Hippo Manchester
July 28, 2005


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The Devilís Rejects (R)
By Amy Diaz

Rob Zombie subjects innocent moviegoers to what feels like an eternal damnation of crap filmmaking in The Devilís Rejects, the unasked-for, unnecessary, unpleasant sequel to House of a 1000 Corpses.

Like a teenage boy who has recently discovered the assorted things he can do with his parentsí camcorder (Dude, check it out, itís the zoom button!), Rob Zombie assembles a collection of gore, nudie shots, and extremely sophomoric humor, then presents it as a horror movie. Or, perhaps he thinks itís a comedy. Or perhaps itís the hardcore version of a road movie. Whatever genre The Devilís Rejects would like to be counted as, it is a messy, stupid blob of a movie that could easily be outdone by a half-way decent student film project. And yet, and hereís the one piece of praise Iíll give it, it was at least marginally better than House of 1000 Corpses.

Of course, photos I took when I was 10 were better than the photos I took when I was 7, but neither set will ever end up in a gallery next to Annie Leibovitz. Likewise, donít look for The Devilís Rejects to show up on the next AFI list of 100 best anything.

The movie starts more or less where the last movie ended: Cops showed up to capture a family of backwoods homicidal rednecks. They snag one, Mother Firefly (Leslie Easterbrook), but three others Otis (Bill Moseley), Baby (Sheri Moon Zombie) and demented clown Captain Spaulding (Sid Haig) escape. (And then of course, thereís Tiny out there in the woodsÖ)

This pared-down gang has no particular plan other than to outrun the sheriff (William Foresythe) whoís chasing them. This plan takes them to a hotel where they meet and kill in assorted horrible ways four country musicians (including Threeís Companyís Priscilla Barnes) and then to an outpost of prostitution and drug sales run by Charlie (Ken Foree), a friend of the clown.

Then thereís some more killing. Some needless scenery changes and some more killing. Then some running. Then some killing. Then the movie ends and you wonder if, in your last remaining seconds of life, youíll kick yourself for wasting two hours on something this boring.

And, yes, despite all the killing, all the boobies, and all the late-1970s rock, The Devilís Rejects is rather painfully boring. Just kill them already, you think during the scenes when a murderer toys with his victims. We get camera swings, unnecessary long shots of out-of-focus people, countless montages that Iím sure sounded cool when Zombie was explaining them to his director of photography. But it all adds up to very little. He could have gotten all of these ideas on film during a longish music video ó no reason to stretch them out over a whole movie.

OK, here, Iím going to say one more good thing about The Devilís Rejects. For all that the characters are fundamentally one-dimensional and fairly poorly constructed even for one-dimensional characters, Sid Haigís brand of boozy hickish evil is, in small doses, occasionally funny. Captain Spaulding is complete villainous scum and Haig plays him with an entertaining wholeheartedness. Had the movie been about 20 minutes long and about 50 percent less lousy, Haigís performance might have been enough to save it.