starring Malcolm McDowell, Sherri Moon Zombie, Scout Taylor-Compton, William Forsythe
screenplay by Rob Zombie, based on the screenplay by John Carpenter and Debra Hill
directed by Rob Zombie
by Walter Chaw If Rob Zombie ever decides to direct a horror movie, watch out. To date, up to and including his remake of John Carpenter's legendary Halloween, he's presented us a series of family melodramas peppered with modest genre references and exploitation flourishes. His best film, The Devil's Rejects, is widely misread and underestimated, the most common complaint being that it isn't scary. It's a lot like complaining that Ordinary People isn't scary. But I'd challenge anyone to come up with many more ebullient, honest moments of uplift than the conclusion of that film (set to "Free Bird" of all things), as Zombie's miscreant clan makes a bid to let their freak flag fly in the middle of the American desert. His pictures are throwbacks to the Seventies in more ways than their relationship to drive-in and grindhouse fare: they're lovely odes to a sense of frustrated possibilities in a United States suffering the first throes of post-Sixties culture shock. It goes hand-in-hand with the Nixonian westerns littering the popular culture in the new millennium; no surprise to me that this administration--and the attendant feeling of paranoia and cynicism befouling our air--encourages this kind of revisionism, and really, who better than Zombie to helm an update of Carpenter's seminal slasher?