Disturbingly bad - The Devil's Rejects

A training film for future wife abusers, serial rapists, psycho-torturers and killers

July 22, 2005
Toronto Sun
By Bruce Kirkland

Sheri Moon Zombie (as Baby), Sid Haig (as Capt. Spaulding) and Bill Moseley (as Otis Driftwood) in The Devil’s Rejects. PLOT: A pig-headed cop on a revenge kick chases down an inbred family of rapists, torturers and killers -- and we get to see their sadistic antics up close and personal.

THE DEVIL'S Rejects is the worst movie I have ever seen. And I have endured a lot of lousy flicks made by incompetent fools.

But this one slam-dunks all of them into the sewer.

If The Sun allowed me to give a star rating of less than zero, this one would earn a minus-infinity. It is that stupid, that vile, that violent, that hateful, that disgusting, that dangerous.

Written and directed by punk rock musician Rob Zombie of White Zombie infamy, The Devil's Rejects is a follow-up to his insane directorial debut, House Of 1000 Corpses.

That long-delayed first Zombie movie, which teen boys and horror geeks then turned into a cult hit because it was so universally dismissed by others and therefore became cool, was a horror/slasher genre film gone berserk.

But The Devil's Rejects is even worse. As a story that celebrates hatred toward women and expresses that misogyny in extreme violence, this is a training film for future wife abusers, serial rapists, psycho-torturers and killers.

This is the true pornography. People who fuss about the depiction of sex between consenting adults in film are missing the point. Pornography is not about explicit sex. It is about the glorification of sexualized violence against other people on the grounds of race, religion, creed, colour or gender.

Based on his two films, Zombie's hate-mongering seems to be directed primarily against women, although city folk of either sex are held in contempt. As is anyone with a functioning brain.

Mocking a painting of The Last Supper on its poster, The Devil's Rejects is also dismissive of Christianity. But that is just a weak bit of posturing, and I don't expect many Bible-thumpers to watch this piece of trash anyway. But the tagline on the poster -- "Go to Hell" -- is clever marketing.

Despite its bigger budget and excellent music soundtrack, The Devil's Rejects will seem familiar to anyone who saw House Of 1000 Corpses, and not just for the blood & guts spewed everywhere.

Zombie shamelessly rips off other movies as disparate as The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Taxi Driver. He has barely an original thought or impulse. Even the gratuitous references to The Marx Brothers, and especially Groucho, are just odious, not funny, not even wise-ass. Insulting the film critic was almost funny, however, and marked one of the few times I did not hate the movie.

Just as familiar are many of the butt-ugly faces on screen. Returning in major roles are Sid Haig as Captain Spaulding, the world's worst clown; Bill Moseley as Otis the brain-dead killing machine; Sheri Moon Zombie as a white trash Karla Homolka clone; and Matthew McGrory as Tiny, the real beauty of the bunch. Leslie Easterbrook replaces Karen Black as the whore-mom of the Ed Gein-inspired Firefly family.

Also new to the mayhem are William Forsythe as a staggeringly stupid cop trying to exact revenge on the criminally inclined clan (his on-screen brother was a victim in 1000 Corpses). Back-from-the-dead names such as singer-actress P.J. Soles, Deborah Valkenburgh and Danny Trejo are in thankless cameos.

The Devil's Rejects, of course, will find its core cult audience, just as House Of 1000 Corpses did. Just don't say you weren't warned about what a depraved experience it will be if you're not already in on the cruel joke.

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THE DEVIL'S REJECTS

1 hour, 39 minutes

Starring: Sid Haig, William Forsythe

Director: Rob Zombie

Rated: 18A

BOTTOM LINE:

Just don't go. Without this crap implanted and imploding in your head, your conscious life will be happier, your nightmares less horrific.

-- Bruce Kirkland

Sun Rating -0 out of 5