House of 1,000 Corpses

Year: 2003
Directed By: Rob Zombie
Written By: Rob Zombie

RYAN’S REVIEW

When this movie came out I remember hearing really bad things about it and never giving it a chance. I can’t remember who I heard those things from or why I listened to them but if I knew I would find them today to tell them they are crazy.  When I saw this movie for the first time years later it instantly became one of my favorite horror movies of all time. It has an awesome cast made up of people I had never heard of, it has one of the coolest intros I have ever seen in anything, and it was made by a man who has a thing for horror movies. The story may be a typical one on the surface, as far as movies in this genre go.  It scares me though; it gives me the thrills I look for in a horror movie and at the end of the day that is all that matters.  As Halloween is approaching there isn’t a movie I would have rather reached in this collection.  I love this time of year, and this is one of my favorite movies to watch when the holiday approaches.

I had never heard of Sid Haig before seeing this movie but I have never forgotten him afterwards. As Captain Spaulding he makes an awesome and memorable character.  I think the opening scene in which he stands tall and belligerent against his would be robbers is one of the coolest I have ever seen. When it comes to clowns there is fine line between being funny and creepy.  As a clown Captain Spaulding is right up there with Pennywise when it comes to clowns from horror stories.  Spaulding himself doesn’t really bring the element of horror to this film but he brings plenty to the film in small doses.  If the horror element was brought by any one person it was from Bill Moseley.  That man has a voice that strikes fear into my soul and his appearance in the movie is enough to make anyone turn and walk the other way.  The whiteness of his skin, the unkempt nature of his hair, and the blood spattered on his clothes make him look scary enough.  It’s when he starts talking that really brings the fear full circle.  Not only does he have a menacing voice but his character in the movie is so utterly insane and in control.  When he starts talking you might have no idea what is coming next but you know that it will be bad.

I think Sheri Moon is incredibly sexy, but like the guy playing her brother she scares the shit out of me in this one.  It’s that laugh she has, it’s disturbing. She looks so seductive and sweet until something sets her off and then before you know it you see the psychotic side of her.  In the sequel to this movie we find out that her father is actually Captain Spaulding but I thought that was a bit of a stretch.  I would have preferred a more creative connection between the clown and the crazy family.  Karen Black played the part of the crazy family’s mother and I thought she was great.  Her character was obviously once a prostitute and her wide variety of children reflect that.  She was replaced for the sequel and I have never known why but I didn’t like the change. In the role of Tiny some might recognize Matthew McGrory who played the giant in Big FishMcGrory is also known for a role he played in Deliverance as a child, he was the kid playing the banjo in one of the movies most memorable scenes.  In smaller roles you can see notable TV stars of today like Walton Goggins and Rainn Wilson.

This was the first movie made by long time rocker Rob Zombie and I think he did an incredible job.  I remember seeing his house on the MTV show Cribs years and years ago when I still watched MTV and distinctly remember him having an entire closet top to bottom full of horror movies.  Clearly the man has put his work in understanding the genre.  Everything he did from set design to camera angles to the dialogue he wrote was on the spot as far as I am concerned.  I haven’t really been a fan of most of what he has done since this movie.  I did not like his remakes of the Halloween movies.  Yet I like this movie so much that I will always give anything he makes a chance.  He has a lot of potential as a filmmaker.  The story he wrote was pretty basic as far as horror films go but he did many things that make this film stand apart from others with similar themes.

This is a movie I strongly suggest as we enter into the spooky time of the year.  Movies are a great medium to get us into the spirit and movies such as this one are always popular this time of the year.  This is probably one of my favorite horror films but the original Dawn of the Dead is a very close second. For most people anything featuring zombies, vampires, or ghosts will serve their purposes during this season but if you want something that packs more of a punch check this one out. It’s not one I often recommend because it is such a rough movie but this time of the year it is just right.  This movie is more than worth your time during Halloween season and may you have a fun and frightening holiday.

AMBER’S REVIEW

This movie is beyond creepy. It’s not even in the horror genre; it’s a genre all in its own. Family is crazy as shit genre. I really like watching this movie and that worries me sometimes because this film is completely crazy and demented.

This is such an interesting poster. I like the typography; you have a gross looking head looking at you. It’s pretty cut and dry, but I like it and I think it’s a great poster.

NEXT MOVIE: How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days (2003)

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3 comments

  1. Reblogged this on The Movie Snobs and commented:

    This film gave me unrealistic hopes for the potential of Rob Zombie’s career as a horror film maker. I haven’t liked many of his other films but I still think this one is rock solid. A scary and exciting horror film that I revisit every year during October.

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