Eye For Film >> Movies >> The Devil's Rejects (2005) Film Review
This is not a film for everybody.
If you're taking your girl and you're just a couple of non-movie buffs doing the whole dinner/date/shag thing, then go see drivel like The Skeleton Key, or Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, if horror ain't your thang.
If the slump in REAL horror has got you down and you feel like nothing can save us from kiddie orientated "scary" movies, then relax. The Devil's Rejects, sequel to House Of 1000 Corpses, has enough brutal violence, buckets of ketchup and senseless killing to satisfy the most bloodthirsty. It's also a better film and one can see how much writer/director Rob Zombie has matured as a filmmaker (that's a sentence I never thought I'd say).
Although there is an act that does the "ordinary people in the middle of sudden horror" bit again, The Devil's Rejects is not primarily a horror flick. It's a gritty, grotty, rustic, action/revenge thriller.
Set a short while after the first movie, the story has the local police raid the Firefly compound. Rufus is killed in hellish crossfire. Mother Firefly is arrested. Tiny seems to have already taken off. Otis and Baby escape through a secret tunnel and arrange to rendezvous with Captain Spaulding. Together they set off on a road trip of mass murder, mental and physical torture and sexual perversion.
Sheriff Wydell (William Forsythe, so memorable as the baddie in Out For Justice, perfectly cast in a role that was made for him) seeks to serve harsh justice to the fugitives for murdering his brother in House Of 1000 Corpses. He spares no effort in tracking them down and even hires a couple of hardened bounty hunters to help him, outside of his police authority. He serves as the film's crooked moral backbone and forces himself to believe he's doing God's work.
Otis Firefly, now sporting a long, raggedy beard, is the rotten core of the film. He is doing the Devil's work that takes no particular shape and is without meaning. He's a psychotic madman, unlike any that has been seen on film before. His sister Baby is only half as evil, but still more odious than 10 bin bags of Adolf Hitler's faeces. Captain Spaulding (the wonderfully demented Sid Haig) is the best thing in it. He's funny, scary and even slightly sympathetic. But don't bother getting attached to him.
Zombie, the controller of this madness, is a man to admire. He really knows his craft. His visceral, profound direction pisses all over lame wannabe's like M. Night Shyamalan and Paul W S Anderson. He's right up there with Guillermo Del Toro and David Lynch.
The Devil's Rejects is a perfect example of a film meticulously planned and measured and not just shat out like so many others. It's just a pity that Doctor Satan was left on the cutting room floor, as that would have guaranteed the film the Gator MacReady Claw of Approval.
For the broadminded and those with strong stomachs only!Reviewed on: 05 Aug 2005