The Devil’s Rejects (2005)

This sequel to House of 1000 Corpses finds the psychotic Firefly clan on the run from the law. In particular, they are fleeing from one particular law officer, who is entirely focused on torture and revenge. The Devil’s Rejects is a far more polished film than Zombie’s first attempt. This may cost the film some of the wonderfully malevolent atmosphere that House generated but overall, it’s a far more accessible, fluent piece as a result.

The members of the murderous Firefly family are the main acts in the sequel. In truth, they were in House of 1000 Corpses too but that film at least pretended at the standard ‘monster chases innocent’ tone. The sequel makes no such gesture, instead taking us on a no-holds barred roller-coaster ride into the heart of madness. I remember reading a review at the time of this film’s release which simply stated ‘by sadists, for sadists’. For my money, that reviewer could have used an introduction to the Firefly family. But maybe that just proves their point!

The Devil’s Rejects sees several of the original cast return as well as adding a few new characters. In addition to more of his own music, Zombie demonstrates his love of classic rock. The ending, set to ‘Freebird’ is sad, funny and wonderful all at once. The dialogue sparkles and best of all, the film makes you think. What separates the people who enjoy violent movies from those who perpetrate the violence?

As Otis (Bill Moseley) screams repeatedly at the camera in the first of the two films, ‘DO YOU LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?’

Personally, the answer is a resounding yes.

I’ve enjoyed most of the movies Rob Zombie has made since, even Halloween 2! But he has done nothing else comparable to House and TDR, which are two classics of the modern era.

Some may question the value of such movies but when you actually study the violence contained in the films analytically, it probably isn’t as severe as you imagined. Zombie manages to create a panicked, blood-soaked mania on screen, which convinces the viewer they are seeing more than they actually are.

TDR is probably the better of the two Firefly movies but I encourage you to watch one after the other. Whatever you think of these films, I all but guarantee you will not forget them easily.

Reviewer: Dave Coughlan

Courtesy of rrustedrare (Flickr)

Courtesy of rrustedrare (Flickr)

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