***/**** Image A- Sound A Extras A+
starring Sid Haig, Bill Moseley, Sheri Moon Zombie, William Forsythe
written and directed by Rob Zombie
by Walter Chaw The Devil's Rejects is a minor grindhouse classic that betrays writer-director Rob Zombie as a self-hating cinephile (he inserts a movie critic character only to abuse him) who saddles his villains with Marx Brothers aliases and cribs scenes from sources as varied as The Texas Chain Saw Massacre and Taxi Driver. His family of Ed Geins (Baby (Sheri Moon Zombie), her brother Otis (Bill Moseley), their uncle Captain Spaulding (Sid Haig)) proceed to Petrified Forest a family of rodeo cowboys (Geoffrey Lewis and Priscilla Barnes and others) at a motor inn after a rousing break from a siege on their farmhouse of horrors, then get hunted down and tortured by avenging angel Sheriff Wydell (William Forsythe). His tongue firmly in cheek, Zombie casts a couple of '80s sitcom queens from TV shows worried about family dynamics (Barnes of "Three's Company" and Deborah Van Valkenburgh of "Too Close for Comfort") in meatbag roles while spinning southern rock classics like The Allman Brothers' "Midnight Rider" over a virtuoso credit sequence (shades of Scott Caan's exceptional debut Dallas 362) and Lynrd Skynrd's "Free Bird" during its conclusion in a way that actually manages not to feel ironic or snarky. That's the tightrope Zombie walks here and he walks it with a surplus of style and skill: it's an exploitation flick about audience culpability, a splatter flick about morality, and a post-modern film that actually cares about movies.