I knew going in this was going to be odd, but I truly was not prepared for what I was about to see. Rob Zombie is a demented individual that should really see a psychiatrist about the stuff in his head. I’ve seen his previous films, but I feel this is by far his most out there, random, incoherent effort to date. If you are a fan of his I guess I would say see this, but I don’t know… I just… I don’t know.
*****WARNING: THE FOLLOWING REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS*****
The “story” tells about a woman named Heidi Hawthorne (Sheri Moon Zombie) of Salem, Massachusetts. During the day she sleeps, but at night she is a radio DJ for the local station WIQZ. One night after a broadcast she walks to the front desk on her way out and is given a package. A wooden box containing a record from a band called The Lords is sent specifically to her. Receiving music is common place so she takes the record and goes home. There she puts the record on her player and a sound emits that evokes something deep inside her that she can’t explain. From the moment she hears this noise nothing seems normal anymore. She is always tired, grumpy and just not herself. Her fellow radio DJ’s suspect she has gone back to her old ways of hard drug abuse.
As she suffers, virtually without reason, someone else is trying to find where the music originated from. A man named Francis Matthias (Bruce Davison) wrote a book about the Salem witch trials. As he hears the strange song, for some weird reason being played over the radio, he recognizes the notes. As he researches the origins he discovers the notes from a journal written by Reverend Jonathan Hawthorne, the man responsible for the witch trials hundreds of years ago. The notes were written by the witches and are used as way of pulling the women of Salem into an almost trance like state and are then made to do unspeakable things. Realizing Heidi’s last name is the same as the Reverend’s, he traces her ancestry back to the him.
During the trials, as the alleged witches were burning alive, the head witch shouted out a spell forever cursing the women of Salem. She also says that the birth of Satan’s offspring will be born from the loins of a Hawthorne woman, i.e. Heidi. Finding this information Francis goes to her apartment building to let her know about this new found evidence, but is stopped by three overly intrusive old ladies. They tell him that she is out and he can wait for her in their apartment. He agrees to socialize as he waits. Before long the questions being asked by the women get more and more ominous and insidious. Realizing he isn’t safe here he tries to leave but is met with a frying pan to the head. After a small talk the three seemingly innocent but odd old ladies murder Francis by beating him repeatedly with the frying pan. It turns out these women are worshippers of Satan and are in fact witches themselves.
They have one intention and that is to bring the spawn of Satan into the world of man and they have sought out Heidi as the carrier of this hell fetus. In a period of six days Heidi’s life goes down the metaphorical toilet and from the outside world she looks as if she is just going through another stint with drugs. Heidi has no idea what or why this is happening, why was she chosen? Francis never got the chance to tell her of her past family line and the turmoil that tarnished this town forever. Through a truly hellish montage of horror and pain the baby evil is born and in a form of sacrifice as tribute to the spawn, the women of Salem commit suicide. Dozens of women are found dead in the town’s theater piled on one another. Who knows now what will happen to the world of man now that Satan’s child is unleashed upon us all. In a note to Mr. Zombie I say this: Please just let us wonder what would happen. We don’t need a sequel.
This is an odd film with next to no positive aspects to outweigh all the negative malarkey that is shown on screen. It’s difficult to really explain everything you see when watching this. It’s absolutely loaded to the brim with satanic imagery and horrific undertones of discomfort and oddity. Aside from a few jump scares this is in no way scary. This film is demented and is made with over the top, underwritten scenes with “what the f*ck” moments thrown in with the apparent attempt to shock the audience. This is certainly shocking but with no reason behind the shock, it is even borderline boring. After 90 minutes of Satanism it starts to turn into one big joke. I would say the best part about this is I got in with a student discount and only paid $5 instead of $11. In all seriousness the best part was that the shocking imagery was so ridiculous that it made my friend and I laugh quite a bit. Especially a scene involving the male anatomy, holy hell… I also must bring up the overabundance of nudity this film has and none of it involves attractive women. It’s all old, unshaven, fat women who apparently have never heard of a bath. It gives me goose bumps just thinking about it. Again if you are a fan I guess see this, but if you ask me I say just skip it. Aside from the odd nature of the film, the script is weak and the acting is pretty terrible. Seriously, Rob Zombie needs help.
Rated R for: disturbing violent and sexual content, graphic nudity, language and some drug use
Runtime: 101 minutes
After Credits Scene: None
Starring: Sheri Moon Zombie, Bruce Davison, Jeff Daniel Phillips, Meg Foster
Directed By: Rob Zombie
Out of 5 Nerdskulls
Story: 1.5/ Acting: 2/ Directing: 2/ Visuals: 3
OVERALL: 2 Nerdskulls
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