Fans of the films of Rob Zombie have waited a long time for a follow up to his 2005 effort The Devil’s Rejects. When it was announced that there would be a third entry into the Firefly series the horror community was abuzz with excitement. Fans were very much looking forward to seeing the three iconic characters, Otis Driftwood, Capt. Spaulding, and Baby, back on the big screen spreading the carnage. With a limited theatrical release (only three days in select theaters), it was finally time to see the ultimate finale of the series.
The film begins immediately after the conclusion of The Devil’s Rejects with the near-killing and capture of Spaulding, Otis, and Baby. After spending quite some time recovering in the hospital, the three are sent to prison. The story follows Otis, Baby, and their half brother Foxy as they concoct a scheme to get out of prison and head to Mexico. They are confronted by an old enemy in Mexico and the carnage begins.
This movie left me super conflicted. For starters, the first half of the movie I found really lacking. It seemed rushed, and contained many plot holes. Unfortunately I think this is due to the fact that Sid Haig was just too sick to perform his role, so Zombie had to completely revise the script. Spaulding needed to be written out early, which left a glaring hole. With no Spaulding, the first half almost seemed like a fan made tribute to the previous two films. Certainly there was some brutality, but it just didn’t feel like what we had experienced in House of 1,000 Corpses and The Devil’s Rejects. The good news is, however, that for me the film really picked up in the second half.
When the three make it to Mexico, that’s where the real fun begins. They spend their time partying with the locals, including the owner of a saloon type hotel named Carlos that supplied them with booze and women. The only problem for them is that they have been sold out by Carlos, and a ruthless gang called of men wearing suits and luchadore masks, the Black Satans, is after them. This part of the movie definitely has more of a Rob Zombie vibe and just feels so different than the first part of the film.
I previously stated that this movie left me feeling very conflicted. I definitely had high expectations for this film, since I absolutely love the other two, but found it completely underwhelming. The lack of Capt. Spaulding left a void that was never filled, and completely changed the feel of the movie for me. While the addition of the Foxy character (played by Richard Brake) certainly worked, the movie never really recovered from Sid Haig’s extended absence. That being said, it wasn’t all bad. The last half of the film had the feel of some grindhouse spaghetti Western, and I enjoyed that a lot. The combination of brutality and grit helped save the film for me, although it never really broke into the realm of “above average.” Fans of the series will be happy to see their beloved characters back on the big screen, but may feel slightly let down with the way it all plays out.
My rating: 5.5/10