Movie Review – House of 1000 Corpses

Posted on by Dave

Starring:  Sid Haig, Bill Moseley, Sheri Moon
Directed by:  Rob Zombie

I originally wrote this review way back in 2003 in a dusty little town called Tuscon, Arizona. Having just delved back into a website I ran during the 90’s and early 2000’s, I thought it would rock to throw up some old reviews here for all you Amigos to enjoy! Number 1 on the list: House of 1000 Corpses! And just to let you know, I had a few glasses of wine while watching the flick, so this review may, at times, stray a bit from the typical movie review path!  But hey, when you write for, you can do things like drink wine and write reviews…damn it feels good to be a gangster!  Anyway, so here we have the gruesome horror flick talked about for the better part of the last 3 years, and the question is: was it worth the wait?

When Zombie originally created this horror masterpiece (somebody’s gonna kill my ass for saying that), no major distributor would put his movie out, saying it was too extreme and violent.  Thankfully however, Lions Gate Entertainment grabbed on, seeing the more than obvious potential this film had, and in the great year of 2003, House of 1000 Corpses landed in a theater near you and, frankly, kicked some ass!

The premise is pretty basic 70’s-80’s drive-in horror flick material.  Four teenagers, two guys and two gals, stop for gas at a backwoods petrol station (Gabe, that one was for you…by the way I’m drinking Lindeman’s Bin 50 Shiraz…what better way to write reviews than with a glass of fine Australian wine)  and meet the strange owner, Captain Spaulding, who offers up directions to the tree where a local serial killer was supposedly hanged.  Being the typical dumb-asses they are, these wild and crazy kids go gallivanting out in the middle of the night looking for this tree, not even aware of the imminent slaughter they are headed into.

Zombie does a great job with the whole retro-horror look and feel, right down to the cheap “jumpy” scares and creepy atmosphere. What I particularly liked was the mood this movie put me in.  Back when I was like 14, listening to Soundgarden’s Black Hole Sun over and over and staring at an orangish-red sky as the sun went down, I had these strange ideas for horror novels that I could someday write, or film I could someday make.  I don’t know what it was about that time of day, but that atmosphere really made me get into a sort of mood.  The end of the day always seemed like the end of everything, you know, the day’s over and there’s nothing left to do, so a sort of feeling of emptiness is left.  Emptiness opens up the door to loneliness, and that leads to solitude, which leads to fear, which leads to suffering, which leads to revenge, which leads to violence!  You get the picture…sorry, did I come off like Yoda right back there?

Overall, this flick is spooky.  Violent…yes.  Some of the scenes are downright niz-asty!  But when you watch it with the mindset that it’s wants to retro-horror-ish, aiming to shock and horrify the viewers, you can actually appreciate Zombie’s style and approach!  Defiantly a must see if your a true horror fan.  Screw the nay-sayers!  House of 1000 Corpses rocks!!


4 out of 5

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