ABC’s of Horror: D is for The Devils Rejects (2005)

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So day four of October is for the letter D. After much trouble i picked one of my favorite films by Rob Zombie The Devils Rejects.

“The Devil’s Rejects” is the second film written and directed by musician Rob Zombie . This is a sequel to the film “House of 1000 Corpses” which is also written and directed by Rob Zombie.  “If you are a hardened horror movie fan capable of appreciating skill and wit in the service of the deliberately disgusting, “The Devil’s Rejects” may exercise a certain strange charm” (Ebert). This movie is brutal to say the least and not for the faint of heart. Zombie does not shy away from the use of blood and gore to get his point across.

giphy_s-1If these statements don’t scare you away then I think you are in for one hell of a great movie. The acting in the movie is absolutely spectacular especially for the genre. All of the characters are believable in the real world and even some of the more over the top lines are delivered wonderfully.

The story of “The Devil’s Rejects” begins with a police raid on an old decrepit farmhouse. The Police are led by Sheriff Wydell (William Forsythe) whose brother was killed by the family in the previous film. Inside the house is the Firefly family they are believed to have killed hundreds of people. After the sheriff warns them to come out a shoot out ensues, one character is killed and another taken hostage by the police. Baby (Sheri Moon-Zombie) and Otis (Bill Moseley) escape through a storm drain and leave to terrorize another day. After escaping from the house they go to a hotel and meet up with their father who is equally insane Captain Spaulding (Sid Haig) who dresses like an evil clown. I felt that the story in this film fit well with the time. The idea of Sheriff Wydell taking revenge on the family makes the film almost seem like more of a western revenge movie than a horror film. The revolution of Wydell (Forsythe) from a play it by the law cop to turning into something almost as evil as the family itself works wonderfully. Baby (Moon), Otis (Moseley), and Capt. Spaulding (Haig) give the film a sense of urgency and really make you feel for characters that otherwise would be seen as the bad guys if it weren’t for the sheriff. The climax of the film is fantastic. I did not expect the ending that occurred and I really feel it wrapped the movie up wonderfully.

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The writing in the film is probably one of its strongest suits. The characters dialogue is wonderfully sadistic. It fits the characters so well and really helps you delve into their minds. From Otis’ crazy monologues to Captain Spaulding’s dark humor and Baby’s sweet yet sadistic personality everyone has their own unique voice. Sheriff Wydell’s evolution as a character is evident most in his dialogue. In the beginning of the movie he is like a sheriff from the old west but by the end he turns into someone almost as sadistic as the killers he hunts. I love this aspect of the movie. It makes you have a hard time deciding who to root for. While Wydell is the “good guy” of the movie it is hard not to root for the Firefly’s because of just how cruel Wydell is toward them. The overall story arc is well written from beginning to end. I feel as though the movie started off just as strong as it ended.

The acting in this film is what really sets it apart from most horror movies. Bill Moseley said in an interview about His Character “In House I played, Otis is pretty much what you see is what you get, there wasn’t really a call in the script to go into those dark places that I go in Devil’s Rejects”  (Moseley). Every role is wonderfully cast.  “ Not  to take anything away from the other actors but Bill Moseley and William Forsythe were remarkable”  ( Miska) . Bill Moseley as Otis is probably the films strongest performance. He brings a physicality and presence to his character that almost overshadows most everyone in the film. He is probably the most sadistic of the three lead characters but the others definitely have their moments. Moseley plays the role with a Manson like sensibility. At times he seems completely out of his mind and irrational which he probably is, but at other times he seems like he is in complete control and knows exactly what he is going to do. Sid Haig as Captain Spaulding is pretty much exactly what you would expect in an evil clown. At the beginning of the film he steals a car from a woman all the while cracking sadistic jokes and laughing. About midway through the movie his character has a turn for the more serious and Haig plays the part wonderfully. You really feel the connection between him and his children Otis and Baby.   Sheri Moon-Zombie as Baby really plays an almost cute and lovable killer. She has a sweet cartoon like voice and the laugh of a mental patient but there is something just so darn lovable about her. While I found her decent for the role at hand I felt she was the least seasoned actor in the movie and there was not a lot memorable about her. William Forsythe as Sheriff Wydell is an absolute perfect choice and I feel he pulls off the role tremendously. As I have stated before his evolution of a character from a by the book sheriff to someone almost as insane as the firefly family himself. Overall the acting in this film is tremendous Zombie did a really god job of casting the various parts and I feel everyone fits within the world.

The soundtrack to the movie fits pretty much perfectly. It is a mixture of country and southern rock that flows with the mood of the film so well that it almost feels some of the songs were written just for the film. Although it is no surprise that the films music is great considering whom the director is. The use of Free Bird at the conclusion of the film is perfect and the song really seems to embody the characters in the movie. The score of the film is also quite good. The ominous tones help build suspense and add to the overall feeling and mood of the film.

The cinematography of the film also really helps to lead to the mood and feel of the film. The movies lighting and setting make it feel like a western more so than a horror film. During the more intense kill and chase scenes the use of a shaky cam gives those scenes a really intense feeling. During some of the scenes all the sound drowns out and just some music plays. These scenes work extremely well because they make the cinematography and action of the scenes become front and center rather than focusing on the sound and atmospheric noises.

Overall I had a lot of fun watching this movie. While I don’t think that everyone will enjoy it I believe that many of the scenes do have some acting that will rival many films. The performances are really what stand out and I cannot stress enough how much I enjoyed watching Bill Moseley and William Forsythe act. I would say that if you have even a slight interest in horror film give this movie a rental.

I would give this a 10 out of 10

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About Robert (Buddy Horror) Smith 21 Articles
No. It's not that Robert W. Smith... I'm not the lead singer of the Cure. I am however, a fan of the Cure... Let's begin. I was born in Virginia and raised in New Jersey. I am happily married to my wife Kiersten Smith and a father of one to my handsome boy Asher Grayson Smith. Yes! His first name is because of the one and only Bruce Campbell most famously known from Sam Rami's "The Evil Dead" I started late in the horror game but I became a fast learner. I didn't watch my first horror movie till I was 10.. (The Haunted Mansion in Disney scared the hell out of me when I was a kid). It took 4 years until my dad was able to get me to watch The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (original). From that moment I was hooked. Over the years I have hosted a radio show called B Movies with Buddy, Bryan, and Zach with Bryan Enright and Zach Horiates on WNJC 1360AM. Together we have over 200 hours of interviews of some of the best interviews from Bill Mosley (House of 1000 Corpses / Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2) to John Russo (Co Director of Night of the Living Dead / My Uncle John's a Zombie) It was probably some of the best times of my time in the scene. I love collecting horror movies with a collection of over 300 and counting it is one of my most prized possessions. I love collecting full series of a movies sequels. Even if some of them aren't the best. Follow me @buddyhorror on Twitter for random horror goodness and more from The Horror Syndicate! Top 5 Movies 1. The Evil Dead 2. A Nightmare on Elm Street (Robert Englund Original) 3.House of 1000 Corpses 4.Dawn of the Dead (Remake) 5.Scream 4