House Of 1000 Corpses


Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

Pastiche horror B-pictures should be taken in the spirit intended, as a joke. The problem here is not hammy acting, cluttered sets or an incomprehensible storyline, but the nauseating nature of the thing. If you like skinned bodies, grotesque freaks, blood by the bucket and the glorification of cruelty, House Of 1000 Corpses might be good for a giggle on Halloween night amongst aficionados of serial schlock.

Similar to Wrong Turn and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, this is a tale of wandering off the beaten track and ending up in an establishment full of degenerate murderers. The Rocky Horror Picture Show flits briefly across your mind, except that was fun and this is vile.

The production values are pretty awful. Debut writer/director Rob Zombie comes from the music biz and was last seen touring with Ozzie Osbourne. It has to be said that even Ozzie might baulk at some of Zombie's gross-out set pieces. As a celebration of violent death, this is a bargain basement freebie for tasteless no-brainers.

A group of four more-or-less-young people are travelling through the Deep South when the fuel gauge reads "Watch It" and they take a sidetrack to a gas station, which doubles as the local Horror Museum, complete with painted loony as master of ceremonies. They hear from him about a tree from which the infamous Dr Satan was hanged, but whose body was never recovered.

Like good little tourists, they go looking for this tree and maybe the ghost of the bad old doc, when they are waylaid by a sexy blonde hitchhiker, who takes them to her house, where they are tied up and systematically slaughtered in ways you don't want to know about.

In addition to the family of cannibalistic mutilators, there is a whole bunch of weird-looking people in the basement, doing medical experiments on mutants. Or is this a clip from another movie that slipped in by mistake?

Mr Zombie likes to indulge slow motion and arty camera angles to make it look less Evil Dead. However he plays it, 1000 corpses is no exaggeration.

Reviewed on: 02 Oct 2003
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Wayward travellers in the Deep South are enticed into a family home and murdered.
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Director: Rob Zombie

Writer: Rob Zombie

Starring: Sid Haig, Bill Moseley, Sheri Moon, Karen Black, Chris Hardwick, Erin Daniels, Jennifer Jostyn, Rainn Wilson, Walton Goggins, Tom Towles, Matthew McGrory

Year: 2002

Runtime: 88 minutes

BBFC: 18 - Age Restricted

Country: US


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Wrong Turn