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"Devil’s Rejects – Unrated Widescreen Edition"
Reviewed by: Kim Anehall
Genre: Horror
Video: Widescreen Anamorphic 1.85:1
Audio: DTS-ES 6.1, Dolby EX Digital 5.1
Languages English
Subtitles English, Spanish
Length 109 min
Rating Not Rated
Release Date November 8, 2005
Studio Lions Gate Entertainment
Commentary: “by director Rob Zombie”, “by actors Sid Haig, Bill Moseley, and Sheri Moon Zombie”
Documentaries: “30 Days in Hell: The Making of Devil’s Rejects”
Featurettes: “Blooper Reel”, “The Morris Green Show - Rugggsville's #1 Talk Show", “Mary Monkey Girl Commercial”, “Spaulding Christmas Commercial”, “Cheerleader Missing - Otis Home Video”, “Satan's Got To Get Along Without Me" - Buck Owens Video”, “Make-Up Test”., “Matthew McGrory Tirbute”
Filmography/Biography: None
Interviews: None
Trailers/TV Spots: “Theatrical Trailer and 4 TV Spots”
Alternate/Deleted Scenes: “12 Deleted Scenes”
Music Video: None
Other: “Still Gallery”, “Soundtrack”, “DVD Credits”
Cast and Crew:

Sid Haig, Bill Moseley, Sheri Moon, William Forsythe, Ken Foree, Matthew McGrory, Leslie Easterbrook, Geoffrey Lewis, Priscilla Barnes

Written By: Rob Zombie
Produced By: Mike Elliott, Andy Gould, Marco Mehlitz, Michael Ohoven, Rob Zombie
Directed By: Rob Zombie
Music: Tyler Bates & Rob Zombie
The Review:

Rob Zombie, once again, steps into the world of mayhem, slaughter, and death with the lethally disturbing family from House of 1000 Corpses (2003). Those who have not seen House of 1000 Corpses will most likely be in for a revolting surprise that will shatter the mindset of safety. In this sequel, Zombie makes sure that the audience gets another ghastly experience that grabs them over the throat that never lets go after the opening scene where Tiny (Matthew McGrory) drags a naked female corpse through the woods. It is one of those films that will make the viewer struggle for breaths, as the audience tries to guess what kind of horror they are about to witness in the next scene. The film is disturbing, horrific, gruesome, nasty, filthy, and whatever else the audience could possibly come up with, but this is also Zombie's intention. ***

The Devil's Rejects looks and feels in many aspects like many of the films from the 1970s–grainy and rough. In a sense, Zombie creates homage to the cult horror and exploitation films from the 1970s such as The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974), The Hills Have Eyes (1977), and Dawn of the Dead (1978) among many other films. Yet, he succeeds in bringing his own flavor of the new millennia to the story, which makes it a cinematic mutation of the horror genre. The film even bears some resemblances to Michael Haneke's brutal Funny Games (1997) in its use of psychological violence. Thus, Zombie invents a brilliant look and feel in the film that feels both raw and crude, which enhances the agonizing psychological horror that the film creates. ***

On a quite summer morning a caravan of police vehicles enters the compound of the serial killing family. The police have the intention of getting the family dead or alive, preferably dead. In charge is Sheriff Wydell (William Forsythe) who wakes up Otis (Bill Moseley) with a loud call from the outside. Otis fumbles around the female corpses that he had an orgy with the previous night. Baby (Sheri Moon) and mother Firefly (Leslie Easterbrook), Otis' family members, also wake up from the Sheriff's call. Together these three and the all ready awakened grandpa arm themselves with machineguns and revolvers ready to shoot anything that moves. This is a violent shootout that brings back memories from Clint Eastwood's The Gauntlet (1977) commence, which ultimately leads to Otis and Baby's escape. ***

Once the two siblings, Otis and Baby, have acquired a car they make a phone call to Captain Spaulding (Sid Haig) to warn him about the police raid, as he has also partaken in the gory orgies of murder and rape at the house and the police might have photos of him torturing victims. These three bizarre characters meet at a motel, maybe a tribute to Psycho (1960), where they continue their cruel entertainment. Their escape turns the film into a road movie that is similar to both Thelma & Louise (1991) and brilliantly violent Natural Born Killers (1994), but much more grotesque in its violence. Together they intend to seek shelter at Charlie Altamont's (Ken Foree), who many might recognize from the Dawn of the Dead (1977), brothel. In this viciously slaying road movie, Zombie turns the tables on the killers, as they become the victims of merciless law enforcement. ***

Overall, The Devil's Rejects is awful and distasteful, but it is within this ugliness that Zombie finds something extraordinary. It is not a pleasant cinematic experience, nor is it an entertaining one, but there is something wise within this horrific tale. Curiosity, might be the prime reason people see it, and then of course all the Rob Zombie fans will want to see it. If it is curiosity that drew the audience to the theater to see this vile film, then the viewer should experience guilt for watching the repulsiveness on the screen. In addition, there is a moment in the film where the audience will have two opposite feelings generated almost simultaneously in regards to the murderous family. These two feelings are vengeance or compassion, which further creates a moment for bizarre forgiveness. Zombie throws in a myriad of ideas, whether these are intentional or not I could do not know. Nonetheless, there are several notions to be reflected upon against the moral qualities of humanity. It is a clear that this film transcends far above House of 1000 Corpses, as Zombie's storytelling technique and visuals have also improved. Lastly, House of 1000 Corpses has a far higher body count and gore, but The Devil's Rejects reaches further into the madness where it rocks the very foundation of humanity and decency. ***

Image and Sound:

Rob Zombie intentionally generates the dirty look and feel to Devil’s Rejects, as his nightmarish vision of a throwback 1970s slasher film emerges. He plays with the camera filters that produce the ultimate visual mood that brings the audience to the hellish place where murder and mayhem comes crawling out of the darkest corners of the human psyche. To enhance the visual realism, which gives the film its repulsive artistic expression Zombie captures the scenes with a high-grain film stock. The image has received a touch of brilliance, as it comes across dirty, grainy, and rough. Visually, the DVD comes in a close to immaculate anamorphic widescreen 1.85:1, which displays minimal digital contamination. ***

To complement the rough image an equally diabolic sound flows through the speakers in Dolby Digital 5.1, or the much better DTS ES 6.1. Screams, cries, and whispers simmer effortlessly through speakers, as if the audience was on location experiencing the horrors themselves. It means that both front and back speakers efficiently apply the audio that the film provides to the best possible level, as ambient sounds and dialogue feels real without any defilement of the aural moment. *** ---

The Extras:

The two discs of the Devil’ Rejects contain a vast number of extras that offers some fun and frightening stuff while also enlightening the audience about the many elements of the film. However, most of the extras rest on the first disc while the second disc only contains a lengthy making of Devil’s Rejects feature. DISC 1 ***

Blooper Reel – Here the audience can find goofs and blunders made by the cast and crew during the making of the film. Some of it is bizarre, but that is to expect from a film such as Devil’s Rejects. ***

The Morris Green Show: Ruggsville's #1 Talk Show – In some of the scenes in the film the audience can capture a TV show called the Morris Green Show. Here the viewer can see what the murderous beasts in Devil’s Rejects enjoy to watch in-between killings. It runs approximately 15 minutes. ***

Mary he Monkey Girl & Captain Spaulding Christmas Commercial – This is two commercials seen on the televisions in the film where Spaulding advertises his buffalo wings. These are both highly amusing, yet they carry an uncanny atmosphere of dubiousness, which the audience can attest for themselves. ***

Cheerleader Missing: The Otis Home Movie – The feeling of a home video for personally twisted purposes emerges here where Otis (one of the chracters in the film) takes his time to torture and murder the cheerleader Valerie Green. This is hands-down the most appalling extra I have ever seen on a DVD, but it perfectly fits the Devil’s Reject, as it helps bring out the nastiness of the main characters in the film. ***

Satan's Got To Get Along Without Me: Buck Owens Video – How Zombie applied this song to the film is brilliant, especially after having seen this brief video. It is a dreadful video, and that is meant as bad quality. ***

Deleted Scenes – Here 11 different scenes either extended, or completely removed from the film offer the audience a little extra in regards to the film. There are a couple of highlights, but that is for the audience to discover for themselves. All of the scenes have an introduction label, and the audience can quickly jump ahead simply by pressing on the skip button on the remote. ***

Make-up Tests – Simple screen tests where they test the make-up in daylight. It does not have much value to the audience, but might be interesting to see in order to understand the process of matching light and make-up into a perfect cinematic blend. ***

Matthew McGrory Tribute – This is tribute to the actor who performed as the giant Tiny in the film who died August 9th, 2005. ***

Still Gallery – Photos from the film and set that might entertain the audience curiosity and possible artistry. ***

Theatrical Trailer, TV Spot, Soundtrack, and DVD Credits – All of these extras are self-explanatory, but there is one theatrical trailer and two TV spots. The Soundtrack is simply an advertisement for the soundtrack while the DVD credits offer some appreciation to those who made this awesome DVD edition of Devil’s Rejects. ***

DISC 2 ***

30 Days in Hell: The Making of The Devil's Rejects – Is the only special feature on the second disc, but it is a lengthy venture in to the madness of Devil’s Rejects. It is chaptered up in five different parts, which ends up being a two hour and twenty minute documentary on the film. It covers the whole process of making the film beginning with the script breakdown and the filming of the final shoot out sums up the documentary. The journey in-between the beginning and the end where Zombie openly explains his point of view to the audience, which reveals why Devil’s Rejects did not turn out like another House of 1000 Corpses. There is also valuable information in regards to many scenes, which increases the value of the film. In addition, almost every cast member and many crewmembers provide how it was filming the horror drama, as the production took no more than 30 days under the scorching Californian desert sun. *** ---

Commentary: Devil’s Rejects offers two interesting commentaries, as the first one by director Rob Zombie is what filmmakers and other film aficionados will treasure the most. The reason is that Zombie presents a commentary with substance, which is captivating as it provides facts and other stories in regards to the film. He is very detailed in his description of how he approached characters, the visuals in the scenes, and other issues that emerged while shooting the film. The second commentary with the actors Sheri Moon, Sid Haig and Bill Moseley is more upbeat, but does not go to the same depths as Rob Zombie’s commentary. These actors truly enjoy each other’s company, as they tell small side stories and other fun trivia for the audience. *** ---
Final Words:

Devil’s Reject is not a pleasurable tale that will bring the audience on a journey towards a happy-ending. Instead, Rob Zombie petrifies the audience with gruesome and disturbing images that etch themselves into the subconscious to keep the viewer in fear in times of secluded loneliness and darkness. It is not a film for people with faint hearts, as its psychological trauma is far greater than House of 1000 Corpses. Within the disturbing sphere of erratic acts of violence and other inhuman acts, a tale emerges that will profoundly affect the viewer in the sense of fear and what is sensible. Zombie transcends the notion of fear into an artistic 1970s throwback style, which leaves the viewer with a highly recommended and unforgettable cinematic experience. ***

 

 
 
 
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