Tuesday, June 20, 2023

2K Replay: HOUSE OF 1000 CORPSES

 by Adam Riske

Winner for “Best Supporting Actor” (Sid Haig) at the Fangoria Chainsaw Awards.

• Best Scene/Moment (tie): The delayed overhead shot after Bill Moseley (who’s terrific in this) captures Walton Goggins was my first indication that Rob Zombie had the goods as a director and the climax of the movie in the underground lair culminating in the reveal of Dr. Satan. It’s impressively designed, and I love that sequence’s nightmare logic.

• Best Song (tie): “Everybody Scream” by Rob Zombie and “Who’s Gonna Mow Your Grass” by Buck Owens.
• Best Merch: A “House of 1000 Corpses Limited Edition Coffee and Box Set” for $120.00. The seller specifies this is a rare item with only 1,000 made. It comes with a bag of House of 1000 Corpses Ruggsville Brew and a few stickers. I don’t know about you, but I completely trust the Firefly family when it comes to food and beverage.

• Director Check: House of 1000 Corpses was the feature directorial debut of singer, songwriter, record producer, actor, and filmmaker Rob Zombie. The film had a perilous path to the screen after being dumped by its original distributor Universal Pictures but went on to become a cult hit upon its release spawning two sequels also directed by Rob Zombie - 2005’s The Devil’s Rejects (which was Zombie’s next feature and often considered his best movie) and 2019’s 3 From Hell. Zombie has also directed two films in the Halloween franchise to controversial results - Halloween (2007), which is half of a good movie, and 2009’s Halloween II, which I think is sad, powerful, and pretty great. Other films among Zombie’s credits include The Lords of Salem (also very good) and 31. His most recent film was last year’s adaptation of The Munsters, which was a passion project for the director and a bit of a departure for him being his first family-friendly movie. I’m a big fan of Rob Zombie who I think is a distinct, original filmmaker and often unfairly maligned. I don’t like all of his movies, but he’s made a few I love.

• Double It with This 2003 Movie: Wrong Turn

• Year 2003 Movies to Trailer Before It: Cabin Fever, House of the Dead, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
Draft Day or House of 1000 Corpses? Draft Day

• Mall Movie? Definitely.

• Only in 2003: The House of 1000 Corpses DVD Main Menu where Captain Spaulding (Sid Haig) mocks you for not picking an option right away. It was where the format peaked.

• Scene Stealer (tie): Walter Phelan as Dr. Satan and Robert Allen Mukes as Rufus. I don’t know why but on this rewatch I thought “I wonder what Rufus’s deal is?” a couple of times.

• I Miss: Half of the cast basically. A lot of them have passed away in the ensuing 20 years since House of 1000 Corpses release. RIP Sid Haig, Karen Black, Tom Towles, Matthew McGrory, Dennis Fimple, Harrison Young, Irwin Keyes, and Michael J. Pollard.

• I Don’t Miss: Feeling embarrassed that I like House of 1000 Corpses.

• 2003 Crush: Sheri Moon Zombie.

• 2023 Crush: Rob Zombie’s ‘throw everything at the wall and see what sticks’ approach.
• What I Thought in 2003: I couldn’t wait to see House of 1000 Corpses when it finally hit theaters in April 2003. It was one of the movies I had to make a real effort to see when I was in college (the theater playing it required taking a bus and then walking at least a mile to get to). I remember the movie making me feel dirty and kind of bad but also thinking it was fascinating and something I couldn’t shake off. I bought the DVD when it came out that summer and hid it (along with cigarettes) in a dresser drawer, so my family and then-girlfriend didn’t know I had it. I was a fan of the movie, but I didn’t want word of that out in the street.

• What I Think in 2023: I like House of 1000 Corpses even more now than I did in 2003. I’m sure it’s due to Rob Zombie figuring things out with his first movie, but it has a whirlwind energy that’s different from some more honed-in later films. Rob Zombie seems to be shoving everything he ever wanted to put into a movie into his debut feature and there’s a unique charm to that. House of 1000 Corpses is also an interesting introduction to the Firefly family characters who we get to know in greater depth in The Devil’s Rejects and 3 From Hell.

1 comment:

  1. Welp, Adam, this just made me realize House of 1,000 Corpses is a comfort movie for me. And now I want to marathon every Zombie movie back to back.