House of 1000 Corpses
3 out of 5 stars
R E V I E W   B Y   R I C H   C L I N E
house of 1000 corpses Shock rocker Rob Zombie makes a surprisingly confident filmmaker with this throwback to vintage schlock horror movies. Set over about 48 hours during Halloween 1977, the story centres on four wisecracking young people (Daniels, Wilson, Hardwick and Jostyn) driving across rural America in search of offbeat roadside attractions. But Captain Spaulding's Museum of Monsters and Madmen is more than they bargained for. First there's the sinister clown Spaulding (Haig), but even more scary is the Firefly family they run into up in the hills--crazy mama (Black), nympho daughter (Moon), leery grandpa (Fimple) and terrifying sons (Moseley, McGrory and Mukes). Soon bodies are popping up everywhere and it becomes clear that the Firefly family are up to no good at all.

Underneath the unhinged surfaces of this film is a tight little thriller that really grabs hold and never lets go. High tension, some good scares and a constant stream of black comedy make it more than a little lively. Meanwhile, the camp production design and hilarious performances keep things visually entertaining, while Zombie makes sure we never have a clue what will happen next ... although we're pretty sure it will make us want to turn from the screen in fear! He keeps the atmosphere unsettled and jittery with constant cutaways to creepy late-night horror TV imagery, not to mention the red herrings and lots of genuinely grisly stuff, plus continual witty (and mercifully understated) nods to 1970s fright flicks. This is not a film for the faint-hearted; it's raucous, in-your-face nightmarish storytelling. And horror movie fans will absolutely love it.

cert 18 themes, language, violence, gore 9.Jul.03

dir-scr Rob Zombie
with Sid Haig, Karen Black, Bill Moseley, Sheri Moon, Erin Daniels, Rainn Wilson, Chris Hardwick, Jennifer Jostyn, Robert Allen Mukes, Matthew McGrory, Dennis Fimple, Walt Goggins, Tom Towles, Harrison Young, William Bassett, Michael J Pollard
release US 11.Apr.03; UK 3.Oct.03
Lions Gate
03/US 1h28

Sinister ministers: Haig takes the kids on a ride, above; Moseley is Otis, below.
R E A D E R   R E V I E W S
send your review to Shadows... black Adam Basinger, Virginia: 1/5 "This was the least scary horror movie I have ever seen in my life and this is a major disappointment becuase I expected alot more from Rob Zombie. The only reason I gave it a 1 rating is because there is no choice for zero. Mr. Zombie must be ashamed of his final product. The coolest part about the DVD is that after you fall asleep mid way through you'll be woken up by the DVD yelling at you from the menu screen. Yuck!" (11.Dec.03)

Patricia, Lake Mary, FL: 1.5/5 "I was extremely disapointed by the movie. I am a huge fan of Rob Zombie, which was the main house of 1000 corpses reason I watched the movie. The whole movie felt like a long Rob Zombie video. It had no central plot, no charcter development and it was incomplete." (13.Oct.04)

Robert Rosado, Long Island, NY: 4/5 "I really love this movie. It is stylish, intense, and really fun. As a lifelong horror fan, it was refreshing to see a genre pic that featured expert pacing, memorable villains, and award-worthy production design. One of the most underrated films of the past several years." (6.May.05)

2003 by Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall