Retro Review: House of 1,000 Corpses (2003)

massaxreBefore I begin, this DVD has the best menu of all DVDs.

Shit the Bed!

When you pop the disc in your DVD/Blu Ray player it prompts you to ring the bell.  When you ring the bell Captain Spaulding steps out and tells you about the menu and jokes around, pretty damned awesome.  Another favorite part of the DVD are some of the special features, they are certainly special.  My personal favorite, Captain Spaulding, Otis and Baby do “knock, knock” jokes.  Here is a video with the…Tiny fucked a stump!

On to the movie itself.

House of 1,000 Corpses is about these four road trippers looking for different places off the beaten path.  On October 30, 1977 the group comes across Captain Spaulding’s gas and chicken.  They go on a little horror carnival ride and learn about Doctor Satan.  Captain Spaulding, half-assed tries to talk them out of it, but he gives them directions to where the tree from which Dr. Satan was hanged.   They pick up a young girl who is hitchhiking, her name is Baby(Sherrie Moon).  She tells them, she lives only a few miles away.  Shortly after, the vehicle’s tire bursts in what is later seen to be a trap and Baby takes one of the guys to her family’s house. Moments later, Baby’s half-brother, Rufus, picks up the rest of the passengers and takes them to the meet Baby and their friend.  When they arrive, they meet meet Mother Firefly, Otis Driftwood, Grandpa Hugo and Tiny.  This sit down for dinner and then its…SHOWTIME!!!  Which turns out to be some bizarre variety show for the family and it is amazing.


The trap was set and the group is tortured and one is turned into some kind of sideshow attraction you’d see at Captain Spaulding’s.  FISHBOY!  Eventually the police get involved when on of the missing group’s father gets worried.  This is may be one of the better parts of the movie. Tom Towles and Walton Goggins portrayed Lieutenant George Wydell and Deputy Steve Naish, go to the house to ask some questions. Wydell gets to talk with Mother Firefly, while Naish looks around the property.  Wydell gets somewhat seduced by Mother Firefly, but Naish sees an open garage with a girl in it being tortured…enter Otis…In what could be one of the longest shots, Otis pulls a gun on Naish and as the camera pans away very slowly, Naish dies and then Mother Firefly kills Wydell.

There are so many shots in the movie that made me thing Rob Zombie was really on to something and he could have done so much with this world.  Of course we got the Devil’s Rejects, which in it self is a completely different movie in tone.  Both are great, I prefer The Devil’s Rejects.  I don’t know if I am alone in saying, I wanted more from the Firefly family.  Karen Black played Mother Firefly, Bill Moseley played Otis Driftwood and he was brilliant, Sid Haig’s Captain Spaulding was outstanding, and damn it, we did not get enough of him.  Bill Moseley’s Otis felt like he was some sort of “Frankenstein’s monster” of different characters, I see different characters,  the Cook from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and of course a little Chop Top from TCM 2.

That brings me to my next thing.  The entire time I watched House of 1000 Corpses, I reminded of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.  I’ll have to say, the crazy family, Firefly family, reminded me of the family in TCM.  There was a great dinner scene and I wanted to see Rob Zombie make a gritty Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake.  We instead got the Jessica Beil, Hollywood piece of shit that was released in 2003.  Rob Zombie would have been more suited for TCM over Halloween.  I see a lot of House of 1000 Corpses as a love letter to old school horror, from the old black and white Universal classics, hell Otis Driftwood comes from A Night at the Opera (1935) and Captain Spaulding from a movie called Animal Crackers (1930).  House has slasher elements to it, but it is a little more than a slasher.

I really do like House of 1000 Corpses, it is fun, gritty, disgusting at times and overall a great horror movie, no matter how uneven the ending is.  I am beginning to think Rob Zombie has an issue finishing movies, see Lords of Salem.

House of 1000 Corpses is a lot of fun and I recommend it, especially with a group of friends.  I would love Rob Zombie to revisit these characters, while he still can.  Of course a few have passed, Karen Black, Tom Towles and Matthew McGrory.  But, I prequel featuring Otis, Baby and Captain Spaulding would be great!

One last thing, I love the theme song, which I believe was released before the movie. has a score of 6.0

I rate it with a score of 7.6


About Ray Marek III 682 Articles
I have been watching horror films since I was 6 years old. The story, one Saturday night, my mom and I were watching movies and she fell asleep on the couch. We had the channel set on HBO and the movie we were watching ended and the next one, A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge. This was some time in 1986. I watched then entire film, I was sitting on the edge of my seat. When my mom woke, she asked me what just ended and I told her, “Freddy”. That was all I talked about for weeks and finally she broke down and rented more horror films for me. She rented, the Texas Chainsaw Massacre part 2, Re-Animator, Friday the 13th VI: Jason Lives and Halloween II. I watched all and fell in love with horror films forever. 5 Horror Films to Watch Inferno (1980) A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) The Beyond (1981) Friday the 13th VI: Jason Lives (1986) Horror of Dracula (1958)