The Devil's Rejects

So I checked out this flick yesterday at a 5:45 showing. As expected, most audience were flying solo (smattering of single seat situation) except for one extraordinarily strange looking couple who looked extraordinarily strange in an extraordinarily strange way. I took my single seat, ripped open my wasabis, dumped them in the front pocket of my shirt (a great wasabi pouch), and put my big water in the cup holder. I really didn't know what to expect from this flick. I haven't seen Rob Zombie's first movie (House of 1000 Corpses) yet but its called out to me for a while. Because I like the Rob Zombie thing. I think he's put together some cool songs and cornered a vibe. For whatever reason I thought this movie might be a very cool thing. Maybe Bad News Bears meats Chainsaw or something. Maybe something that would kick my ass to the point where I'm like curled up on the floor with blood dripping out of the corner of my mouth waking up from a bad beating. As my eyes focus from triple... down to double... and finally struggles single, I look up and see the person who did this. He smiles sideways all happy seeing that I'm awake again... and cracks his knuckles loud.

But nay. The movie barely even put me in a half-nelson. The sucker punch of this flick was too easy for me to duck. Yeah there were a sampling of good things in this movie. Maybe a handful of high energy scenes. Half the people on the screen put in some really solid performances. The hillbilly vibe was a different scene (bad lightbulbs, dirt roads, and livestock). It dove into to itself both feet first. There was some indecent proper violence. Rob proved himself to be a good director (even though he tried a little too hard maybe more than a little). But, this creepy carnival of a movie didn't play out like a dark ride. It was more like a skeeball game. Each time the scene changed, they rolled a skeeball and I expected it to hit dead center for 100 pts- but more often then not it was on the outer rims or a straight out zero.

Just to give you an idea of the plot. There's a crazy hillbilly family that like killing for whatever reason. There's a dad who wears bad clown makeup and likes to smile with dirty teeth. A mom who is friggin mommily out of her mind and wild yelly. A brother who reminds me of Rob Zombie with the crazy beard but talks with a voice that is strikingly normal in comparison to his look. And the beautiful sexy sister who is played by Rob Zombie's wife Mrs. Zombie. (Rob's biggest mistake was putting her in this movie. She was very obviously his wife. Throughout the movie she looks sexy and clean. Her hair is done professionally. Her jeans are professionally torn. Her ass is professionally round. The only thing that's not professional about her was her acting. If you're gonna go real hillbilly, Rob, do it right. Don't put your pretty ass LA wife in the movie writing it off like she's Marilyn friggin Munster. It doesn't play.)

Anyway, the family is on the run from some psycho sheriff who wants to kill em all-- and he puts in such a good performance I think is (should be) supporting actor Oscar worthy (yeah right). But why the hell not? He was the best thing in the movie. He played it real intense and stuff. But all his snappy goodness couldn't make me forget the issues at hand. The logic problems. Motivation issues. Overly directored. Lack of real shock. Surface bizarre at best. Light boredom. Low tension. Missed opportunities. That 'Here I am sitting in a movie theater... watching a scary movie. Yea.' feeling. That was also selfishly long.

And bottomline, considering it's Rob Zombie,... it simply didn't rock.

Three Good Things About this Movie

- Seriously, I thought alot of the acting was solid.
- We get to see Pricilla Barnes (3rd ditz on Three's Company) in her underwear (and her boob).
- The beginning of the movie and the ending of the movie are solid stuff.

Three Bad Things About this Movie

- I thought the soundtrack should have been more hillbilly obscure and mo better. (freebird?... cmon...)
- There was plenty of crazy things going on but not enough real deal crAzY.
- It noticeably seemed like it should feel better (aka dreadily worse) the whole time.

All in all I'd say this flick is a decent video rental or late-night ppv. There is some stuff that's worth seeing and it made me curious about Rob Zombie as a director. Somehow under all the muck and crap there was a glimmer of a great director in there. It made me wonder what he could do with a grizzly true story in hillbilly land... or a hillbillied True Romance or something. I get the feeling he has the chops to do something seriously good..... as long as he keeps Mrs. Zombie's ass out of the friggin picture. C'mon, dude. Get real.


PS> Here's some zomb (what are you thinking about? same thing you are.)