The Movie Mom wants to make it clear that this film is not for children or for most adults. It is unrated for its graphic depiction of violence, including sexual violence and torture, strong language, substance abuse, and anything else they could think of to shock and disturb. For those who find that sort of content appealing, and especially for those parents whose teenagers want to see the movie, I hereby turn the review over to my college age son, a horror fan:
If film reviews are meant to make the reader decide whether or not they want to see a movie, then reviewing “The Devil’s Rejects” is rather pointless. Anyone who knows anything about this movie and wants to see it should go at once, and everyone else will know to avoid it. Chances are the critical response to “Devil’s Rejects” will have no effect on its box office gross or future cult status. That being said, for those who love horror, “The Devil’s Rejects” is pretty damn great.
Picking up three years after where writer/director/rock star Rob Zombie’s debut, House of 1,000 Corpses, left off, the family of killers/torturers (including Bill Moseley, Zombie’s wife Sheri Moon, and Leslie Easterbrook replacing Karen Black from the first film) now dubbed “the devil’s rejects” by the media. Psychologically disturbed Sheriff Wydell (William Forsythe), whose Lieutenant brother had his brains blown out in the first film, is perusing them relentlessly, from engaging in a shootout at the film’s beginning to bringing in a movie critic to find out why the family have taken their names from characters played by Groucho Marx.
The Devil’s Rejects, meanwhile, are looking for a place to hide and torturing various parties along the way, most memorably a traveling band called Banjo and Sullivan.
Overall, The Devil’s Rejects is much darker than House of 1,000 Corpses. It is much more violent and replaces much of House’s humor with genuine chills. The humor is still very much intact, from darkly funny killings to the way the Devil’s Rejects interact (the gruff Otis Driftwood, the sexy Baby Firefly, and the fantastically repulsive Captain Spaulding), but The Devil’s Rejects’ unpredictability and lack of boundaries put me on the edge of my seat for much of the film.
Like Quentin Tarantino, Rob Zombie unabashedly loves loud rock music, comic books, grisly B-movies, and overall trash culture. Similarly, Zombie’s movies feature several B-movie stars only hardcore movie buffs would know (including the frequently Tarantino-cast Sid Haig) and inspired musical choices (you may never think of “Free Bird” the same way after this), although his movies never pretend to be the artistic triumphs that are Tarantino’s.
Zombie also contributes to each of the aforementioned fields. In addition to being part of one of the most popular metal acts in the world, he is a prominent creator of several comic books and graphic novels (not to mention animating the unforgettable hallucination sequence in The Beavis and Butthead movie), and has now written, produced, and directed two of the best horror flicks in recent years. His ability to play with the audience’s dread and anticipation, as well as his wildly original visuals’ seamless mix of hardcore grisly material and sharp humor have made him one of America’s best horror directors. Zombie’s name may soon be mentioned with those of his heroes, including Roger Corman, George Romero, and Russ Meyers.
People who enjoy this movie should check out House of 1,000 Corpses, as well as some of Zombie’s influences, including the original versions of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Dawn of the Dead.
The Devil’s Rejects is rated R for strong, graphic, almost nonstop violence, including torture and sexual abuse, pervasive strong language, strong, graphic sexual content, and drug use.