REVIEW: 3 FROM HELL

Starring

Bill Moseley (Texas Chainsaw)
Sheri Moon Zombie (Halloween)
Sid Haig (The Lords of Salem)
Richard Brake (Mandy)
Danny Trejo (Machete)
Dee Wallace (ET)
Daniel Roebuck (Lost)
Jeff Daniel Phillips (Faster)
Bill Oberst (Abraham Lincoln vs Zombies)
Austin Stoker (Battle For TPOTA)
Emilio Rivera (Venom)
Clint Howard (Solo: A Star Wars Story)
David Ury (Powers)
Wade Williams (Prison Break)
Sean Whalen (Superstore)
Richard Riehle (The Fan)
Lucinda Jenney (Rain Man)
Jan Hoag (Scream Queens)
Noel Gugliemi (Gamer)
Barry Bostwick (Spy Hard)
Christopher B. Duncan (Black Lightning)

Sheri Moon Zombie and Pancho Moler in 3 from Hell (2019)The film opens with several news reports covering the events of the prior film. Through the reports, it is revealed that Baby, Otis, and Captain Spaulding miraculously survived their shootout with the police and that they will be tried for their crimes. The trial is widely covered nationwide and becomes a cause célèbre, resulting in the organization of protests that insist the trio’s innocence. Numerous fanatics also adopt the chant “Free the Three”, claiming that their crimes were committed as a means to fight against the system. Despite this, all three are found guilty and sentenced to life in prison. In addition to the final verdict, Captain Spaulding is executed via lethal injection. Otis’ half-brother, Winslow Foxworth “Foxy” Coltrane, shows up to help Otis escape from prison while he is outside doing work on a chain gang. In the process, Otis kills Rondo, who was also on the chain gang after having been arrested some time after the end of the previous film and been sent to the same prison, but did not recognized Otis. Meanwhile, Baby unsuccessfully seeks parole, as her mental state has further deteriorated since her incarceration.Richard Brake and Bill Moseley in 3 from Hell (2019)Once free, Otis and Foxy begin planning to free Baby from prison. To accomplish this, they kidnap the family and friends of the prison’s warden, Virgil Dallas Harper. Otis and Foxy demand that Harper help Baby sneak out of prison or they will murder everyone they hold hostage. Harper follows their commands and sneaks Baby out of prison by disguising her as a guard. However, once Baby is freed, Otis and Foxy decide to eliminate the loose ends and kill all the hostages, as well as Harper. Now united, the three are undecided as to what to do next but eventually decide to flee to Mexico, a decision that is made more pressing due to Baby’s growing instability.Sheri Moon Zombie and Dee Wallace in 3 from Hell (2019)Otis, Baby, and Foxy manage to successfully cross the border and flee to a small town in Mexico that is celebrating the Day of the Dead and hole up in the town’s lone hotel. They briefly worry about being recognized but dismiss these concerns, unaware that the hotel’s owner has in fact recognized them and has alerted Rondo’s son, Aquarius, to their location. The owner keeps them occupied with both the celebration and local prostitutes, while Aquarius heads out to the location with several henchmen in tow. The following morning, Baby bonds with a local worker, Sebastian, who notices Aquarius’s arrival. He warns Baby of the danger before running to warn Otis, just as Aquarius’s men break into the whorehouse. Otis and Sebastian hold off the attackers until Foxy arrives and rescues them both. Otis separates from them, managing to successfully find the hotel owner and kill him. During this time, Baby manages to kill several of Aquarius’s men using a bow and arrow set she took from Harper’s house. Eventually, Foxy and Baby are outmatched by Aquarius and taken prisoner. During this, Aquarius tells Sebastian he’s not worth the bullet and leaves him for dead. Aquarius and his remaining goons use Baby and Foxy to draw Otis out into the open.Sheri Moon Zombie in 3 from Hell (2019)Otis appears, and squares off against one of Aquarius’s men in a knife fight while Sebastian sneaks up and silently frees both Foxy and Baby. This enrages Aquarius, distracting his man in the knife fight and allowing Otis to gain the upper hand. He, Baby, and Foxy manage to overpower Aquarius, however Sebastian is shot and killed in the process. The film ends with the trio immolating Aquarius before walking off into the Mexican town.Richard Brake, Sheri Moon Zombie, and Bill Moseley in 3 from Hell (2019)With House Of 1000 Corpses we have a retro, grindhouse throwback set in a house of a haunted nightmare world. With Devil’s Rejects we are shifted into a western revenge movie with an “angel” (Officer Wydell) facing the devil’s (The Fireflies). With this latest chapter, we are in shifted in the direction of a self-aware subsequent blend of the first two movies. Rob combined the brutality, and grittiness of Rejects, with the wacky, Retro stylish throwback of Corpses and thus summoned 3 From Hell. If you enjoy self-aware, brutal, grindhouse, action horror then you will love this addition. Everyone else will despise it for not being a serious follow up.

REVIEW: THE DEVIL’S REJECTS

CAST

Sid Haig (Jackie Brown)
Bill Moseley (Arm of Darkness)
Sheri Moon Zombie (Halloween)
William Forsythe (The Rock)
Ken Foree (Dawn of The Dead)
Leslie Easterbrook (Halloween)
Geoffrey Lewis (Maverick)
Priscilla Barnes (Jane The Virgin)
Lew Temple (Lawless)
Danny Trejo (Machete)
Tom Towles (Miami Vice)
Michael Berryman (Star Trek IV)
P.J. Soles (Carrie)
Ginger Lynn (31)
Chris Ellis (Catch Me If You Can)
Daniel Roebuck (Lost)
Glenn Taranto (The New Addams Family)
Tyler Mane (X-Men)
Steve Railsback (Lifeforce)
Robert Trebor (Hercules: TLJ)
Brian Posehn (The Big Bang Theory)
Deborah Van Valkenburgh (Free Enterprise)
Duane Whitaker (Pulp Fiction)
Richard Epcar (One Punch Man)
Kane Hodder (Monster)

Rob Zombie’s second film picks up shortly after the events that finished up House Of 1,000 Corpses. The Firefly clan are holed up in a farmhouse, surrounded by cops and wanted for murdering seventy-five people. Needless to say, the police are pretty hot to get their hands on the clan, but they’re not going down without a fight and soon enough, a bloody shoot out goes down. Otis (Bill Moseley) and Baby (Sheri Moon) make it out of the house before the law closes in, but Mother Firefly (Leslie Easterbrook picking up where Karen Black left off) isn’t so lucky and the cops are only too happy to bring her into custody.
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Captain Spaulding, as luck would have it, was out of the house when the shoot out occurred, so he too manages to avoid the police and it doesn’t take him long to find out what’s happened. Once he does, he figures he should head on out and look for Baby and Otis, who have spent some time hiding out in a remote hotel where they’ve been holding a country and western band (made up of Priscilla Barnes, Geoffrey Lewis, Kate Norby and Lew Temple) hostage. One thing leads to another and soon Baby and Otis, after making waste of the band, head out to meet up with Spaulding at a whorehouse run by Spaulding’s ‘brother from another mother,’ Charlie Altamont (Ken Foree).
While the family is on the lam, Sheriff Wydell (William Forsyth) is becoming more and more obsessed with getting revenge on them for the murder of his brother in the first film. He rounds up a band of hired guns to help him out and heads into the desert to find the three Fireflies and give them what for.

Prod DB © Lions Gate Films / DR THE DEVIL'S REJECTS (THE DEVIL'S REJECTS) de Rob Zombie 2005 USA / ALL avec Sid Haig, Bill Moseley et Sheri Moon horreur, gore, otage, prisonniers, attaches, tortureRob Zombie has crafted one mean little movie this time out. While a lot of the black humor that made the first movie as fun as it was is still here, there’s a much stronger mean streak in The Devil’s Rejects that gives it a certain air of uneasiness. Otis and Spaulding as sicker, more depraved and more psychotic here than in the last film (if that’s possible) but the story allows us to get to know them better this time out, which makes for an interesting paradox. These are definitely not heroes or even anti heroes that we’re following in this film, they’re despicable human beings but their story is interesting and while we don’t necessarily root for them, the movie sucks us in enough that we do want to find out how it all ends.

DevilsRejects-SheriZombieIn addition to some brilliant casting choices, Zombie has also done an excellent job of recreating the dirty, sweaty atmosphere of so many of the seventies drive in horror and exploitation films that so obviously inspired him to make this movie. The film will leave you in need of a shower, it’s been baked in the sun a little too long and as such it’s got a strange funk to it that just makes an already fairly seedy movie even seedier. With supporting roles from Michael Berryman, Rosario Dawson (well, in a deleted scene), the late Matthew McGrory, Danny Trejo and Diamond Dallas Page as the Sheriff’s mercenary pals, P. J. Soles, Deborah Van Valkenburgh, Ginger Lynn Allen, Mary Woronov, and more, the film also makes for a fun game of ‘spot the b-movie celebrity’ you’re your friends.
vlcsnap-2015-04-06-02h14m31s233While the film played theatrically with an R-rating, this two-disc set is uncut. The main difference is the fact that the hotel room scene plays out a little longer than it did theatrically, the rest of the added content (to the best of this reviewer’s memory – I don’t have the R version to compare it to) is some restored trims to the nastier bits of violence in the movie.

REVIEW: HOUSE OF 1,000 CORPSES

CAST

Sid Haig (Jackie Brown)
Karen Black (Soulkeeper)
Rainn Wilson (Super)
Bill Moseley (Arm of Darkness)
Erin Daniels (One Hour Photo)
Dennis Frimple (King Kong 1976)
Walton Goggins (The Hateful Eight)
Irwin Keyes (The Flinstones)
Sheri Moon Zombie (Halloween)
Michael J. Pollard (Superboy)
Rob Zombie (Slither)
Chris Hardwick (The Lego Ninjago Movie)

Rocker Rob Zombie burst onto the horror film scene with his 2003 movie House of 1000 Corpses.  It took years to get released (and necessitated a change of studios) and the movie was generally slammed by the critics but horror fans understood what Zombie was trying to do; create an homage to the classic 70’s horror films he grew up with.  With a good dose of humor and just as much gore, Zombie succeeded brilliantly.  Now this film has made its way to Blu-ray with a very good transfer, high definition sound and even a bonus JAVA game not found on the SD release. Just before Halloween, four budding authors are researching a book on road side attractions when they stumble upon Captain Spaulding’s Museum of Monsters and Madmen which also doubles as a gas station and sells “tasty” fried chicken too.  They meet Captain Spaulding himself, a foul mouthed grungy man in clown makeup (wonderfully played by Sid Haig) and he tells them about the local serial killer, Dr. Satan, the two couples head off in the rain to see the tree where he was hanged.
Nearing their destination they spot a hitchhiker, Baby Firefly (played by they hypnotic and ultra-sexy Sheri Moon) and offer her a lift.  When the car blows a tire, Baby takes everyone to her house, a bizarre and unusual affair with decapitated dolls nailed to the walls.  There they meet the Firefly family including the disfigured giant Tiny (Matthew McGrory), crazy Grandpa Hugo (Dennis Fimple), and Mother (Karen Black) who tries to seduce one of the young men.  The leader of this group is Otis (Bill Moseley), an insane psychopath who spends most of his time torturing five cheerleaders that he kidnapped.  After an odd dinner an even more bizarre floorshow starts.  After Grandpa tells some off color jokes, Baby comes out dressed in a slinky outfit and sings a sex song to the men.  When their girlfriends object, a fight breaks out and the four youths are asked to leave in their newly fixed car.  Spooked, they jump into the car and try to leave, but they don’t get very far before the car is stopped and everyone is beaten and captured.  What maniacal plans do Otis and the Firefly’s have for their new victims?
2677_10_screenshotThough there were problems with this film, it is still a very good horror flick.  Rob Zombie takes an everything including the kitchen sink approach to the movie and throws in all the horror conventions: serial killers, demonic clowns, sex-starved older women, disfigured freaks, mad doctors, and a crazy family, just to name a few.  Because of this the movie starts off at a fast pace (with a pair of would-be criminals deciding to rob Captain Spaulding….big mistake!) and never really slows down. This was Zombie’s first directorial effort and he proves that he has a lot of talent.  He used old film clips, split screens, and mirror images to very good effect.  These never came across as artsy or film-school pretentious but worked to advance the story in a visually interesting way.  There were some scenes that really stand out too.  One of my favorites was when Otis confronted a sheriff’s deputy (played by Walton Goggins.)  The deputy is kneeling with his hands up and Otis has the barrel of a pistol touching his forehead.  The camera pulls back and stops, and still Otis doesn’t do anything.  Will he let the man live and tie him up?  Will he kill him?  As the scene goes on with neither character moving the tension builds and builds.
lindsay-lohan-charlie-sheen-scary-movie-5That’s not to say that this is a perfect film.  The four victims aren’t developed at all and it’s hard to feel sorry for them.  The two girls especially, they spend most of the beginning of the movie whining and complaining.  There’s really not much of a plot either, and at the end of the movie there are more questions than answers.  The driving force of the film is really to see what atrocities will occur next, not whether any of the kids will survive.  The reason the film works so well even with the flawed script is because of the strong cast.  Though the four victims are very bland and fade into the background, the other actors create unique and memorable characters are a huge asset to the film.  Sid Haig is the run away star as Capt. Spaulding.  His vile clown is both funny and displeasing at the same time and every scene he’s in is a joy to watch.  He’s at the top of his form when he confronts the robber who’s holding a gun on him.  It’s a classic scene.