Rob Zombie's House of a 1000 Corpses
I saw Rob Zombie's movie, House of a 1000 corpses (starring Sheri Moon, Sid Haig, Karen Black) thinking that it might be somewhat interesting like most of his colorful cartoon-like album covers and music videos.
What I realized is that Rob Zombie should just stick to drawing, give up filmmaking and screenplay writing, since he basically sucks at it. Yup, he sure does.....here is why...
The first 10 minutes of the film was good, despite the weak script to support it. The old man and the clown shooting the robbers was rather amusing. Especially the line when the old man suddenly asked the robber "hey didn't you work at the hardware store". That was the only best line in the whole movie.
The banter between the nerdy guy and clown discussing his book about Road Trips, was worthy to note.
The clown character appeared to be interesting at first, however his script was weak. He was cursing the "F" word in almost every sentence. Somehow this made him look more normal and less sinister. Since cursing today is something that even regular office people do, it is no longer taboo or cool.
I don't have anything against cursing. I enjoyed watching Dennis Hopper in the movie "Unspeakable" where he played a prison warden. In one scene, he went on a tirade of cursing before he died. This was an excellent performance by Dennis Hopper, and the cursing was done magnificently. Brava!
The young people that were taking the road trip did not have well-developed characters. What was up with the girlfriends of the guys on the road trip? One girl kept doing eyeball rolls. I understand that Rob was trying to show that the girl was very annoyed at her boyfriend's antics and very critical of the clown people. But the expressions on her face were redundant and un-interesting to watch. Why did it take her so long to die anyway?? Perhaps they should have made her more neurotic or hyper. I mean did Rob Zombie cast these actors. Is this how he wanted them to act? Without no character?
In addition to that, the technique and the direction were horrible. Rob Zombie never let the story flow. He kept interrupting it with flashy special effects, mixed in with older horror movie scenes. These effects are good when used once or twice, but are certainly useless when used constantly throughout the movie. It sort of distracts the viewer and it's easy to loose sight of the story and what the characters are saying. If anything these flashy scenes looked like part of a music video. Rob Zombie should have just made several music videos then.
In terms of the characters and plot. There was no plot and the characters were all unoriginal. I give Rob Zombie credit in that he has taken the time to watch lots of B movies, horror 70 movies and many movies that are actually very good with great characters and plots. Most people shun movies like that. But hey Rob, is it absolutely necessary, to lift certain scenes from these movies you see, re-enact them, and mush them together to form your movie??? Many scenes were like that. For instance the members of the macabre family sitting around the table, looked like a direct copy of chainsaw massacre.
The scene that consisted of a dude cutting the guy who wore specs with the razor, while the blonde girl was dancing to music. That was a direct copy from Reservoir Dogs where Michael Madsen was cutting off the dude's ear and dancing to music. The only difference was that Michael Madsen acted that part much better.
Also the scene where the annoying eyeball rolling girl finally escaped and ran onto some deserted road and hitchhiked her way, was a direct cut from Chainsaw Massacre where the girl also ran out onto a similar road in a similar setting.
I mean there is nothing wrong if you are inspired by horror movies and want to make something similar. But this just didn't come off well. He directly copied scenes and didn't make any alterations to give it a new twist. There were too many re-enactments of older movies slammed together. And since Rob movies mashed it with too many flashy special effects, it just seemed like a video game after a while.
The camera was never steady; nor was it ever quiet to hear what was going on. But then again nothing was going on, so Rob just played his music over lots of ripped off scenes.
In terms of horror, this movie wasn't scary one bit. Just too much scary music playing, but no real built up suspense scenes. Just cutting here and there, but nothing that suited my fancy.
Not to mention the fact, that I still find it particularly odd that he fired all his old band mates(including his ex-girlfriend Sean Yesult) from White Zombie to form his new band Rob Zombie. Rob Zombie lacked the zest that White Zombie had. What happened to the heavy bass sounds you used to hear before? I bet he didn't want to pay his old band mates equally, and thought he can make his music and get all the profits. It was tolerable that he thought he can make his music alone but to think he can make a "cult" movie alone!!!! Get off your high horse, boy!
Today, Rob Zombie is considered a "great filmmaker" and was interviewed by Eddie Elephant Trunk of VH1 Classics. Eddie Elephant just fawned over his "great movies" and his great music videos. I saw his latest music video "foxy foxy". He should just call it "slutty slutty". He made it a point that he wanted to use friends and show women as real and not as "models".
Well, maybe these women look good in other scenarios, but in this video these women were made to look quite plain like the average slut you would find in a bar. They had very standard boring expressions on their faces. Nothing interesting or breath-taking. It's like watching MTV's real world set to music. If Rob Zombie is making such a boring looking video, at least feature beautiful and glamorous women then!
Robert Palmer had the right idea for he featured beautiful drones in his video.
Now Rob Zombie can't even do good music videos anymore. I suppose showing plain woman, with bland expressions entices insecure guys/girls to watch it. Simply because they don't feel autmatically rejected/jealous of these women.
Examples of women with interesting facial expressions is Siouxsie
and the Banshees. Even though she might not be the most beautiful lady in the world, her facial expressions, and mannerisms make her music videos very enticing, sexy and quite glamourous to watch.
So Rob Zombie if you like horror movies here are some movies that I recommend. My advise to you is to study the characters, the story lines, the camera angles, and also the LACK of flashy special effects. In this way you concentrate on the plot and really get into the story.
My is list is as follows:
Dead Alive (aka Brain Dead, from New Zealand, 1992)- Excellent characters, excellent plot
Re-Animator (based on HP love craft's novel, 1985) - Plot flowed, with lots of suspense, Loved the scientist character
Tenebre (Dario Argento director, from Italy, 1982) - good suspense build up
Sisters (Brian DePalma, 1973) - interesting story with suspense
Frailty (director Bill Paxton, 2001) - Good story, with good characters)
Night of the Living Dead (George Romero, 1968) - Very interesting to watch the story unfold
A Most Particularly Peculiar Bank Heist (Ms. Divine) - A comedy/drama one-lady sketch film done in a most unusuall style.
And my final recommendation of a particularly scary, horror movie that will make you quiver is Blood Sucking Freaks. I guarantee that if Rob zombie watches this, he will become a frightened white zombie. Heheheheee.