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31 - Lionsgate Print E-mail
User Rating: / 5
Written by Richard Taylor   
Sunday, 25 September 2016

BUY 31

AKA: 31: Праздник смерти

Directed by: Rob Zombie
Written by: Rob Zombie
Produced by: Rob Zombie, Mike Elliot, Andy Gould, Matthew Perniciaro, Michael Sherman, Eddie Vaisman
Cinematography by: David Daniel
Editing by: Glenn Garland
Special Effects by: Zak Knight, Adrienne Lynn, Bart Mixon, Wayne Toth
Music: Rob Zombie, Chris Harris, John 5, Bob Marlette
Cast: Sheri Moon Zombie, Jeff Daniel Phillips, Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs, Meg Foster, Kevin Jackson, Malcolm McDowel, Richard Brake, Pancho Moler, David Ury, Lew Temple, Torsten Voges, Elizabeth Daily, Tracey Walter, Ginger Lynn
Year: 2016
Country: USA
Language: English
Color: Color
Runtime: 1h 42min

Distributor: Lionsgate

Director/Musician Rob Zombie is back with 31 and is getting as much hate and love as you would expect being thrown at the controversial filmmaker. It seems most rather hate or love Zombieís movies and there is not much of an in between. I enjoyed his debut House of 1000 Corpses for its vibe, even if it was confused and all over the place. The sequel The Devil's Rejects is probably Zombieís finest work to date. Everything about it screams new age exploitation classic. The cast, the extreme violence, style and music all comes together for the ultimate cult movie popcorn loverís experience. I liked Zombieís different take on Halloween but it will never replace the original for me. He always has a way of making his characters very white trash, which he succeeded. Malcolm McDowell made a subpar Doctor Loomis, plus he added in elements of more extreme violence replacing genuine scares, something the original is known for. Halloween 2 was a bizarre movie. I remember strange visuals and trippy scenes which made everything else in it take a back seat. I have yet to see The Lords of Salem.

31 falls somewhere in between Zombieís previous works. Itís definitely no Devil's Rejects -- maybe not even House of 1000 Corpses. It plays out with unoriginal material borrowing heavily, once again, from The Texas Chain Saw Massacre and in this film, The Running Man. The cast is good -- there is not the most fleshed out of characters, but their performances are decent. The winner in 31 is the dialogue. With most of Zombieís work, the writing for the characters is always raunchy and white trash as fuck, and 31 is no exception but itís so well written and memorable compared to most of the shit I have been watching lately. Itís noticeable, itís like Quentin Tarantino, horror-esque style.

Where 31 falls into mediocrity is the story, the pacing and just unoriginality and predictability. We are brought back to the Ď70s again where a group of carnies are traveling and fucking around. Here we are introduced to some of the main characters including Rob Zombieís wife and actress mainstay in all of his movies, Sherri Moon Zombie (Toolbox Murders), plus a great looking Meg Foster (They Live), now in her 60's and still kicking ass. Mucho raunch ensues as we get pussy talk, drug use and the normal perverted demeanor you'd come to expect from a van full of foul-mouthed carnies, riding the hell city bus. Sheri Moon Zombie, playing the character Charly, even dry rub loves up on the scum ball gas attendant in a hilarious scene. Mrs. Zombie definitely looks hawt as shit in this one but unfortunately she doesn't get naked. Her performance is fortunately not quite as annoying as usual, in previous movies, and she actually plays a bit of a good girl ass-kicker in 31.

The Carnies stumble into a roadside trap ala The Texas Chain Saw Massacre and find themselves at the mercy of a group of eccentric weirdos, led by Malcolm McDowell (A Clockwork Orange) dressed up in 16th century wigs and garb. They force our carnival folk to play a The Running Man or The Most Dangerous Game style of event, with hunters and them being the hunted. The hunters are different scary looking clown looking characters, who go by names like Doom-Head, Death-Head, Schizo-Head, Sick-Head etcetera -- you get the picture. The funniest is definitely the Adolf Hitler looking Latino midget clown killer Sick-Head. What a fucking combo right there all rolled into one.

There are some terrifying scenes in 31 but some stuff, like the midget, is hard to take seriously and adds a big dose of humor to the otherwise grim affair. The plethora of eccentric killers are picked off themselves by our would-be victims, just as savagely as the murderers themselves. Sheri Moon Zombie and Meg Foster prove to be quite the formidable duo. The violence is as extreme as ever. Itís not toned down like I've heard. We get some crazy chainsaw kills, bludgeoning and many messy stabbings.

I'm not sure what people were expecting with this movie. Some break out hit or horror masterpiece? Itís more of a by-the-numbers horror movie with above average dialogue, but itís entertaining. People literally picked the living fuck out of it and just do not like Rob Zombieís work in general. I'm not the biggest fan but letís call a spade a spade -- this is mediocre and average but not total garbage. A big downfall was the ending. It just leads nowhere and is pointless. Once again, 31 is reminiscent of The Texas Chain Saw Massacre with a flee and a chase attempt. Richard Brake (Ray Donovan) probably plays one of the best roles in the movie as the lead baddie Doom-Head and he has some great dialogue but not much else to work with. 

If youíre a Rob Zombie fan, you'll enjoy 31 -- just don't go in with high expectations hoping it will surpass The Devil's Rejects. If you hate Rob Zombie, why the fuck would you watch it anyways? If youíre subjective then you might get a couple cheap thrills out of 31. It is what it is. It did hold my interest for its duration and thatís enough for me.







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