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Quickie: Rob Zombie’s The Devil’s Rejects (2005)

If there’s anything that I can wholly respect about Rob Zombie as a filmmaker, it’s that the man has always been dexterous at making his viewers claustrophobic and constantly on edge. Zombie’s Halloween II—a movie I actually think is fine; don’t @ me—has a rough opening where a young Laurie Strode (2) is chased through a hospital for a full twenty minutes; each minute never dwindling away from its tempting, dire terror. Part II of the Firefly Family trilogy, The Devil’s Rejects, is like that beginning sequence from Halloween II but extended into one, whole stomach-churning movie. “Stomach-churning” in a sickeningly positive demeanor, to clarify.

Before I get into the pros of this cult phenomena, let me explain myself for why I couldn’t completely cherish Zombie’s smash hit. What holds me from genuinely idolizing The Devil’s Rejects is evidently Rob Zombie’s writing. I just can’t fathom the hillbilly-inspired, sex-inflamed humor that he is always inserting into his films. It’s monotonous and gratuitous. And, this is coming from a guy who likes a good “dick joke” every once in a while, but not every five minutes!

With that aside, The Devil’s Rejects has got to be one of the most horrifically in-your-face mania of immoral, gore-fused violence ever captured on camera. It’s ridiculed in treating its malice like porn and depending on the individual, you’re either going to seriously despise Zombie’s choice or gasp in utter “awe” at it.

And, I kind of adore the ending because it shows that anyone can really transform into the devil with enough pressure. In the finale, the character roles are essentially reversed and flipped in a playfully ironic fashion and it surprisingly brings some sinister depth to The Devil’s Rejects?

I think The House of 1000 Corpses unquestionably has all the cooler shit in it, but The Devil’s Rejects is the more focused picture consecutively. It’s disgustingly disgusting to the point of appallment, but, to a degree, of guiltily bittersweet esteem.

Verdict: B-

“The Devil’s Rejects” is now available to rent and buy on Amazon Prime, YouTube, Vudu, iTunes, and Google Play.

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