Reed Alexander's Horror Review of 'The Devil's Rejects' (2005)
Rejected for a damn good reason...
Rob lost the fucking plot. Plain and simple. House of 1000 Corpses (HO1kC) was a rare and special moment, and this sequel just didn't know what to do with its damn self. It's like Rob forgot who the characters were. Baby Firefly from the first movie was a deranged infantile psycho. This movie has her as a boring bully. Yeah she still has the childish lean, but it's almost too mature from the daffy character I loved from HO1kC. Otis Driftwood was a god damn artist (at least in his own mind). This movie paints him as a mindless brute, a simple thug with a level of ruthless efficiency. Hell, he gets rapey. He wasn't rapey in the first movie. Maybe a bit perverted, but not rapey. Captain Spaulding was the only one who got his fucking character right.
And again, what the fuck is with this movie being rapey? Yeah HO1kC was sexploitative. Hell, sexploitative is fun and even cheeky. But HO1kC wasn't fucking rapey. What the fuck happened? I feel like half of Rob's newest movies got weirdly rapey. Lords of Salem had Sherry Moon Zombie get strait up mouth fucked by a priest.
Here's the thing about The Devil's Reject. There's a lot that's good about it. The plot is actually pretty smart. It's stupid simple, but that's not a problem as long as it's done right. The movie is just about the law finally closing in on the Firefly family. It's actually kind of ruthless and brutal, not entirely unlike Natural Born Killers. Not all the acting is good, but the acting is always on par with standard horror, and fucking Bill Moseley and Sid Haig were on god damn point! Even Sheri did a damn good job, and tons of the support cast were really solid.
The biggest problem with this movie, is that it took something that was fantastic and pissed all over its memory. Rob disrespected his own creation. It's like he didn't get it. Honestly, if this movie was a stand alone, it would have been okay. But because it carries on the story of HO1kC, it came off as a shameless watered down cash grab.
I can BARELY recommend this movie. I almost don't want to as Rob doesn't deserve to be rewarded for such half-assery. But I will recommend it to Horror Heads. It's worth at least one go.
I think, just about the dumbest concept this movie tired to sell was Rob's idiotic attempt to humanize the Firefly family. We're talking about the family who spent an entire movie torturing and murdering people. They'd likely been doing the same to others for years. THEN they spend the first half of this fucking movie systematically sexually assaulting and murdering another family, and some-fucking-how we're supposed to shed a tear for them?
Yeah, Sheriff Wydel is a totally obsessed butcher and scumbag. Yeah he completely sells out his principles by murdering Momma Firefly and has no intention of bringing in the rest of the family alive... so? So fucken what? If this was an action movie, we'd be rooting for the vigilante cop. This is the movies, for fuck's sake. We're looking for catharsis. We want to see the Firefly family get gunned down in cold blood. Hell, I half wanted them to get away so they could live to butcher another movie. Mind you, from the recent release of Three From Hell, we all know they do survive. But still, it was an appropriate ending to make the audience think they'd been killed.
Heck, there was no way they should have survived. Once the law got wind of the Firefly family, even with their incredible network of scum, it was only a mater of time till they were hunted down and killed, or jailed.
But all that is appropriate for your typical grindhouse feature. What wasn't appropriate was the serious tone they kept trying to shoe horn into the all the nonsense. Still, give this movie its day in court. It deserves that much if you're a true Horror Head.