Review by Dana Place


This sequel to House of a Thousand Corpses begins with a raid on the Firefly family house.  Baby (Sheri Moon-Zombie), Captain Spaulding (Sid Haig), and Otis (Bill Moseley) escape the raid by the Texas State police, leaving Mother Firefly (Leslie Easterbrook) in the hands of sheriff John Wydell (William Forsyth), brother of the murdered sheriff in the original.  On the run from a sheriff hell bent on retribution for the murder of over a thousand people in the area and more important to him, his brother, the Firefly clan do what they do best.  They go on a murderous rampage.   With the help of Captain Spaulding’s half brother Charlie Altamont (Ken Foree), they find a place to rest at an abandoned boy’s town.  The Sheriff and a few hired hit men (Danny Trejo and Diamond Dallas Page, who looks as though he lost a bar fight with a lawnmower), track down the remaining gang members and attempt to enact an “old fashioned Alabama ass whopping”.

The original film was a direct homage to “B” horror films like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Last House on the Left, with music video like cutaways and a fast paced style that jumped from one frightful scene to the next.  The sequel to House of a Thousand Corpses takes a completely different turn, and if it weren’t for the inclusion of the Firefly clan, is a completely different film altogether.  The 2nd movie is slow and deliberate, abandoning the quick cut style of the first for slow motion shots and long, drawn out murder scenes.  The Devil’s Rejects takes a lot of it’s inspiration from old “Super Action” films, as they are known in your local Blockbuster.  Films like Big Bad Mama, Gator Bait, or Death Wish, where the only prerequisites are loads of violence and plenty of T and A.  This is not a horror film and anyone walking into this expecting a movie like the original will probably be sorely disappointed.

This is actually a movie about one brother’s thirst for revenge over his brother’s death.  He just happens to be chasing a twisted “family” that enjoys toying with people and killing them.  And as such, this movie is as close to those old drive-in movies as has come across the big screen in 20 years.  Sheriff Wydell’s single-minded, to the point of making him one dimensional, pursuit of these mass murderers turns him into more of a villain than the people he is chasing.  For all of the horror of the first film and the blood lust in the second, by the end of the film, the Firefly clan come out of the series as a strange type of pseudo–likeable people.  Which I think was the overall point (writer/director) Rob Zombie was trying to make.

After watching the first film, which I thoroughly enjoyed, and not sure what to make of his experimental style, I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect in Rob Zombie’s newest film.  The complete difference in the two films only makes me enjoy both more, so… score - On a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the best, I give THE DEVIL'S REJECTS a 7.

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The Devil's Rejects
The Devil's Rejects
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