|The Devil's Rejects(2005)
Starring: Sid Haig, Bill Moseley, Sheri Moon, Matthew McGory, William Forsythe
Director: Rob Zombie
“The Devil’s Rejects” is one of those movies that you’ll like depending on how much you like the genre, or how often you skin people’s faces off, attach them to their spouse so that they go crazy, and watch as they run into the street and get run over by a Semi. If you are either of these kinds of people, then you’ll love this film, and by all means go see it. But if you’re not either of those people, than, well, you’ll probably want to take a pass on Rob Zombie’s latest gore fest.
The movie opens with a lone enormous mutant of a human being dragging a naked woman’s corpse through the woods. This pretty much sums up the tone of the picture. It’s not long before we are introduced to a family of murderers under siege by local authorities, led by a sheriff obsessed with hunting them down. Two manage to escape the hail of gunfire, and the audience is off on a bloody adventure that Zombie seems all too eager to deliver.
The next hour and a half of sexual perversion, torture, killing, and mutilation is mildly entertaining; mostly due to some dryly-humorous moments that serve as a welcome break from the pathology of the film itself. A lively performance by Sid Haig as a wickedly offensive and droll clown stands out in a field of awful and over-the-top performances by the cast.
Zombie is obviously a disturbed man, but you can see an effort being made in this film to establish himself as a solid filmmaker. There are moments in “The Devil’s Rejects” where the viewer might feel the build-up of actual suspense, but the suspense gives in to the predictability of the scene almost every time. There’s no nervousness involved when you know you’re just sitting there waiting for the next victim to get killed, and it’s difficult to be frightened by something when you know that it’s coming.
The scariest part of this film is that it was actually made. That there is an actual market for this kind of gratuitous, antisocial and psychotic filmmaking is disconcerting to say the least. Perhaps this is Zombie’s point: to make us uncomfortable in our own skin, to make us aware of the kind of brutality that lurks in our hearts and force us to confront it. Show us our true nature. Show us what our society has bred so that we can own up to it. Make it better. That, or he just gets off on trying to make people vomit. Who the hell knows.
The two-disc, unrated, director's cut widescreen (phew) DVD release of "The Devil's Rejects" is a great pick-up for any fan of Zombie's gore fest. Along with two separate audio commentaries (one by director Rob Zombie, the other by the film's three stars), a blooper reel, and a handful of deleted scenes, the two-disc set also includes several short films and a make-up featurette.