31 Days of Halloween 13 – House of 1000 Corpses Challenges

corpses1I saw House of 1000 Corpses (2003) back when it came out in theatres and soon realized that nobody was in the seats.  There was nobody in the theatre when I saw this retro sadistic gorefest.  Nobody was there!  I will admit, it is a hard film to like.  Maybe it’s the constant swearing.  Maybe it’s the annoying, redneck women.  Maybe it’s the gore.  Maybe it’s the unlikable characters.  This movie is hated by nearly every critic on Earth, and I don’t think director Rob Zombie would have it any other way.  This is his way of honoring the horror genre and movies of the 70s, and I say more power to him.  Eat it, critics.  Insert Sid Haig in clown make-up swearing here.



This movie steps all over teenie-bopper horror films and craps on slasher flicks with no balls.  It’s almost as if Rob Zombie is challenging the horror genre.  I will say that it is not squeamish about delivering gore and brutally taking everything to the extreme.  House of 1000 Corpses wallows in blood, grime, and pain, as if punishing the genre for plopping out faux-horror movies like I know What you Did Last Summer (1997).  Rob Zombie asks: what is a horror movie?

corpses3 Rob Zombie’s horror movie is a visceral experience, much like Texas Chainsaw Massacre.  With more commentary, Rob Zombie rips some out-of-towners a new one, quite literally.  These people should have stayed in Final Destination (2000), Zombie says.  The movie often shows some grainy imagery and is very much contained and claustrophobic.  You often don’t want to be in the same room with the Firefly family and there’s not much hope of escape, again like in Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

It is a gorefest and nobody I know admits to owning this film.  I’m not sure what that says about it.  Also, the problem with comparing this to Texas Chainsaw Massacre, is that Massacre had better main characters.  The main characters featured in this movie are just ordinary people and don’t escape The Family.  We hope they do.  They almost get away so many times that it becomes worn-out.  The fact is, the visitors are so outclassed, that their failure to escape is not at all surprising.

corpses4The reason that nobody is getting away is because it’s the sadistic creeps who are the main characters in House of 1000 Corpses.  They’re already evil, so all we get is brutality.  And stabbings.  And people being split open.  And torture.  Nobody can escape.   The villains are the main characters and no one is getting out of this movie without losing some blood, so the main characters can be showcased.

All in all, this is one of those movies people either love as genre defining or hate as an offensive piece of garbage.  I can respect both viewpoints.  To be honest, some parts are hard for me to take.  I think the movie has gotten somewhat of a bad rap, thanks to Universal dumping it.  As a commentary on horror, Rob Zombie has gone over-the-top, perhaps on purpose, to challenge us on what a horror film really is.  As a horror film itself, people remain divided.

31 Days of Halloween Movie Marathon

1 – Frankenstein and the Monster from HELL (1974)
2 – Dracula has risen from the grave (1968)
3 – The Curse of the Mummy’s Tomb (1964)
4 – Evil Dead II (1987)
5 – Dawn of the Dead (1978)
6 – Les Diaboliques (1955)
7 – The Howling (1981)
8 – Friday the 13th (1980)
9 – Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (1984)
10 – Hellraiser (1987)
11 – Let the Right One in (2008)
12 – Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (1984)
13 – House of 1000 Corpses (2003)
14 – The Strangers (2008)
15 – The House of the Devil (2009)
16 – Psycho (1960)
17 – The Orphanage (2007)
18 – The Amityville Horror (1979)
19 – The Raven (1963)
20 – Blue Velvet (1986)
21 – Repulsion (1965)
22 – Dementia 13 (1963)
23 – The Vanishing (2008)
24 – Halloween (1978)
25 – Shaun of the Dead (2004)
26 – The Silence of the Lambs (1988)
27 – An American Werewolf in London (1981)
28 – Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992)
29 – The Exorcist (1973)
30 – The Ring (2002)
31 – Night of the Living Dead (1968)