Posted on October 11th, 2008 in A Horror A Day, Brick Prior, Movies by Brick Prior

So, I’ve recovered somewhat from yesterday… actually, that’s a big lie.  Whoever made this list needs to be shot.

Wait, I don’t want to get shot.

Whoever did this… uh… should just make it through October?

Yeah, I’ll stick with that one.

More craziness is ahead! 

TODAY’S FILM: House of 1000 Corpses

I still remember the furor online after this got dropped by Universal before Lions Gate picked it up- folks were craving some serious horror back then, and in many cases, they still are.

Did they get it back in ’03 when this finally dropped?

I dunno- what say you, trailer?

THE TRAILER

THE RECAP, BRICK PRIOR STYLE

A bunch of teens on a road trip in 1977 run afoul of a crazy family and get killed- but one survives… or does she?!

That’s pretty much the plot to The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

But, it’s also this movie’s plot as well.

…hmm.

I think the only reason I like this movie is due to Captain Spaulding and the first fifteen minutes or so- after all, I do run around saying “…I’ma stick my boot all up in ya ass!” every now and then, so we have something in common.

Other than that, I wonder.

In some places, it feels like Rob Zombie was treating this as his only chance to make a film ever- which is why this thing is shoehorned with more familiar horror trappings than most people know what to do with- crazy rednecks, mysterious fried chicken that is awesome, stupid teenagers, a crazy sexy woman with an odd voice, and as a former co-worker of mine used to say, “lots of killin’”.  However!  The tone is inconsistent, the killers are “likeable” and mostly played for laughs (unlike the sequel, which is an interesting revenge film of sorts that sees the killers get it to an extent), but you get the feeling that Zombie was putting all of his eggs into one basket with this particular Bill Moseley showcase.

Yeah, I think this is Moseley’s film, although Sid Haig almost steals it out from under him only to shine in the sequel… but that’s for another column.

It’s hard to say which character horror fans dig more- Moseley as “Chop Top” in Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 or Moseley as “Otis Driftwood”, but I think that it all comes off as Rob Zombie’s Ode to Films of His Youth.  Let’s face it, Rob Zombie loves horror, no question- so it’s no surprise that he went to a familiar well when making his first cinematic outing.  You got your heavy TCM influence, with a bit of Marx Brothers tossed in (the names of the main characters), some Manson Family stuff (the odd rantings of Baby and Otis), and to cap things off, the whole film is soaked in a “backwoods people in the Seventies could do this, and normal people would be completely unprepared and get fucked up in the process!” kind of vibe, which makes it interesting to a point.

But, does it hold up?

It’s hard to say… then again, I still wait for a big twist about the chicken and it being “long pork” instead to this day, so… I guess I prefer what the movie could have been to what it is.

Some of it feels juvenile, a lot of it is forced, and I think it suffers for it in the long run.  I understand that the movie is one giant “fuck you” to the audience (it starts out light-hearted, shit gets weird, shit gets fucked up, escape happens… SIKE!  THE KILLERS WIN), but that kind of rope-a-dope film language might not be appreciated by the average viewer not looking to go on such an extreme ride.

Then again, this is a horror movie- there’s nothing average about anyone watching it, I reckon.

But hey… first anythings are a bitch to get out there and stomach after they’re running around freely in the world.

So… what am I getting at here, you ask?

House of 1000 Corpses is still worth it to watch just to see where horror was at the time period (from two different time points at that- this film was completed in 2000 yet finally released in 2003) and how the genre has progressed since.   However, it ain’t gonna be all great.

Just one thing though.

Someone better explain the “Brickhouse” cover during the credits STAT!  I’m all for playing odd music after movies that end bleakly (NOTE: My goal is to end a movie by playing “Wanna Be Startin’ Something” by Michael Jackson particularly after something gruesome has happened), but it’s almost a deal breaker due to the fact that you don’t fuck with Lionel Richie and the Commodores. 

BRICK PRIOR’S FINAL WORDS FOR THE DAY

Captain Spaulding is the greatest.  Sometimes his friends and coworkers try too hard, though… but everyone gets along in the end.

Until the sequel.

TOMORROW

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre… THE ORIGINAL!

What are people saying about "A Horror A Day"?

Brick Prior
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Day 2!
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This is awesome.  This is making me want to bust out some old zombie movies and take a mental health day.  Maybe next week!

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