The Devil's Rejects

The Devil's Rejects

DVD Rating: *****

Reviewed by: Anton Bitel

Read Gator MacReady's film review of The Devil's Rejects

Momentum Pictures is also releasing The Devil's Rejects in a single disc film-only edition with the original UK theatrical version of the film, but trust me, if you are a fan of Rob Zombie's work, then this limited Special Edition two-disc version is for you. For a start, there's the film itself, not only immaculately transferred with a flawless soundtrack, but also presented in an unrated version, two minutes longer than the one submitted to the MPAA and released in theatres. The differences are minimal and unobtrusive (several scenes extended by a few seconds, the addition of the line "Busted that bitch wide open"), but they have a near subliminal effect on the film's overall impact, making everything seem far nastier, especially in the hotel sequence, whose details are that much more unpleasant for being lingered over just that little bit longer.

Then there are the extras, enough to keep even the most obsessive completist satisfied. There are two full audio commentaries. The first is by writer/director Zombie, who discusses, amongst other things, the difficulties of finding an actress willing to be dragged naked through gravel for half a day, or of making a skin mask. The second is by stars Bill Moseley, Sheri Moon Zombie and Sid Haig, who laugh a lot when not describing how gruelling the hotel sequence was to shoot, or how nice the cows were. Both Haig and Moseley thank Zombie for bringing their careers back from the dead.

At two hours 25 minutes, Thirty Days In Hell: The Making Of The Devil's Rejects is almost double the length of the film it documents - sheer heaven for Zombie fetishists, but probably overkill for everyone else. It covers the pre-production process of meetings, casting tapes, storyboards, which Zombie claims to have ignored during production, and script read throughs, before offering a day-by-day Behind The Scenes look at the shoot, including the Dr Satan sequence, now on the cutting room floor for being too "hokey," featuring none other than Rosario Dawson absolutely drenched throat-to-toe in fake blood. There are lots of interviews with cast and crew, with Zombie declaring that his aim is "to make these shitty horrible people lovable" (he succeeded), and Haig asserting, "I COULD be the President of this country." Well, he'd certainly get my vote.

The rest of the extras are a mixed bag of hidden treasures and throwaway junk. Best of all are the 11 deleted scenes (15min), including the gory Dr Satan Attacks, with Dawson playing ill-fated nurse Marcia, lots of funny dialogue scenes (e.g. Michael Berryman's Cleavon describing the efficacy of corn-on-the-cob as a sex toy), and a hilarious, if vaguely menacing, sequence in which a drunken Otis tries to negotiate sex with equally drunk and equally deranged prostitute Candy (E.G. Daily). There are also five minutes of bloopers and on-set clowning (all amiable enough), and 13 minutes of silent make-up tests, way too long for my tastes, but this really does show off the amazing work done on Tiny and Dr Satan.

Buck Owens' Video (2min) is a vintage video of gospel rocker Owens and his band performing Satan's Going To Have To Get Along Without Me. Bloody Stand-Up (2min) features Brian Posehn, who plays early victim Jimmy, doing an awful stand-up routine on set, while in full corpse make-up. Tribute To Matthew McGrory' (2min) features interviews and Behind The Scenes footage of the deep-voiced giant, who died shortly after reprising his role as Tiny in the film.

Otis' Home Movie (1min) is a grainy, handheld video of Otis tormenting and raping a terrified captive girl, presumably for Otis to watch with his whole family when they can't find the Yahtzee set. Mary The Monkey Girl (1min) and Spaulding's Xmas Commercial (1min) are two hilariously lo-fi mock-up ads for Captain Spaulding's freak-sideshow-n'-roast-chicken establishment, the former ad featuring as a background insert in the film.

The Morris Green Show (13min) is a full-length mock-up chat show from the Seventies, a tiny part of which formed a background insert in the film, in which the absurdly cheery, narcissistic host (Daniel Roebuck) speculates wildly with his guest Dr Robert Bankhead (Duane Whitaker) about the possible motives of the so-called Devil's Rejects, who they worry may prove as dangerously satanic as... the Blue Oyster Cult.

"I can feel the evil," comments Green.

Finally, there is a stills gallery and the original trailer.

Reviewed on: 03 Jan 2006
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The Devil's Rejects packshot
Gritty, grotty, rustic sequel to House Of 1000 Corpses.
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Product Code: MP540D

Region: 2

Ratio: 1.78:1

Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1

Extras: Special Edition version of film,;two audio commentaries; Making Of documentary; blooper reel; deleted scenes; trailer; stills gallery; assorted outtakes and inserts

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