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3 From Hell is Rob Zombie at His Lowest Demeanor, Even at “Fan” Standards

Just a heads up for some of the possibly befuddled people who do see this movie, no, you cannot get on probation if you’re a psychopath who murdered dozens of individuals (unless your lawyer is Saul Goodman) and, no, you cannot survive twenty rounds of machine gun ammunition to the body. Stupid movie.

Drama Queens will airily call the final chapter in the Firefly Family trilogy 3 From Hell, Rob Zombie’s The Big Lebowski. The movie, in every fleeting instance of its existence, never seems to be aware that it is a “movie,” as it chronicles a tamer side of the rambunctious human-chopping family’s life that feels as stimulating and consequential as an episode of Keeping Up with the Kardashians. Even the prideful, murder-lovin’ Otis Firefly says in this sequel that they “…have no idea what they’re doing,” which exquisitely discloses 3 From Hell’s intentions to be a “meta piece,” further making the affair practically appear like some sort of parody of The Devil’s Rejects. Some fans may praise Zombie for his bold choice to disguise his movie as something that’s more than meets the eye but others, like myself, will find it plainly tedious, plagiarized, and disposable—which it is.

At the heart of it, 3 from Hell is an edgy “road trip” flick—for at least the last hour of it (the first hour being the winner-winner, chicken-dinner for the most boring first half of a 2019 movie thus far). It’s additionally brimmed to the bone with its cheeky, sardonic attempts to make carnage and homicide seem like a hilariously casual and tasteful daybreak activity. Dark comedy has always been referred to as a genre for the intelligent and the nonchalant—according to scientists—but these here experts are going to need to sooner or later make an instruction manual on what exactly qualifies as “clever dark comedy” because 3 from Hell certainly ain’t it. It’s wide off that mark. 

It’s interesting how a talented fella like Rob Zombie who’s been in the film business for 15 years now can make a product that’s so amateurishly constructed. 3 From Hell has some of the rottenest of editing I’ve seen all year; editing that would give even John Ottman (director of Bohemian Rhapsody) a heart attack. The sound design rings in the ears as an incomplete first draft. David Daniel’s insipid eye for muddy visuals also didn’t help the project feel any less than some high school student’s semester project for his/her video production class. Zombie also makes a majorly daring choice involving one of the main characters that I guarantee most fans of the Firefly Family trilogy will be devastated by. Even looking past the technical misfortunes, 3 From Hell is essentially just a recreation of some of the ghastly events that we’ve already seen the Firefly Family perform. It’s a ritualistic follow-up strictly made to worship The Devil’s Rejects and in doing so, causes it to forget that it should also strive to be substantial.

It kills me to say that after 14 years since its predecessor, 3 From Hell is most likely going to be the sequel that fans are NOT looking for. This is unpretentiously one of the most senseless, unjustifiable continuations ever placed onto the big screen. Hey, at least the soundtrack was appetizing. They are selections picked by Zombie himself though, so who could say that they’re shocked?

And somebody give Sheri Moon Zombie her mortality back because she’s clearly not aging.

Verdict: D-

“3 From Hell” is now playing in select theaters.

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