|House of 1000 Corpses (2003)
Starring: Sid Haig, Chris Hardwick, Chad Bannon, Bill Mosely
Director: Rob Zombie
Now that Rob Zombie's directorial debut "House of 1000 Corpses" has finally been released, I sort of wished it hadn't. I despise horror flicks, but after all the hype this film built up over the past few years, I just couldn't resist. Originally set for release by Universal back in 2001, "1000 Corpses" was deemed to have had too much gore and violence and was given an NC-17 rating before undergoing a series of edits and finally hitting theaters this year. The thing is, the edits appear to have been much too effective because this movie just isn't scary.
The premise of the film is simple: Four college kids are traveling cross-country to document all the strange roadside attractions they can find. On their way to one of the girl's house, they come across a place owned by Captain Spaulding (Sid Haig), a clown whose store features horror-like oddities and a tour highlighting past serial killers, including the town's own legend, Dr. Satan.
Anxious to hear and see more about this Dr. Satan guy, the kids are given a map that leads them to an old house currently occupied by perhaps the world's strangest family. The death toll soon begins to mount as we move toward the film's anti-climatic ending, which is somehow made even worse with Zombie's inclusion of the lame "The End?" conclusion.
Fans of the horror genre may not even like this one because, although the title claims some obscene film with gore out the ass, whatever scenes Zombie may have originally filmed were either edited for a friendlier rating or digitally doctored and blurred. Zombie has way too much fun with his camera, using everything from split screens, slow motion and negatives to truly mess up his first film.
The only character that I enjoyed was Sid Haig's Captain Spaulding, who is quite unsettling yet refreshingly entertaining. Captain Spaulding could have added something to this movie's terrible plot, but he unfortunately only appears in three scenes, including one with "The Shield" star Walton Goggins, in what may be one of the best sequences of the film.
Overall, Rob Zombie's "1000 Corpses" is a huge dud. It has little plot, no explanations to the plot twists and, simply put, it's just not scary. Toward the end of this disaster, random monsters appear out of nowhere, leaving the audience questioning why these things are even there, and why it took them so long to appear in the first place. After watching this film, all you can do is sigh. Hopefully the DVD will feature the real movie for fans to experience.