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The Independent Critic

Sheri Moon, Sid Haig, Bill Moseley, Karen Black
Rob Zombie
Rated R
98 Mins.
Lions Gate
 "House of 1000 Corpses" Review 
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Rob Zombie writes and directs "House of 1000 Corpses" in much the same way he creates his music...loud, raw, graphic and intense. Zombie has never been one to hold back, and it would be a complete shocker if he held back on film.

In the film, two couples are traveling around the country when they hear about the legend of Dr. Satan. They set off to find Dr. Satan's final resting place, and end up being held captive by a backwoods Texas family of serial killers. (Do they live near you Jacob?)

"House of 1000 Corpses" has devout advocates who consider it a return to true horror and a satirical take on horror films. Yadda Yadda Yadda!

"House of 1000 Corpses" is as cliche' ridden as the horror films it pokes fun at, and is often so over the top in its silliness that it's almost impossible to take it seriously on any level.

If it is a satire, then it fails miserably.

If it is a horror film, well I suppose it is horrible. Does that count?

For all its macabre energy, "House of 1000 Corpses" is a remarkably predictable horror film lacking any degree of suspense and only occasional horrors. Sure, it's graphic and has lots of violence and sick, twisted scenes from the mind of Rob Zombie...but, ultimately, the film is so poorly organized and more gross than scary (sort of along the lines of the Troma film "Unspeakable").

The film features an interesting, invested cast including Zombie's wife, Sheri Moon, as Baby Firefly, Sid Haig as Captain Spaulding, Bill Moseley as Otis Driftwood and an almost heartbreaking appearance from Matthew McGrory (he was the giant from "Big Fish") as the burned Tiny Firefly. The former actress turned queen of camp, Karen Black, also turns up as Mother Firefly.

The film's production design is certainly captivating and has strokes of genius along the way with simple touches. Despite the sporadic successes, "House of 1000 Corpses" is a chaotic mess that could have been a truly brilliant horror film if Zombie had either co-directed with an experienced director or simply given up the direction to a more experienced hand.

Rob Zombie blew his opportunity here to create a masterful horror film. It's easy to see his vision, however, and the moments of magic that do exist in this film create hope for a dynamic new voice for American horror films in Rob Zombie.

© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic