Saturday, July 23, 2005

If you make sure you're rejected, the writing's on the wall.

Watched an appropriate midnight showing of "The Devil's Rejects" last night, and had as much fun as one can hope to have in a theater, without, you know, doing it. Who knew a hard core, exploitation film could be that much of a hoot? I guess that means Rob Zombie isn't as crazy as someone like Tobe Hooper seemed while making Texas Chainsaw Massacre, perhaps with all the familiar faces (that have and will be lining comic con signing booths for years to come) you don't have the sneak attack greatness that anonymity provides. And if I am to be critical, one is aware from the outset where Zombie's sympathies lie with the Firefly fam. Those minor caveats noted, it becomes obvious from the nude presence of Kate Norby that Zombie was always a Nancy Loomis fan, and for that, my hat is off. Where many derivative horror films make you cringe, the love apparent here is so genuine that the occasional samples don't ever effect the text, and in fact one had me laughing out loud, when one homage turned from sci-fi to Kubrick (if that's obscure enough not to spoil, and yet be understood by those who've seen it). Where House of a 1,000 Corpses had moments, but descended into a state of interminability by the end, here Zombie really does pull something off. There are so many great sequences and situations; the film has easily the best opening credit sequence in years. I think - though the ending has been compared to Bonnie and Clyde - in the end it is more Thelma and Louise in that there seems hope in the impossible, and I wouldn't be surprised if Zombie returns to this well again. And, scary as it may sound, I wouldn't be surprised if he was able to top himself with the next one. But if so, run.

This makes the fourth movies I've seen this year that would make a top ten list alongside Land of the Dead, War of the Worlds, and Kung Fu Hustle.