Revision of RejectsThe Devil’s
The Devils Rejects (2005)
Tagline: A story of murder, chaos and revenge.
Followers are a tough proposal for most movie makers. Often, what magic in the first movie exists is lost by the time the second touches the screen. This is not the case with The Devils Rejects, a follow-up to the 2003 low budget house of 1000 Corps. Instead of regaining only his first movie, director Rob Zombie (White Zombie celebrity) takes the legend of the Firefly clan in a whole new direction, and in that process he shows a movie that is actually better than the original.
And if you missed, here’s a quick summary of House of 1000 Corpses: Four teenagers stop at the Clown-Faced Captain Spauldings Filling Station and the Museum of Terror. They are fascinated with the local legend of Dr. Satan and go out to find the tree from which he was hung, but they ran quickly from the cricket-winning Firefly family. Then they will not die, but rather how they die.
Refuse picks after the events in the house, as an early morning attack on the Firefly family connection is led by a witchhole Sheriff Wydell (William Forsythe), the brother of a legal officer killed in the first movie. In the subsequent shooting, Rufus Firefly (Tyler Mane) is killed and Mother Firefly (Leslie Easterbrook) captured. Baby Firefly (Sheri Moon) and Otis Driftwood (Bill Moseley) escape and contact their father, Captain Spaulding (Sid Haig). As the trio has blown a bloody swing over Texas, Sheriff Wydell becomes increasingly obsessed with them catching over to more and more dubious methods. The movie ends in a shooting that includes equal parts Thelma and Louise, The Wild Bunch and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. The fact is that it’s all in slow motion and Lynrd Skynrds Freebird sets.
The first movie was more of a monster movie with the strange Dr. Satan and his crowd of traumatized zombies, not to mention an albino Otis, underground cavities and satanic Halloween ceremonies. For the sequel, Zombie puts a lot of the film in the light of the day and transforms it into something closer like an on-the-road crime scene. Think of Natural Born Killers, but with more madness to choose (and that’s something to say). Dr. Satan is out of the film, and Otis is strange no more an albino. This time, our killers are more sadistic and less supernatural.
But do not think for a moment that this franchise has lost its bite. It is as frightening as the original, mainly due to the disturbing events that occurred when Otis and Baby climbed over the members of the musical act Banjo and Sullivan. If you look at the three-year-old company’s Priscilla Barnes veterinarian, be raped with a gun or Eastwood favorite, Geoffrey Lewis is beaten to a bloody pulp, but you do not matter, then you are naturally of sterner material made as the majority of American viewers. It’s not a movie for the squeek, as evidenced by the fact that many theaters simply refused to show the movie. Of course, the fact that they were able to work more than 500 times in the F word in the F word also did not help their case.
But supporters of the genre will not be disappointed. From a murder trail through such southern rock icons like Greg Allman and Lynrd Skynrd, to come through such notables as Michael Berryman, Ginger Lynn Allen, and Mary Woronov, Rejects has a lot to offer except gore and curse. And Zombie continues to demonstrate a real eye for the decisive-characteristic characters instead of high-priced talent. In the hands of smaller actors, many of the roles seem just absurd, but this site is able to make it work and even let us feel some empathy in the process.
And it’s Zombies’ most impressive show in Rejects – his ability to make us one of the dreams of the Firefly family for one moment and then laugh with them. There are several moments when you can not help but like the characters despite the abominations they have given to others. A few striking moments are an argument about the ice between Otis, Baby and Spaulding, and various scenes concealing the trio hide from a brothel owned by Spauldings brother Charlie Altamount (Ken Foree). It also helps Bill Moseley and Sid Haig deliver outstanding, nuanced performances. Sheri Moon is also doing a good job, although Zombie (her real husband) often spends more time to get her handsome back. One can only hope that this movie leads to even greater opportunities for these deserving three.
On the flipside, Sheriff Wydell goes from sympathetic to demonic and back again. While looking for revenge for his brother’s death, he is driven to fight as dirty as the Firefly family. He even goes as far as letting a prisoner down, renting bounty hunters (wonderfully portrayed by Danny Trejo and Diamond Dallas Page) and his prisoners tortured with a pistol and hammer and nails. William Forsythe depicts Wydell as a star-carrying power of nature, and there are many similarities with Detective Scagnetti of Natural Born Killers. Both men slow down what they pursue until they consume it. But while Scagnetti can be playful for a moment and is deadly the following, Wydell is constantly depicted. The performance, while it was perfectly enjoyable, might have been a bit better if Forsythe had backed up from time to time. But it’s just nit-picking from my side.
The one thing I did not pay attention to was Leslie Easterbrook as Mother Firefly. Karen Black portrayed the character in the first film, but wanted more money for the sequel and dropped late (as her people hit her door). In Black’s hands, Mother Firefly was a happy old hag who used her faded look to relieve men. Easterbrook gives her a far-reaching southern accent and plays her as a screaming woman. Personally I was delighted when she finally …. (OOPS, do not want to give up).
I suggest we have seen the last of the Firefly clan, but Rob Zombie has definitely cut a niche for himself in the horror landscape. Whether moving on to more commercially attractive projects or continually making brave low-budget movies, audiences can be sure that their images and stories will last for a long while leaving the theater.
And in the end, what else can you ask for?