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Devil's Rejects, The Print E-mail
User Rating: / 12
Written by Chris Mayo   
Friday, 11 January 2008

THE DEVIL'S REJECTS Review by Chris Mayo

Directed by: Rob Zombie
Written by: Rob Zombie
Produced by: Rob Zombie, Mike Elliott, Andy Gould, Michael Ohoven
Cinematography by: Phil Parmet
Edited by: Glenn Garland
Special Makeup effects by: Douglas Noe, Wayne Toth
Original Music by: Tyler Bates, Rob Zombie
Cast: Sid Haig, Bill Moseley, Sheri Moon Zombie, William Forsythe, Ken Foree, Michael Berryman, Leslie Easterbrook, Matthew McGrory
Year: 2005
Country: USA
Language: English
Color: Color
Runtime: 109 minutes

Official Website:

“A Tale Of Murder, Mayhem and Revenge”

Rob Zombie has always had a well documented love for the horror genre throughout all his creative endeavors; whether through his music or artwork.  Zombie’s long awaited directorial début House of 1000 Corpses -- which went through Hell and back with distributors and the MPAA -- showed what the musician turned director could bring forth to the table a love for horror.  This tribute and modern day unofficial remake of Tobe Hooper’s backwoods classic The Texas Chain Saw Massacre was not perfect, but showcased a fresh approach to the genre.  Finally after 2 years Zombie returns with a new deliverance of evil with the villainous characters he created in House.  This time Zombie’s ability as a competent filmmaker shines through this grimy film with an ultimately greater throwback to the classic 70’s grindhouse exploitation flick.  After seeing the film, one will definitely question the MPAA’s rating system if they had such turmoil over Zombie’s previous feature film.

The movie opens in 1978.  The police surround a desolate Texan farmhouse, fronted by vengeful Sheriff Wydell (William Forsythe) whose brother was murdered by the family.  Inside reside the Firefly family (the villains of the Dr. Satan murders from our previous film).  We find out that over 75 murders have taken place.  The police make ready for an attack on the household with an onslaught of firepower.  The family is awakened and makes ready for battle, arming themselves with weapons and handmade metal masks and body armor.  The inevitable shootout ensues leaving Mother Firefly (Leslie Easterbrook) captured and arrested while brother and sister, Otis (Bill Moseley, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2) and Baby (Zombie’s hot wife Sherri Moon Zombie Toolbox Murders - 2003) manage to escape.

Bro and Sis make their way to an appropriately shabby motel where they take hostage a traveling folk band in their room.  There they await the arrival of their father, the rotten-toothed-clown Captain Spaulding (Sid Haig, Kill Bill: Vol. 2), but in the meantime have some sadistic fun.  There they force a man’s wife to disrobe while he watches helplessly, along with the rest in the room.  When a man returning with some jerky from the nearby store enters the room, he is immediately killed, causing one of the inhabitants to vomit all over himself.  This sequence ends doubtlessly in depravity, and just when the refined viewer thinks that a The Texas Chain Saw Massacre tribute is at hand, they are perversely pleased when body and brain matter needs to be scraped from the road (in a sequence that made my girlfriend weak).

When Otis and Baby finally meet up with Captain Spaulding, he takes them to a getaway whorehouse to spend some time with a good buddy of his Charlie, played by none other than Ken Foree from the original Dawn of the Dead.  He is also accompanied by sidekick Clevon played by genre great Michael Berryman in such films as The Hills Have Eyes.  Little do “The Devil’s Rejects” (as dubbed on the family by the media) know that Sheriff Wydell is still Hell-bent on avenging his brother’s death.  Taking the law into his own hands the Sheriff enlists the services of a bounty hunting twosome called The Unholy Two to track down the Firefly family.  What follows is an assault of nihilism, depravity, and terror.

The Devil's Rejects is a film that is sure to please the more cultured (or jaded) horror fan attempting a theatrical viewing of a new horror film.  With so many shitty “pseudo-horror” films flooding the theatres starring primetime soap opera stars -- at an attempt to cash in on the genre -- The Devil's Rejects is both a blessing and a sign that more films of this subject matter will hopefully be made.  The film’s depiction of serial killers on the run from the law comes across as realistic as it gets in modern “mainstream” cinema.  One could even suggest that this is a more brutal modern equivalent to Last House on the Left.  The more casual and safe horror filmgoer is sure to be shocked by some of the film’s ruthless content and visuals.  I don’t recall ever seeing torture and scenes of humiliation toward female characters presented like this, in a wide theatrically released film to North American audiences.  Naturally August Underground would tower the depravity and humiliation towards women this film depicts, but we’re talking mainstream here.  Not only does the film deliver to grindhouse audiences, but it is surprisingly well crafted and written as well.  Its cinematography and editing is stellar with some perfect uses of slow motion and freeze frame shots.  Deserved accolades to Phil Parmet, and Glenn Garland are at hand.  Additionally The Devil's Rejects has a surprisingly large amount of comedy on behalf of the villains.  One comic scene depicts Baby and Spaulding coaxing Otis into stopping for some tootie fruity ice cream.  What makes the scene amusing is their incessant chanting of “TOOTIE FUCKING FRUITY”, and their ability to agitate Ottis into stopping for some.  A sequence like this brings likeability to these characters that so casually commit such vicious murders.  Then with a character like Sheriff Wydell who is generally supposed to be the good heroic figure that that audience likes, takes things too far with his policing duties and comes across more savage than the actual murderers he is after.

As I’ve stated, this film isn’t for the typical moviegoer, and maybe not for fans of Zombie’s less effective House of 1000 Corpses.  I would hope that fans of grindhouse exploitation films would be pleased with Rob Zombie’s accomplishment with The Devil's Rejects, which is the best theatrical horror film I’ve seen all year.  The film’s nudity, perversion, sleaze, torture and gore underlined with superb filmmaking will speak for itself.














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Aaron  - Tableau to cruelty: Being forced to watch this..   | |2008-06-08 07:02:47
Zombie indicates that all he is capable or producing in low grade shock value
trash which celebrates his white trash roots, and attempts to idealize tableau's
to cruelty for their own sakes, rather than serving any purpose for the

Such was true also of his misconception "Halloween" - where ONCE
AGAIN, he demonstrates he just hasn't got a fucking clue as to what he's

I URGE Rob Zombie to STOP making films: for the love of your inbred
hillbilly God, Just PLEASE stop!!
Chris Mayo   |SAdministrator |2008-08-07 18:53:49
Hehe. I can see where you're coming from, but I however dug this film. I
prefer his style of filmmaking to much of the dreck flowing from Hollywood any
Aaron  - Hollywood dreck.. part 2.   | |2008-08-08 01:50:24
I do not believe there is any comparison to the dreck Hollywood churns out -
look, there are some brilliant genre films that manage quite well without
cliched characterizations based from possibly Zombie's extended family.

film blew - it's not horror, it IS dreck - it IS to the genre what "Kill
Bill" to Samurai films - I reckon AVOID Zombie, and go check out "Near
Dark", or "The Exorcist", or jesus, even "The Shining":
these were good films, and I'm sorry sir, but as per the stabling of these
thoroughbreds in the same genre as the still-born talent, and clichéd bile
consistently turned out by Z. means you really need to get your arse outta
blockbuster, and go seek out some of these films.

Horror is more than a black
t-shirt and a downloaded recipe for fake blood - perhaps someone should tell Rob
Z. that too...

...AND Ulwe Boll (The fucker...).
Aaron  - And btw..   | |2008-08-08 01:53:13
Sorry - but I DO get passionate about film when I've had over 1/2 bottle of
Stone's Ginger Wine (hence the few typos..). So no insult to you sir.
Chris Mayo     |SAdministrator |2008-08-08 15:28:58
Aaron, I agree this isn't a horror film. It's more of a western if anything,
but with horrific elements (such as the hotel sequence). However when compared
to other films from Hollywood, I'd much prefer "The Devil's Rejects"
over say "The Eye" remake, or "Vacancy" or hell even a "Saw
6". Comparing Zombie's film to a classic like "The Exorcist" is
pointless. Obviously that would win. I?m talking new films for moviegoers.
Sometimes it?s nice to check out a new film in theaters. This review
materialized from just that. For every remake that appears I?ll take "The
Devil?s Rejects". Zombie isn?t the second coming, and I never stated he is,
but I did enjoy the film.
Aaron  - Review-reinstated-reinstructed.. but not retracted   | |2008-08-09 07:16:52
Actually that is a very fair point to make - and the comparison to a western
(put into that light), and I had to re-watch Devil's Rejects again, is pretty
astute actually.

But yeah, you enjoy what you like - but still gotta side
with this being an anti-western and unfortunately a style which Zombie seems to
colour all his offerings with. Which is a shame really, because House of 1000
Corpses I thought was pretty good.
Chris Mayo     |SAdministrator |2008-08-08 15:30:14
Your Blockbuster comment is funny. Do you even know what site you?re on?
Severed Cinema is about celebrating obscure cinematic delights from around the
world. Occasionally I feature some modern films, though, such as ?The Devils
Reject?s?. I try not to limit the content featured on the site, while still
limiting newer cinema, as they just don?t have the same charm of yore.

Dude I
get passionate too. Drink up. The funny thing is, is that this film isn't
amongst my favorites...
Aaron  - "Hi.. I'm Aaron.. and I'm a Movieholic..".   | |2008-08-09 07:20:52
Yeah.. in retrospect, seems inappropriate.

Anyways 90% less monstered and
back from my Jack Black film festival (KIDDING!!) - good to know we're on
similar wave lengths though.

Btw, is anyone else on this making irritating
feeds, or just me?

ANYWAYS... Cheers! ("Schooool oooooof
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