Saturday, December 16, 2006

House of 1000 Corpses

Title: House of 1000 Corpses (2003)
Dir: Rob Zombie
Rating: ** out of 5 stars

Am I the only one who thinks Mr. Zombie is really overrated? The Devil's Rejects was a giant turd, and after much resistance, I eventually watched its predecessor, House of 1000 Corpses. Although the latter is not a giant turd, it certainly isn't the slice of fried gold everyone told me it was.

Firstly, I cannot stand the "Firefly" family. I find them to be completely obnoxious, especially Baby (Sheri Moon Zombie). The director seems to think we enjoy watching his wife as much as he does. Well, I don't. I preferred watching the victims. And that's just wrong!

Zombie's direction is occasionally interesting, and often irritating. Rejects slightly exceeded this one in visuals because it was gritty, and yet, it was unoriginal. Corpses, on the other hand, was sillier and more imaginative - which I like - but it just went overboard sometimes, especially toward the second half of the film. Suddenly, the screen was turning red or photo-negative, and I just rolled my eyes.

The film started off pretty strong. I really liked Captain Spalding and the insane carnival feel at the beginning of the movie. Then the family showed up and I got increasingly bored. I find no entertainment in Zombie's brand of violence. It lacks realism, humor, and subtly. There is a difference between murder and horror. If I wanted the former, I'd watch the nightly news. What I want is entertainment.

It's not that my stomach is weak - I thoroughly enjoyed films like The Hills Have Eyes or the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre. I've enjoyed my share of cinematic brutality. But instead of creating genuine villains, Zombie produced a family of wannabe badasses who do little more than carve and giggle. There's just no fun in that for me.