Monday, March 06, 2006

Zombie Horror

You know you are being lazy about updating your blog when your non-tech-savvy wife says she checked it and was sorry to see it hadn't been updated since she last looked.

So now I feel all obligated and such. Heh.

So I'll talk about horror movies, a subject which will bore Jess to tears if she gets stuck reading it. Sorry.

Last year, I was one of many people excited to finally see House of 1000 Corpses, Rob Zombie's first venture into movie-making. It was a classic setup, which you've seen in a dozen movies if you've seen it in one: young couple/group gets stranded somewhere in rural America, gets abducted by group of inbred maniacs living off the grid, tortured and killed one by one, leading to a final escape of one of the characters who either A: gets away, or B: is killed suddenly before escaping. Usually the "victim" characters are flawed enough that you don't feel too bad for them, and usually the "villain" characters are somewhat sympathetic in a "oh, those poor monsters" kind of way.

I'll be honest here. I dig these movies in a weird kind of way. But 1000 Corpses didn't do it for me. I felt like he glossed it up too much, took away all the suspense and tried to win it back with gore. It was too flashy, too much like one long music video with horror overtones as opposed to a solid suspenseful terror movie.

And yet, I still rented his followup, The Devil's Rejects.

And I am so glad I did.

This is so much the better movie. It's a slight departure from formula, in a way that really works and gets you involved. The movie starts with the "house" being raided by a large group of cops. Some of the family get away, and you follow the extended chase. You see the cop in charge of the investigation unravel to the point where at the end you've got a role reversal between the "good guys" and "bad guys."

It's awesome. It drips with 70s mood, has an awesome soundtrack, is gory in all the right ways ... it rocks. It's not flawless, mind you -- some of the acting comes off as stiff and forced, but overall I spent more time happy than disappointed.

The deeper question I ask myself is ... why do I dig this particular genre of horror so much?

That's the much more interesting blog post waiting to be made. And one which I'm not going to do today :).

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