Friday, October 23, 2015

Movie Review: "The Devil's Rejects" (2005)

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Movie"The Devil's Rejects"
Director: Rob Zombie
Year: 2005
Rating: R
Running Time: 1 hour, 47 minutes

The murderous Firefly family goes on the run with an accompanying killing spree when they are forced from their home by a police raid. Leading the manhunt is Sherriff John Quincy Wydell (William Forsythe), who will go to great lengths and stop at nothing to avenge the murder of his brother by the Firefly family. 

"The Devil's Rejects" is the sequel to Rob Zombie's directorial debut "House of 1000 Corpses." It was that debut film where Zombie introduced the maniacal Firefly family to the world. In the first film, we saw this family torture and kill a group of college kids, and this sequel picks up a short time later. It actually has a vastly different tone than that of the original, which seemed to draw inspiration from films like the original "The Texas Chain Saw Massacre." This go around is more like a 70's grindhouse version of "Natural Born Killers" minus all of the pesky social commentary. Much of the same cast reprises their roles from the first film: Bill Mosely plays the sadistic Otis, Sherry Moon Zombie, who probably wouldn't get much work if she wasn't married to Rob Zombie, returns as the twisted Baby, Matthew McGrory comes back as the deformed giant Tiny, Leslie Easterbrook replaces Karen Black as the Mama Firefly, and Sid Haig returns as gas station tourist trap clown Captain Spalding, who turns out to be the sinister patriarch of the Firefly family. Missing from the film is "House of 1000 Corpses" killer of legend Dr. Satin, whose scenes in this film wound up on the cutting room floor. After a brutal, frantic, and violent police raid at the Firefly farm, Mama Firefly is taken into custody and Otis, Baby, and Captain Spalding go out on lam. Hunting this family is Sheriff Wydell, played by William Forsythe, who wants vengeance for his brother, someone the Firefly family murdered in the previous film. Sheriff Wydell is willing to do whatever it takes to put them behind bars and isn't the most morally upstanding character himself. He is willing to take the law into his own hands, even if it means torturing and even killing to get his revenge. He even seems to enjoy and get pleasure from dishing out this violent punishment, which really doesn't make him much different than those he's hunting, but we digress. The missing moral compass from all of these characters makes it horrific knowing there are people out there in the world who could really do the things shown on screen, and isn't that just as impactful as any other ghost or goblin tale?

Unlike a lot of sequels, this one we actually enjoyed. The acting isn't all that great, especially the acting of director Rob Zombie's betrothed and hellish bride Sherry Moon Zombie, which, let's face it, is downright awful. Some of the acting lends to some cheesy delivery, but the film is effective none the less. The grainy grindhouse feel sets a great mood and its very graphic nature provides for a really gruesome film. Its violence and gore make this less of horror in the traditional sense. It is a solid sophomore effort by Rob Zombie before he sunk his teeth into remaking "Halloween."

My Rating: 7/10
BigJ's Rating: 7/10
IMDB's Rating: 6.9/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 53%
Do we recommend this movie: Sure, why not?
Two years ago, we were watching: "Jack Brooks Monster Slayer"

One year ago, we were watching: "The Monster Squad"

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