House of 1000 Corpses
Finally watched the DVD of House of 1000 Corpses. Wanted to see it in the theater but it was gone before I had the chance. This one had a long road to release didn’t it? I’m curious if the DVD was “uncut” or was it the theatrical release, I forgot to check the box. I’m assuming there’s only one DVD version. If I remember correctly, it was held up in ratings board limbo there for a while and had to undergo multiple cuts like the South Park movie before getting its R rating. I also think there was distribution problems. There’s a lesson in all of this. Like maybe filmmakers should skip working with the huge companies (Sony, MGM, whatever) if you want your movie to be anything near what you originally intend for it to be. Of course the tradeoff is no shot at wide release, so does that mean straight to video? If so, so be it. That’s just my opinion. Just like I would never sign with a major label as a musician. Pros & cons are way out of whack. I guess it boils down to what’s important to you, do you care about creating/releasing your own vision or do you want to be known? I happen to believe that if the product is good enough, you WILL be known. Just maybe not in the traditional glamorous Hollywood sense. I guess that’s the choice any creative/performance type has to make early on.
Now this scenario is a little different. Rob Zombie, already a platinum selling recording artist, probably wasn’t interested in small time stuff. Heck, his name alone should have guaranteed a decent gross just off the mall kids and others that love his music. Me, I’ve never really loved his stuff musically, but I’ve always thought that we shared aesthetics pretty closely. His art is fantastic and I have seen him live once and he puts on a good visual show (including clips of this movie). Who knows what version of his movie we are seeing. I know it began production a long time ago and almost seemed like a mythical project there for a while.
In the movie itself, there are some nice moments. Especially, Capt Spaulding’s museum and ride, which is the kind of place I dream of but our cookie cutter society doesn’t allow to survive. Remember roadside attractions? Yeah, me either. Zombie had some nice “artistic” directorial touches too. I’m sure many would dismiss these as being more like a music video, but I certainly think that the standard movie “format” has room to grow. The film was very derivative in spots, especially taking from TCM, but hey, can you totally fault this? I mean, if it works, it works. It’s got to be hard as a director to not incorporate things that has impressed you in some manner. Not like it’s a first for the genre after all. There were many parallels to that film (TCM) though. I also enjoyed seeing Karen Black back in action. While not breaking any new ground, the woman is truly demented looking and frightening. The film is really not that gory (although there is a lot of killing), don’t expect a F13 style parade of creative slaughter. I read a user review at Amazon, where the person was “appalled” by the unnecessary violence and I’m thinking this is a sad statement about the current state of horror (or society). Has this person never seen a Friday the 13th flick? A Nightmare on Elm Street? C’mon. These films are not that old. Heck, Final Destination 2 was more brutal than this. Maybe that speaks more for the horrific tone of 1000 Corpses, it’s not a very friendly film, doesn't have a happy ending. I think that was the biggest 70’s horror rub to it, it sets out to be unrelenting. For that, I’ve got to give it respect.