House of 1000 Corpses (2000) reviews and overview

 

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‘Dare you enter…’

House of 1000 Corpses is a 2000 (released 2003) American exploitation horror feature film written, co-scored and directed by Rob Zombie. The movie stars Chris Hardwick, Rainn Wilson, Sid Haig, Bill Moseley, Sheri Moon Zombie and Karen Black.

Zombie produced a sequel in 2005, The Devil’s Rejects. In 2019, a second sequel, Three from Hell is due to be released.

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Zombie’s directorial debut, the film drew from a multitude of influences, particularly American horror films of the 1970s, including The Texas Chain Saw Massacre and The Hills Have Eyes.

Filmed in 2000, the film was originally purchased by Universal Pictures, and a large portion of it was filmed on the Universal Studios backlots, but it was ultimately shelved by the company in fear that it would receive an NC-17 rating. The rights to the film were eventually re-purchased by Zombie, who then sold the film to Lions Gate Entertainment. It was released theatrically on April 11, 2003.

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Plot:

On October 30, 1977, Jerry Goldsmith, Bill Hudley, Mary Knowles and Denise Willis are on the road in hopes of writing a book on offbeat roadside attractions. When the four meet Captain Spaulding, the owner of a gas station and “The Museum of Monsters & Madmen”, they learn the local legend of Doctor Satan. As they take off in search of the tree from which Doctor Satan was hanged, they pick up a young hitchhiker named Baby, who claims to live only a few miles away…

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Reviews:

Frank Scheck of The Hollywood Reporter wrote that the film ‘lives up to the spirit but not the quality of its inspirations” and is ultimately a “cheesy and ultra-gory exploitation horror flick” and “strangely devoid of thrills, shocks or horror.’

‘ …slaps together just the right amount of creepy atmosphere, nervous laughter, cheap scares, fun rides and blood and guts to satisfy any major fan of the macabre.’ Berge Garabedian, JoBlo.com

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‘The acting from both the teenagers and the family is top-notch. Sid Haig is nearly brilliant in his portrayal of Captain Spaulding. He’s crude, crass, and a barrel of laughs. This movie fell apart for me in the second half. I dare say House of 1000 Corpses was almost brilliant in its first half, but turned into a run-of-the-mill horror picture the second.’ Martin Liebman, Blu-ray.com

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“Strung together with a migraine-inducing MTV aesthetic, this trawl through B-movie horror flicks plays like a fan film with a multi-million dollar budget. While Zombie’s love of the horror genre is readily apparent, this is a travesty of everything he professes to adore, a tour-de-farce of depressing inanity, that’s unable to do anything more than offer a messy, incoherent pastiche of other, better movies.” Jamie Russell, BBC.co.uk
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Buy on Blu-ray with The Devil’s Rejects from Amazon.co.ukAmazon.com

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Cast and characters:

Chad Bannon … Killer Karl
William Bassett … Sheriff Frank Huston (as William H. Bassett)
Karen Black … Mother Firefly
Erin Daniels … Denise Willis
Joe Dobbs III … Gerry Ober
Judith Drake … Skunk Ape Wife
Dennis Fimple … Grampa Hugo
Gregg Gibbs … Doctor Wolfenstein
Walton Goggins … Steve Naish
Sid Haig … Captain Spaulding
Chris Hardwick … Jerry Goldsmith
Ken Johnson … Skunk Ape Husband
Jennifer Jostyn … Mary Knowles
Irwin Keyes … Ravelli
Matthew McGrory … Tiny Firefly
Jake McKinnon … The Professor
Sheri Moon Zombie … Baby Firefly (as Sheri Moon)
Bill Moseley … Otis
Irvin Mosley Jr. … Lewis Dover
Robert Allen Mukes … Rufus (as Robert Mukes)
Walter Phelan … Doctor Satan
Michael J. Pollard … Stucky
David Reynolds … Richard Wick
Tom Towles … Deputy George Wydell
Rainn Wilson … Bill Hudley
Harrison Young … Don Willis
Johnny Hoops … Mental Patient (uncredited)
Samantha Larsen … Sex slave (uncredited)
Bob Pepper … Tow Truck Driver (uncredited)
Freddy Waff … Mental Patient (uncredited)
Rob Zombie … Doctor Wolfenstein’s assistant (uncredited)