Monday, July 19, 2010

#26 - House of 1000 Corpses - 2003

House of 1000 Corpses was my 5th movie I chose to walk for Horror week and it was easily the movie that fit into this category more than any other by far! This was a true horror movie in every sense of the word and then some. The tag line for this film was "the most shocking tale of carnage ever seen" and Id say that's about right! Below is my detailed description of this film.

This was Rob Zombie's directorial debut and what a debut it was. Not presented with an all star cast by Hollywood standards in any way, shape, or form this film was a perfect representation of how you do not need a big name A list actor to make a great film. The most notable actors to me in this film were Otis (Bill Moseley), Captain Spaulding (Sid Haig), Baby (Sheri Moon Zombie), Bill (Rainn Wilson), Sheriff Huston (William Bassett), and Sheriff Steve Naish (Walter Goggins). That last one was a surprise for me as I did not remember that Goggins (Boyd from Justified) was in this film. There were other lead female characters in this film that had more screen time than Goggins and Bassett however I felt they were great in their roles and both were part of one of my favorite scenes of the film. The others mentioned were great throughout!

The plot of this film is simple. Two young couples are traveling across the country and the guys are writing stories about offbeat attractions and side shops they encounter. Long story short they meet Captain Spaulding at his gas station and museum which includes a murder ride that ends with a story about the infamous Dr. Satan. After giving the young couples directions to where they can go to the see the site of where Dr. Satan was supposedly killed the couples pick up a young girl standing in the rain and from there all hell breaks loose. The girl, Baby, is part of the Firefly family. The Fireflies are a serial killing cannibalistic family who has been killing people for years hence the title House of 1000 corpses. One interesting note, this film was made in 2000 but not released until 2003 because of a fear that it would be given an NC17 rating by the MPAA. Director Rob Zombie actually shot several different versions of the film to be prepared in case that happened to use a less intense version. I saw this film for the first time in the spring of 2004 and I was amazed. I enjoyed it so much I watched it again the next day just to see it again. I don't know how many times total I have seen this one but I was more excited to watch this movie this week than any other, by far! Wolfman was a distant 2nd. There are numerous things that I loved about this film. In no particular order here is what I loved about this film.

The music was excellent. From the main title to the end Brock House remake the music was just excellent. The way that Zombie mixed certain songs with certain scenes was brilliant. My favorite had to be the oldies track "I remember you" that played during an intense gun battle between the Firefly family and sheriff's who came to investigate. The end of the scene culminated with a 30 second silent still scene with Otis holding a gun to Sheriff Steve's head before pulling the trigger. The entire scene from when the music started until the gun shot went off was mind boggling to me. Other notable tracks on this album are the title track "House of 1000 Corpses" and also "Everybody Scream" and Pussy Liquor". The characters in this film were phenomenal. Otis reminded me of a Charles Manson type character, Baby was the young tease of the family but was obviously a vicious killer as well, and Captain Spaulding was a very convincing foul mouthed clown who was just down right crazy. Tiny was a giant sized Firefly family member who looked to have a softer side to him even though he was intentionally set on fire as a child. My three favorite characters were easily Otis, Baby, and Captain Spaulding as they were amazing in all of their scenes. All of these actors were excellent in their roles and it really helped make a film of this magnitude believable.

The kill/torture scenes in this film were spectacular. Not knowing what Zombie would bring to the horror genre it was a surprise to see how gruesome and twisted these scenes were. There was scalping of skulls, razor blading ones face over and over again, and brutally stabbing people to death. In one completely over the top did I just actually see that scene Otis comes downstairs dressed as one of the victims father who he had killed earlier wearing his skin from arms, chest, and even his face as a costume. The makeup department gets an A+ for this scene because they made it look so like this girls father it was ridiculous. The craziness of this family was just beyond words and it is once again attributed to the actors but also to Zombie's vision.

The retro look and feel of this movie was also pretty cool. Being set in the 70's and having the type of music they had made it real authentic in my mind. The atmosphere and sets for this film were pretty damn cool too. I loved all the headless dolls decorating the outside of the house entrance near the porch. The interior of the house is pretty creepy too. The cave sequence at the end of the film was really cool and creepy as well and visually I loved it. Another scene I loved was the murder ride at the beginning of the film and the sets used in that ride. Very cool and that actually gave you an impression right from the beginning how weird and twisted this film might be just by some of the props in that ride alone. Sid Haig was the perfect actor to play the role of Captain Spaulding.

All in all this film was sensational in my opinion. I cant see any horror fans not loving this film. It had so many cool and unique elements to it and it was so vintage and creepy in so many ways that I couldn't help but love this film. We all wonder deep down how people can be so crazy and do crazy things but this brings it to a whole never level, like the tag line reads, "the most shocking tale of carnage ever seen" and it sure was. With a great soundtrack, amazing cast of characters, spooky as hell storyline, and surprisingly shocking kill scenes this movie had it all and I mean all. Easily the best movie I have seen this week and one of my favorites since the start of my movie marathon. With that being said this obviously gets an A+!

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