An unabashedly, overt horror film that makes no apologies for being exactly what it
The ending scene of the movie could have been chopped down a tad.
Picking right up where House of 1000 Corpses left off, we follow Otis, Spaulding and Baby as they make their way through the backwoods and tank towns of America trying to evade the police, but not really going out of their way to avoid them. Hot on their trail is Sheriff Wydell (played with amazing intensity by William Forsythe), who has his own brand of justice in mind for the The Devil’s Rejects.
I made no apologies when I reviewed the film back in March. I also warned that if you are faint of heart and don’t like to see overly violent movies, than you would be better off passing on this one. On DVD, it is safe to say that this film has lost none of it’s “spark” when translated to the small screen. The gruesomeness that overtook me when I first watched the film was still there in all it’s sick glory. The tense moments and hopes that maybe the victims would get off “okay,” still lingered within me. I said it in March and I am saying it now, The Devil’s Rejects is truly a a hypercharged scarefest!
I would like to commend Rob Zombie, Lions Gate and the creators of this DVD for not holding back at all, and releasing a film that doesn’t aspire to be anything other than what it is. A gross, vile, voyeuristic good time!
Audio Commentary Tracks
The first track I listened to just featured Rob Zombie by himself. I didn’t understand this until I realized that if he had done this with everyone on the second commentary track (Sid Haig, Bill Moseley and Sheri Moon Zombie), he probably wouldn’t have been able to make it as personal and insightful as he does here. While Zombie isn’t describing the use of “f-stops” and other tools that cinematographers use, he does break down the film and explain his reasons for why certain looks are composed the way they are. Based on what we know of him, it would be very easy to dismiss Zombie as some musician turned director. A dilettante if you will. However, 15 minutes into this commentary, heck, 15 minutes into one of his movies and you know he was born to do this stuff. The commentary features “The Rejects” and it is a bland discourse on the mind of serial killers. And... if you believe that I have land in Beirut I’d like to sell you.
Blooper Reel; Morris Green Show - "Ruggsville's #1 Talk Show"; Mary The Monkey Girl Commercial and Spaulding Christmas Commercial
This stuff is hilarious. I can only imagine the good times that are had on the set of a Rob Zombie movie and seeing this “Blooper Reel” only affirmed that. Sure, it wasn’t anything I haven’t seen before, but when you’re making a movie that is this hardcore, any moment of levity you can achieve is going to make things easier. Continuing the jokes with Daniel Roebuck’s Character we get the “Morris Green Show - “Ruggsville’s #1 Talk Show.” Okay, I know this is a joke, but if Morris Green is really the best Ruggsville has than this town is in a whole lot of trouble. “Mary The Monkey Girl” and the “Spaulding Christmas Commercial” give us a bit more glimpses into Zombie’s mind and the people he chooses to hang out with. Sid Haig is so alarming in his role of Spaulding because he projects such a warm, grandfatherly image that is in such a dark contrast to who this character is.
Cheerleader Missing - The Otis Home Movie; "Satan's Got To Get Along Without Me" - Buck Owens video and Deleted Scenes
“Cheerleading Missing,” “Satan’s Got To Get Along Without Me” and the Deleted Scenes were more extras that give the viewer insights into the world in which was this film was created. The “Deleted Scenes” were interesting but since I had already watched the “unrated” version of the movie, I sort of knew that I wasn’t going to see anything here that I hadn’t seen before. This said, these scenes are still worth a look. “Cheerleading Missing” and “Satan’s Got To Get Along Without Me” are looks at scenes from the film, and also a production diary of sorts that shows us the day to day goings on behind and in front of the camera. This stuff is certainly something that fans and film students will eat up. Actually, if you’re buying this DVD you pretty much know what you are getting, so there really isn’t any point in not watching them, right? I did a low budget zombie movie a few years back called The Storyteller (sadly, it still hasn’t come out) and one of the best parts about it was getting to talk with Michael Berryman. Seeing this stuff here reminded me of what a great time I had.
Make Up Tests; Matthew McGrory tribute and Still Gallery
The “Make Up Tests” are pretty self explanatory but I enjoyed watching them. It is always cool to see creative people test their concepts, and it’s even better when we can see where the ideas began and then what they eventually became. The “Matthew McGrory Tribute” was really touching because he played the character of Tiny and sadly he passed away last August. He was an amazing physical specimen and it’s really great to see that he utilized his attributes to his advantage. I remember seeing him in Big Fish, and I look forward to going to Netflix and renting some of his other movies. The “Still Gallery” is a collection of some pictures taken both in front of and behind the cameras. While I always wonder why people feel the need to put these on their DVDs, I suppose that they satisfy some people’s “inner Ansel Adams.”
1.85:1 - Widescreen. It is very easy to watch this film and refer to it as something obviously inspired by the cinema of the 1970s. This is very accurate but I don’t think this film only looks like a movie from that time. I know that Lions Gate is a studio that has a decent amount of money in it’s coffers, but The Devil’s Rejects is an independent movie in every sense of the word. Sure the style is frenetically charged and the movie has an older feel to it, especially in it’s tone and lighting, but it also very much has the feel of a western. Zombie is someone who is a student of cinema and as such, he feels just as comfortable borrowing from Lucio Fulci as he does from Sergio Leone. However, at the end of the day all of these influences are distilled into being pure Rob Zombie.
Dolby Digital Stereo - English. Mixing Classic Rock into the soundtrack is probably why reviewers find it so easy to link this film with the works of the 1970s. While I think that music works, I am big fan of the straight up horror music that has been created by Tyler Bates and Rob Zombie. There is nothing more horrifying when you see Otis going after someone, and this haunting music plays reminding you that what you are seeing truly is no joke. The sound on this DVD worked for me just as well on my 9” TV as it did when I watched this movie in the theater. I liked the use of the Classic Rock songs, I just loved when I was jolted out of the familiar by the original score. And, did we really need to hear all of “Freebird” at the end of the movie?
The front cover image of Baby, Spaulding and Otis as they walk away from the sunset, is a really cool looking image and something that I bet has sold well as a poster. The best part is that these people don’t look like actors at all. The back features some pictures from the movie, a listing of everything that comes with this 2 disc set, a cast list, a huge extra features listing and of course the usual list of technical specs. I really like the economics of this box set, but more to the point, I really like the way this thing looks. Rob Zombie has set out to make everything about his movies unique. From the theater to the home viewing experience, he has gone out of his way to set the two apart and make each one an individual experience.
I have a special kinship with this movie because if you watch the TV spot section, you will see that MovieWeb has the blurb a hypercharged scarefest!. I would have been happy if MovieWeb had gotten that no matter what, but the fact that I happened to be the person who penned that quote is something that makes the accomplishment feel that much bigger. In life, when we leave this planet, there is nothing we can take with us. Other than children and things we create, there are precious few things that we leave behind as a legacy. While I am not saying that what I wrote was some earth shattering thing, at the end of the day having something that came from me, representing the company I work for (and it being a part of a movie I really like) is something I am very proud of.
So grab some friends, fry some corn and and enjoy all the fun and not so fun moments that comprise The Devil’s Rejects.
The Devil's Rejects was released July 22, 2005.