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House of 1000 Corpses on DVD

Wednesday, 26 July 2017 18:01

House of 1,000 Corpses - Out Now on DVDMetal singer Rob Zombie began his movie-directing career with this insane story about two young couples who come unstuck when they encounter a degenerate, murderous family of freaks. Denise, Jerry, Mary and Bill are researching weird and wonderful road-side attractions when they happen across Captain Spaulding’s Museum of Monsters and Madmen. Little do they know that the macabre exhibits within are only a taste of what is to come.

Heavily influenced by the likes of “The Texas Chain Saw Massacre” and “The Hills Have Eyes”, “1000 Corpses” is set the day before Halloween, 1977. Zombie strives desperately hard to shock and amuse in equal measure, and during an early attempted heist of the museum he does succeed, thanks largely to Sid Haig’s superbly jaundiced, devil-may-care performance as Spaulding, a clown bedecked in an outlandish, all-American outfit.

Things quickly get out of hand after that, unfortunately, as Zombie’s ultra-short-attention-span directing style jumps between brief scenes of the couples being set upon by the psycho family, make-believe and occasionally real, grainy TV excerpts and flashbacks to some poor cheerleaders being tortured and maimed.

The tight camera focus and wonky angles make it harder-still to concentrate on what is going on, and one wishes Zombie had calmed down a little and opted to gradually crank up the tension, rather than slam his foot on the accelerator like the film is a cinematic drag race. The feature could have had a subtitle of ‘Assault on the Senses’.

But let us not dwell too much on the negatives. The sets and props are excellent if generic, smothered in detail and a real feast for horror fanatics’ eyes. The cast is also interesting, including the aforementioned Haig (“Jackie Brown”, “Bone Tomahawk”), a young Chris Hardwick (Talking Dead), Karen Black (“Nashville”, “Capricorn One”), Erin Daniels (“One Hour Photo”, The L Word) and Walton Goggins (“Django Unchained”, Justified).

The film does really pick up again towards the end, when it seems like it is all over but no, Zombie wants to take us on an even more outlandish journey to meet the dreaded Dr. Satan. Some much-needed tautness gets the pulse rate rising, if only for a short while.

Exploitative, derivative, messy and dumb this movie certainly is, but it does also throw an absurd amount of energy and action at the audience in its relatively tight running time, and as such fans will enjoy the madness of it all. Just do not expect it to stick in the memory for very long afterwards.

Special features on the disc include:

  • Making Of featurette
  • Behind the scenes
  • Director’s audio commentary track
  • “Tiny #### a stump” (some of the cast tell jokes)
  • Casting
  • Trailers
  • Stills gallery
  • Rehearsals
  • Interviews

This list looks more impressive than it actually is, but who is complaining? Zombie’s commentary is strangely unanimated in contrast to the film itself. Finally, the DVD’s picture quality is pretty good.

“House of 1000 Corpses” (2003) is out now on DVD, courtesy of Fabulous Films. The main feature has a running time of 89 minutes approx, carries an ‘18’ certificate and retails for £9.99, or less from BY CLICKING HERE.




Last modified on Monday, 18 September 2017 18:12