Thursday, June 18, 2015

House of 1000 Corpses (2003)

House of 1000 Corpses is the directorial debut of Rob Zombie, who is a very well-known musician with a tendency to sing about the more brutal side of human nature. He wrote the script, and almost certainly watched over the production like a hawk. Mr. Zombie put a lot of TLC in this film, and it is very obvious that he is a big fan of the old 70s-style horror movies. (We also see this influence in his later films.)

It's a "crazy family" story, akin to The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. But unlike in that  film, we get to learn a bit more about how the "Firefly Family" operates, which is something I really enjoyed. These aren't silent, masked killers... they have a wonderful family closeness combined with a devil-may-care attitude and they have a lot of fun while doing horrible things to people.

My only complaint with the story is the half-hearted reasoning behind it. While the official website for the film gave a bit more insight as to why the Fireflies offered up victims to a legendary-but-real maniac called "Dr. Satan", the film itself doesn't really get into it. Considering that it took a few years to get this film made, it is easy to imagine that they simply ran out of time (or more likely, money) to get the whole story out, but it does do a little damage to an otherwise good story.

The characters, particularly the ones directly connected to the Firefly family, are fun and memorable... and in their own crazy way, entirely believable. The victims are a little lacking when put up against such colorful personalities, but they serve well as cannon fodder.

The writing is much better than you would expect from a film in this genre. It is often crude and vulgar, but it fits perfectly with the characters. Usually I don't care for dialog where there is a lot of "Fuck this and Fuck that!", but it really works in this film.

There is an awful lot of violence - and I do mean the raw, brutal kind. However, it is paired nicely with a soundtrack that makes it fun. (I will never be able to listen to "Brick House" in the same way again!) And it is done with such relish! It's rare that I see a movie where the very human villains seem to really enjoy doing the terrible deeds, but the Firefly family turns it into a bloody party.

Overall, it is a fun film for people who love the horror genre.

Film information: House of 1,000 Corpses

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