Thursday, August 27

...And Pain is God.

Reading this entry over at The Horror Effect yesterday disheartened me. You see, I love Rob Zombie's House of 1000 Corpses. It took me awhile to really warm to it, I've always liked it, but my appreciation grows with each revisit. It's exactly what I expected from Zombie considering his music, but not his bland solo career, this era:

Actually that should be 1984ish-1995 but whose counting, right? Anyway, understanding White Zombie the band helps vastly in the understanding Ho1kC, at least to hardened horror junkies. I can't vouch for Zombie's other films, especially Halloween and presumably H2. Lord knows what they are. Though 1000 Corpses is deeply set in the religion of good ol' fashioned WZ.

I didn't buy the hype. You know, that shit about "most shocking ever" and "the film they didn't want you to see." Those lines work in the flick's exploiter marketing tinkerings, but I knew Zombie wasn't going to come barreling out of the film gate to suddenly exhibit the maverick style of a Van Bebber. I honestly believe Zombie approached the project (at least initially) as something to fuck around with. This seems to be big stumbling block for some people (and Universal Studios) expecting a serious "return of true horror" as the marketing billed it. Actually, dare I say it is.

Zombie's movie influences in Corpses, just like WZ's music, are inked in blazing neon onto its tattoo sleeve. At the same time, his manic screen patchwork debut never quite feels like a rip-off of superior genre works of the past. This is what makes Corpses intriguing in that it is a return to true horror, just not the breed of horror most desired to return. The film feels nestled right in with the backwash after the earthquake that was The Texas Chain Saw Massacre. Not quite in the slasher era, as horror just seemed to lurch around in dubious quickies propped up to turn a buck with lurid campaigns. I can respect that and Corpses could have been stuck right in with an S.F. Brownrigg masterpiece as a midnight double feature at the $1 drive-in at the outer brink of the '70s.

This is where the WZ-influence comes in heavy with Zombie's "eye for horror" both on-screen and metal never focusing on "the greats" despite being enamored with them. Sorta like your seasoned horror fan spending most of their time digging up crap in search of gold that shines like the universally heralded classics. Of course, 98% of the time, we get 90 minutes stolen from us. Corpses and White Zombie in their own faded kid spook mask way celebrates this quirk and everything we love about the kitschy side of Horror fandom, but his film isn't and never set out to be a thoroughbred, but being a lovable mutt can still bring condemnation among some...


Hans A. said...

In my opinion, Zombie's never topped this film. I totally agree with your assessment of this film. I can see it as a $1 DF with a Brownrigg flick. Nice comparision. Also, Sherry Moon's Baby is probably one of my favorite cinematic characters of the last few years. She's just as sexy and kitchsy as the rest of Corpses. Great post, Sehnzeleid.

Nick Sayers said...

When i first saw 1000, i like a lot. After viewing another four or five times a couple years later i just seemed confused as far as direction, style, and story. I will say it is one of the best freshman films, but he really has pulled his shit together since Devils. Still think it is a disapointment given the ad campaign for the flick.

Anthony1138 said...

I agree 100% with your comparison between 1K Corpses and White Zombie. Upon first viewing, when it hit video, this was exactly my assessment. And this was perhaps the only reason, besides some of the characters, that I liked it.

Over time and multiple viewings, I've really warmed up to 1K Corpses and have a greater appreciation for it. I feel that while at the surface it's Zombie's take on TCM, there are many more layers to 1K Corpses than his Halloween remake. And although the characters are the same, it's great for completely different reasons than the excellent Devil's Rejects.

What really surprises me most about Zombie though, is that as a fan he would take on a Halloween remake in the first place. While it's many a director's wet dream to be able to remake one of their favorite films, at the same time it's many a fan's worst nightmare. But now that Myers is out of his system (hopefully), maybe Zombie can get back to his "roots" for the next film.

Anthony1138 said...

BTW... I just read the entry over at The Horror Effect, and have to say that I just don't get 1-3. We already discussed 1, but Q.T. rules and how exactly is Twilight or it's "vampires" any kind of disappointment to horror fans? It's a silly teenage melodrama with "vampires". Did anyone actually expect it to be cool? If you like horror and want some melodrama with real vampires... check out True Blood. ;)

B-Movie Becky said...


Sorry to bum you out with my post! Not intended! I agree with you on just about everything regarding the film and the transition from music to movies, but it just wasn't my thing I guess. And trust me, I've been a WZ and RZ fan, seen him live, adore his love for the genre, all that stuff. I don't hate the film or anything, I was just personally disappointed (as were a few horror fans) by it.

Anthony- I was referring more to the fact that people are considering Twilight "horror" and the teenage girl love fest around it that's disappointing. No, I didn't expect it to be good and was not anticipating the film in any way. And QT--what can I say? Death Proof is one of those movies that splits the fans.

Thanks for the read though! I like your blog, I'll be stopping in more often now that I'm a follower.

Jayson Kennedy said...

Thanks for the kind words Becky!

Hans, I will say Rob's wife has gotten progressively more annoying with each role, she does bring the crazy in Corpses though. you dare tread upon the staircase?

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