The Devilís Rejects
R E V I E W   B Y   R I C H   C L I N E dir-scr Rob Zombie
with William Forsythe, Sid Haig, Bill Moseley, Sheri Moon Zombie, Leslie Easterbrook, Geoffrey Lewis, Priscilla Barnes, Ken Foree, Ginger Lynne Allen, Natasha Lyonne, Danny Trejo, Steve Railsback
release US 22.Jul.05, UK 5.Aug.05
05/US Lions Gate 1h41

Killer siblings: Moseley and Moon

forsythe lewis lyonne

See also:

The Devil's Rejects For this sequel to his 1970s-style horror film House of 1000 Corpses, writer-director Zombie shifts into 1970s grindhouse territory. This is a violent, body-strewn road movie. And unless you're a fan of this kind of camp viciousness, it's pretty unbearable.

Shortly after the events of the first film, Sheriff Wydell (Forsythe) closes in on the notorious Firefly family, killing some and arresting Mother (this time played by Easterbrook). But Otis and Baby (Moseley and Moon) escape, heading for a rendezvous with the evil clown Captain Spaulding (Haig), who turns out to be intimately connected to the Fireflys after all. They then embark on a trail of torture and murder en route to a safe haven at the brothel owned by Spaulding's brother (Foree).

Where Zombie's previous film had a kind of hippy-druggy slasher movie feel, this one is dusty, bleakly brutal and even more unhinged. The look is exactly right--rough, hand-held edginess with sun-drenched landscapes and dingy, cluttered interiors. There's also some clever writing, plus witty visual nods to the genre and a cast packed with B-movie stars. But this isn't enough to make the film watchable to anyone beyond grindhouse devotees.

The story is virtually incomprehensible, with little plot or character development beyond the fact that everyone's driven by sadism or vengeance. Much of the acting is stiffly overwrought. And Zombie's attempts to be shocking soon become tedious; the film's increasingly grisly and nasty, as he tries so hard to make us squirm that it's actually boring. Many scenes are unnecessarily cruel, putting unclothed women at the mercy of merciless killers who gleefully inflict as much pain as they can. It's porn violence, combining sex and bloodshed in a way that's gruesome but never remotely sexy.

It's mildly watchable as an homage to these kinds of films from the '70s, and Zombie assembles a terrific vintage song score. But by the end when even the heroes turn into relentlessly cruel predators, we wonder if it will ever end. And the concluding hint that there might be a Part 3 is what really sends chills down our spine.

cert 18 themes, language, violence, sexuality 3.Jun.05

R E A D E R   R E V I E W S
send your review to Shadows... The Devil's Rejects paul, ny: 5/5 "This is a masterpiece of film making, this is Rob Zombies best film to date and if you hate this movie, then your not alive, the direction is great the story is right on cue and the acting is great also Rob Zombie will be the next great director od out time, why didn't you like it? Is it because it didn't have Julia Roberts or Denzel (I can't act) Washington in it, give me a break this is a classic piece of filmmaking." (24.Feb.08)
© 2005 by Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall