A moderately fun exploitation film that forgets its roots as it goes from act to act. That oversight results in a film that lacks an identity of its own.
OVERALL SCORE – 2.25/5
The Devil’s Rejects is a 2005 exploitation horror film written and directed by Rob Zombie. It stars Sig Haig, Sheri Moon Zombie, William Forsythe, Diamond Dallas Page, Danny Trejo and Bill Moseley. The film continues the story of America’s most ruthless fictional family, picking up where The House of 1000 Corpses left off.
This film is fun and flawed in equal measure and hence gets the midway score. I have had a whole bunch of fun with Rob Zombie’s horror films. Be it The Lords of Salem or the first part of his Halloween reboot, there has always been something to like. This film has some of those elements in it. There is a bit of character depth written into the family of killers and that keeps the film away from being another asinine horror film. The performances of the four primary characters are quite good, no superlatives here. Sid Haig’s killer clown remains the most memorable character and that might owe to his previous experience with exploitation films.
There are a good handful of fun shots. There is a subtle throwback to scene transitions of yore and to that I tip my hat. There were a few words written around the interwebs which said the violence and gore in the film are relentless and unwatchable. I can assure you, that is not true. An average viewer knows what he/she is getting into when they watch a movie with the title The Devil’s Rejects so I would like to think the viewer’s expectations are adequately set. The soundtrack of the film is quite memorable and I know I’ll be listening to it in the foreseeable future.
The primary bone I have to pick with this film is with its characters. The film has no one and I literally mean no one to root for. I couldn’t root for the cop because he was a total dick at best. I cannot root for the family of murderers because they are a family of murderers. That’s reason enough. So now what we are left with are a whole host of unlikable characters who are all about inflicting hardcore violence on each other. The only thing I can appreciate about that is the ultra-violence. If there was someone I wanted to see survive, this would have made for a much more entertaining experience. The overly sappy ending which tries to coax some emotion from the audience feels extremely ill-advised and not in tone with the hour and 45 minutes which preceded it.
To contradict myself, I have a smaller bone to pick with the violence as well. I understand the film harkens back to good old days of exploitation films but this is not the caliber of those bad boys. The violence in the world of this film desensitized me to it. I just couldn’t will myself to care about it. There are no innovative kills, I know how I sound saying that but that might have hurt the film’s overall enjoyability.
To sum all of this incoherent noise, I can use a lyric from the song which plays off our heroes into the sunset. If I leave here tomorrow, would you still remember me sang Lynyrd Skynyrd and in response, I’d say No, I will not! You are not a memorable movie. You were just a fun time I’ll forget as soon as I stop writing this review.
OVERALL SCORE – 2.25/5
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