I enjoyed House of 1000 Corpses well enough. I remember following its progress from production to its years on the shelf and finally its limited release and finding its place as a cult classic. I thought it okay. It was as good as I wanted it to be, but I enjoyed aspects of it. For me, it was a little too much like a music video. The lighting was kind of cartoony and it had a nightmarish surreal quality to it that, while interesting, mostly just stressed me out. I felt like it was also a little too close to The Texas Chainsaw Massacre in its story.
I thought Rob Zombie’s Halloween movies were alright and I defended them to haters, but honestly I also recognize that they were a bit of a muddled mess in a lot of ways. The Lords of Salem didn’t work for me at all, and I’ll leave it at that.
On the other hand, for me, The Devil’s Rejects is the perfect balance everything Rob Zombie brings to the table. It’s nihilistic and mean spirited, but there is a nugget of oddly endearing love in it, that I didn’t get from any of his other movies. It stylish, but not so much so that it felt self-indulgent. It had great performances and fun cameos.
I think the thing that appeals to me about it the most (and what makes it relevant to what I do) is that it’s basically a western with no heroes. The villains are the main characters, and even if you don’t root for them, you understand them (to a degree) and it’s interesting watching them do what they do. Even though the characters are brutally cruel and awful people, he managed to give you little things to like about them. That impressed me and it’s something I try and bring to my writing.