MovieWeb attends the first EVER screening of Rob Zombie's The Devil's Rejects: House of 1000 Corpses 2

Last night I had the privilege of attending a very intimate screening of Rob Zombie's follow-up to House of 1000 Corpses at Lion's Gate Screening Facility in Santa Monica. This new film, titled The Devil's Rejects was one I had eagerly been awaiting to see. Having been completely blown away by House of 1000 Corpses, I was hoping that this new movie would continue with the flair of the original. Before the film started, Rob Zombie unassumingly walked up to the front of the screening room, grabbed Sprite cola and addressed the 20+ people who were there. He said that this was basically a "fans" screening and that Lion's Gate knew that the people there would be the conduit to the film's "audience." With that he left the stage and credits rolled...

What surprised me the most about House of 1000 Corpses was how simply brutally in your face it was. Yet, it wasn't a shlock film and it wasn't violent just to be violent. The characters were all well drawn and the myriad of different moods evoked by that film made it a much different experience then almost all the thrill seeking horror films around. Let me just simply say that what Rob Zombie and Co. have done with this new film is truly groundbreaking. With The Devil's Rejects, he has taken his original idea and amped it up even more. In the process he has created a hyper-charged scarefest, that ups the tension and levels of fear with every single frame. Fans of the first film are going to be more then pleased with this follow-up.

After the screening, Mr. Zombie announced some of the actors who were present. Sid Haig(Captain J.T. Spaulding), Bill Moseley(Otis B. Driftwood), Sheri Moon(Vera-Ellen ‘Baby" Firefly), Leslie Easterbrook(Mother Firefly) and Ken Foree(Charlie Altamont) were all in attendance, and all easily approachable but sadly I didn't have any questions to ask them. The Devil's Rejects is one of those films that I found didn't leave me with a lot to the best way possible. The film just presents itself, unspooling at it's own deliberate pace, telling it's tale of terror on it's own terms. As finger foods were eaten, photographers snapped pictures, press people talked in intimate groups with the gracious cast and Mr. Zombie, I merely stayed in the background digesting what it was I had just seen. I imagined that this is what it probably felt like in the 1970s, when all those mind-blowing films were released.

I was then approached by BeBe Lerner, Rob Zombie's publicist. She told me that I looked "lonely" and I explained that I was still taking everything in that I had just watched. I told her how much I enjoyed the film and that I felt that Rob Zombie was like the "Quentin Tarantino of the horror movie genre in how he recycles old actors from other movies and reinvents them as new characters in his own work." She told me I should tell "Rob" that but I figured it was better to remain in the shadows. I also asked her what was still being done with the movie as it was still being "worked" on, and she said that other then "coloring", figuring out the soundtrack and a few other things the version of the movie I had just screened was a "locked picture". I then told her how great it was that a company like Lion's Gate could exist, so that movies like The Devil's Rejects, which go out of their way to be different and daring, can have a home in which they can thrive. She also mentioned that the movie was going to be released to coincide with the OzzFest this summer.

After hanging around for another hour and getting reacquainted with a friend I hadn't seen in 10 years, I grabbed a gift bag of The Devil's Rejects merchandise and headed for the parking lot. It was a first class screening, toplined by the fact that the movie was great and the people behind it not only came out to support it, but in many ways this didn't even feel like a screening, it felt like friends had gathered together to share something that was important to them.