July 28, 2005
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
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.