Tuesday, May 31, 2005

The House of 1000 Corpses

--Reviewed by Lindy Loo

Plotline: Take the plotline to The Texas Chain Saw Massacre and throw in a freakshow/museum of horror and you've got yourself the plotline to The House of 1000 Corpses--a group of kids driving cross-country to document weird and wonderful roadside attractions stops to get gas at a freak show/museum of murder and horror in some small town. They then decide to do a quick search for the resting place of a local murderer, end up picking up a hot female hitchhiker, and are dragged back to the hitchhiker's house where they become her crazy family's prey.

Scariness factor: Gah. Blah. Mah. Apparently Rob Zombie thinks that grossness and gore is equal to scariness. I beg to differ.

Originality: Like I said, complete Texas Chain Saw Massacre rip-off.

Complaints: Oh lord. Too numerous to get into. I was actually more than willing to give Rob Zombie the benefit of the doubt, knowing that he is a big nerdy horror fan like those of us who read and write this blog. I thought I'd at least be charmed by his obvious smittenness with good horror movies. But there's a difference between appreciating a good gore-flick and RIPPING OFF a good gore-flick.

  • As I've mentioned, my biggest complaint is that it was a complete and total rip-off of The Texas Chain Saw Massacre. I understand that the whole "crazed family" trope is used a lot in horror movies; I understand that the whole "carful of teens breaking down and unravelling into a night of horror" is used a lot in horror movies. But this movie's structures is a complete and total rip-off of TTCSM. And given that TTCSM is so damn good, I'm not sure how Zombie expected to one-up it by using the exact same premise.

  • The family was more irritating and obnoxious than spooky and scary. Sheri Moon is a fricking hottie, and yet she annoyed the piss out of me with her obnoxious baby-voice through the whole movie. The rest of the family was so over the top that they became more silly than anything.

  • The movie started off as a "crazy murderous family" movie and then totally got sidetracked into some sorta weird nonsensical bullshit. Suddenly 3/4 of the way through the movie, we start being introduced to all these torturous freaks who live in catacombs underground--a dentist who tortures his patients, a bizarre-looking man-creature who chases folks with an axe, a bunch of creature-men that live in muddy waters below and tear apart the people that the crazy family sacrifices to them. Now, maybe it's just me, but I don't quite understand how ONE FAMILY manages to rope in ALL the crazies in the surrounding states and get them to a) willingly live underground, b) willingly spend their time in a damp dank mudpit filled with water and bugs awaiting the occasional person who gets placed down there in a coffin so that they can tear them apart, c) etc etc. It just doesn't make sense to me. If I were a murderous crazy, I think I'd wanna be doing my own thing--be some sorta crazy murderous independent contractor or something. And if I WANTED the group support of OTHER murderous crazies, I sure as hell would get turned off by the whole "living underground for the rest of eternity" thing. And I sure as HELL would not spend days and weeks in a mud-pit awaiting the occasional victim. Fuck that.

  • High Points: The guy with the axe was creepy. That's about it.

    Overall: I was sorely disappointed with this bastard of a movie. It was obnoxious and uncreepy. It was gory and nonsensical. I'd definitely not recommend.

    Grade: D-/F

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    At 11:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Don't forget the taxidermy fetish. My God that movie was aweful.


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