Once again i return with my weekly recommendation (after a small vacation) and this week sees me enter into the world of horror movies, but not just your regular makes you jump horror movie, but a real twisted will stay with you for a long time horror movie- you could say a crazy ride you’ll never forget or sleep correctly after for a few days. This is the directorial debut of the often polarizing Rob Zombie, and is a completely insane trip into the mind of the man and the legend.
House of 1000 corpses is a unique film- mainly due to the content and the story being told (which we will get too) but mainly because its based on characters that the writer, creator and director used at school in his English work- and when you see the movie you’ll understand why this is such a disturbing thought as the ‘Firefly’ family really are the stuff of American Horror legends.
The story focuses on two couples who are travelling through America on a tour of offbeat roadside attractions, where the four off them meet ‘Captain Spaulding’ and the journey their on gets suddenly weirder, darker and much more horrific. Spaulding becomes an instant classic on screen with his look of a disheveled clown (the face paint is brilliant) and a tiny little ring masters hat on his head, you know from the minute you meet him and he opens his mouth that he has the potential to be bad news. He introduces the concept of local horror legend ‘DR Satan’ and the tree at which he was hanged, sending the teenagers on their way.
This is truly where the tale gets dark, as the couple have a burst tire on their car and they receive the help of local family member ‘Baby’ and her brother Rufus who take them back to the family home to call for help- only for the couples to find out that the whole scene from the minute they left the roadside attraction has all been planned.
The character work in this movie is superb- each character within the Firefly Family is eerie and distinct and really does give you a sense of dread when they interact with the teenagers. Baby is the female you see the most and has a real childlike voice and mannerisms, however has the capacity for violence that is totally insane and completely disturbing to watch (yet at the same time fun) Otis is shown as the male patriarch of the family (I’m gonna keep it spoiler free) and is easily the most depraved of the family- as what he does to the female members of the group and his previous victims is completely creepy. Add to these three characters, a huge deformed figure called ‘Tiny’ and ‘Mother Firefly’ who is a lumbering hillbilly mess of a lady and you have a great bunch of psycho’s to truly watch.
The film uses the journey of the teenagers and their plight to highlight the real focus of the film- the Firefly family and their downright desire and urge to kill anything and everything that they can. There are some scenes in this film, mainly the torture scene with Otis, that really highlight the level of excitement that our family get from their antics- and this only adds to the feeling of dread that you feel for the couples and their almost impending demise. However what is done well, and becomes a tool of Zombie movies, is the unique use of camera angles and slow motion to make pivotal scenes even more memorable and distinctive- there’s a case in point involving a police officer outside of the Firefly house where Zombie does some of the most unusual usage of camera, slow motion and sound void that when i saw this movie in 2003 was instantly amazing.
The film is a truly fun ride that delivers in the gore, horror and creepiness that you need from a movie of this nature. Add to this the last 30minutes of craziness, and horror like your on LSD and this film becomes a classic. If youve never seen this film you really should- and then check out ‘The Devils Rejects’ it sequel.
Enjoy the trailer