I checked back in with the Firefly Family recently. No, not the Firefly Family that flew through space, though they are always fun to revisit as well. The Fireflys that ruined lives and made the world a scarier place. Rob Zombie's House of 1000 Corpses and The Devil's Rejects. I remembered liking both films when I saw them originally, but re-watching them brought several things to light that made them even more enjoyable. I also watched them in reverse order which added another layer of interest to the whole experience.
Devil's Rejects is a cleaner and smoother ride for sure. In many ways it's slicker and more concise. It's by far the more “mainstream” of the two. House is a throwback to the scares of the 70s and 80s with some elements that I had completely forgotten about. Together, they make an epic double header.
House proved to have more supernatural elements than I had remembered. Creature people crawling from mud, mad killers with bio-shock mechanics keeping them moving and black magic. The overarching feeling of dread is matched by the feeling that these kinds of people could easily be out there...somewhere...doing horrid things to somewhat nice and clueless people.
Rejects continues the storyline and takes things to a more real place. Less supernatural and more snatched from the headlines in it's feel, Rejects manages to be mean spirited and fun at the same time. People are treated badly, but for some reason, it dodges the realm of cruelty by millimeters. I think it's the way the overall violence is handled. It's still not a movie for the faint of heart.
Spoilers coming. Wait for it....
But why re-watch these films, you may ask.
First, I was one of the people that didn't hate the Halloween remakes, but wasn't thrilled with them either. They were slick and did make an effort to be different and new, but they just didn't “wow” me like I had hoped. You still had Zombie elements, but they seemed out of place. Hillbilly Hipsters lining up for Michael Meyers just seemed boring and so far removed from the suburban terrors of the original that it missed the mark for me. When I heard that there may be a Devils Rejects 2, I was confused.
Here's that spoiler....
They died at the end. They were shot to bits, as they should be, of course. So, how do they come back in Devils 2?
In the end of Devils, “Tiny” heads back into the house of fire after Otis B. Driftwood says, “Ok...we'll be back for you.” It's obvious that Tiny isn't going to last long in a house that's blazing. Otis, Captain Spaulding (the brilliant madman, Sid Haig), and Baby “show my butt” Firefly drive to their doom in a blaze of glory in a scene that is truly reminiscent of some of the old classics like Vanishing Point. It's more obvious in HOUSE, but there's obviously something other worldly about the Fireflys and their ways. They always manage to cheat death, it's just a matter of how now.
I think this could be a fun little exercise of Zombie does it right. I'd love to see a combined effort of scares, supernatural badies and road movie. Can Zombie pull it off? Will he bother trying?
These films are worth a re-watch. Check 'em out!