2 Stars
Year Released: 2003
MPAA Rating: R
Running Time: 100 minutes
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Dazzling visuals, gob smacking editing, flamboyant sets and deliciously over the top characters. Unfortunately that’s the only merit I can give the long awaited “House of 1000 Corpses”, written and directed by musician Rob Zombie.
Taking its cue from those vintage 70s horror films (which probably had half the budget), “House” centers on very little, but one might make out that it’s about four kids whose car breaks down and they end up in a house full of lunatics. Not unlike “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.” You see, the kids were on the road looking for eerie and abnormal tourist attractions (not unlike “Kalifornia”), and are about to stare a couple in the face, most notably the manic cannibalistic Dr Satan.
If an hour and a half of undecipherable plot and sickening – but not exactly novel – horror tickles your fancy, then “House of 1000 Corpses” should get your heart palpitating.
Some of the characters in this movie are truly terrifying. Sid Haig’s Captain Spaulding, the owner of a roadside attraction chronicling serial killers, is an obvious highlight. He’s freakishly uncomforting, but refreshingly entertaining. It’s a pity the movie didn’t feature more of him in it’s plot.
In fact, once the kids get to their ‘Final Destination’ – the house of horrors, if you will, the film goes down hill. One by one the freaks come out of the woodwork, and one by the one the kids are slaughtered. Nothing very novel there – and horror fans, it isn’t done very imaginative either. In fact, most of the horror sequences are clouded by either foggy edits, shots of old horror films or TV shows, or unfathomable imagery. It’s as if someone told Director Zombie to cover up the blood and gore. That blood and gore might have saved his movie – in the eyes of a horror fan anyway.
For a film that’s been shopped around to that many distributors and been removed and re-slotted into different release dates, I fail to see what the attraction is with this film. In my opinion, it’s not better than an MTV video clip that some hard rocker would helm.
Yes, it’s similar to “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre”, but not that much-loved original, more “The Next Generation”. Now does a film like that deserve so much of your attention?

Posted on April 13, 2003 in Reviews by

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