title: HOUSE OF 1,000 CORPSES
year: 2002
cast: Sig Haig, Michael J. Pollard, Erin Daniels, Karen Black
writer/director: Rob Zombie
rating: *

I enjoyed the purposely-cheesy dialog in the beginning, with Sig Haig and Michael J. Pollard as two hicks in the middle of nowhere. Haig is "Captain Spaulding", a cocky trickster in clown garb who runs a gas station/oddity-museum/freak-show and... well... Pollard sort of disappears after a robbery occurs, blood is spilt in a Tarantino fashion and then two couples (who seem from the nineties yet it's set in the seventies) happen upon this odd little town and are very deserving to be butchered, you know, like in all horror movies. But these folks are simply BEGGING for it - and the hick family who takes them in seem more than willing to oblige. Rob Zombie really knows his stuff; though I'm still not sure what it is. Along with THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE I'm sure he was inspired by Troma's MOTHER'S DAY, which has murderous hillbillies pointlessly torturing and killing innocent city folk in a lot more coherent fashion, and without random images flashing like a music video. There's too much going on to be scary; too much gore to be fun. The oddball clan (of which veterans Karen Black and Dennis Fimple are members) are more cartoonish than creepy. The main baddie resembles a concert pianist possessed by Beetlejuice. And the prop-saturated town in which the targeted victims are hunted feels like Tim Burton's version of Mr. Toad's Wild Ride, with entrails. If only the entire film took place in Captain Spaulding's bizarro lair... It was a lot cooler, scarier and way more inspired than anything that followed...

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