the kind of evil places we dream about but yet connect to our very own lives and invade the stability of our realities. I swear I've dreamt of some of the horrible places we see in this film as merely extensions and lower levels to my very own house.
Zombie borrows from horror masters (a little too much from Toby Hooper and Dario Argento) and he gives us a feel that we are stuck in a place that is a cross between his imagination and original ideas, Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Susperia...two great horror films to learn from by the way. The key to Zombie's film is he eases you in and teases you with terror and sets you up to trust him and then catches you off guard and lets his madness run the show. It is suspense, it is shock and it is sheer horror and gore...there is nothing else worth setting out to do in his eyes and to me that is just fine. However, there are even several scenes that are scary on a deeper level and even some sinister and respectable dialogue.
Alas, here is the premise. Two young couples are on a journey to find and research roadside tourist attractions and stumble upon Captain Spaulding's House of Madness. If I passed through his haunted house ride I would be a little concerned and probably would've turned the boat around at that very moment. One of the character's takes an interest in the local legend of Dr. Satan and longs to visit his grave. This guy is played by Chris Hardwick who used to host MTV's Singled Out with Jenny McCarthy and then Carmen Electra. Two of the others are played by new comers but the main heroine is played by Erin Daniels who performed very well in Mark Romanek's (another great music video director) One Hour Photo. Anyway, they get stranded blah blah blah...we've seen this part before but Zombie does it all with style and is only topped by the very best of horror directors. He lets his truly innocent victims journey into a world that is a total hell and get violated without justification. The best scene in the movie is also the only one that provokes laughter as obviously as any others...it is played against every expected cliche and does so with a jolly Slim Whitman song playing full force and the scene ends as you wait and wait for any glimmer of hope for good to triumph to be eradicated...and I mean wait, the suspense here is numbing.
Zombie is good at what he does and that is give us horrible things to look at with absolutely no mercy. This is hardcore horror but I can't help but notice how terribly derivitive it really is and that troubles me. Also, none of the performances are remotely convincing and even though I know that isn't the point, it still rubs me the wrong way. Horror has far more edge when it is delivered more convincingly. Nevertheless, the performances were still amusing and fun. Zombie's strengths are his style first and foremost...with more confidence I think he realized that. The Devil's Rejects was much better.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on October 17, 2003
Okay This movie had me hooked up until we get to Dr Satan. The begining is awsome. I wouldnt call it scary but their are freakishly unsetteling moments. And what can you say about Cpt Spaulding. He a friggin riot! Cpt. runs a roadside museum of horrors and gas station. He has the best lines the movie produces and is unspeakabily entertaining.
Enter the victims. Four kids visit him and get directions to a Tree were a serial killer was supposedly hung. On root they ofcourse get stuck and end up getting help from a family of freakish serial killers. Now if Rob had left it at that he would have been golden! But in the last 1/2 hour he spins off into a world of mutant monsters that couldnt ever exist. I absolutely hate it when horror movies start off in reality and spin off into the unrealistic. Like Jeepers Creepers. They start off good and set a scary premiss and then you find out the serial killer has wings and a tail. Anyways. If Rob could have stayed a little more realistic this movie would have been rated higher. Just the same I will give it 4 stars simply because I dont want anyone to be deprived of The CPT!!!!