House of 1000 Corpses (2003) Poster

User Reviews

Review this title
933 Reviews
Sort by:
Rob Zombie's nightmare world realized on film
mstomaso1 June 2005
In my opinion, House of 1000 Corpses is a fan movie. Fans of both the horror genre and Rob Zombie are likely to love it. Though I do not count myself a fan of either, I do like both at times, and I am quite familiar with both. Those familiar with Rob Zombie are likely to be the only ones who completely 'get' this clever little film - appreciating its depraved sense of humor and nihilism. Zombie's themes are fairly consistent - evil (without the usual religious connotations and clichés), murder, sex, insanity, and stereotype "hillbillies". Zombie's world is not a place for people who are terribly concerned with reality, but, for Zombie himself, it seems to supply endless muse for a prolific and interesting commercial creativity.

Two couples traveling across country and working on a book on bizarre roadside attractions stumble across a filling station / theme park run by a vaguely evil clown with a bad attitude - Captain Spaulding. Spaulding teaches them of a few local legends, including a mad surgeon who worked in a local insane asylum and came to be known as Dr. Satan for the grotesque surgical procedures he applied to mental patients in secret. They pick up a pretty blonde hitch-hiker on their way to see the tree where Dr Satan was hung, and run into some car problems, so the hitch-hiker invites them to her family house. The family, apparently headed by the phenomenally weird Karen Black, makes The Addams family look like the Brady Bunch.

My narrative has described the first 20 minutes or so of the film, and at this point the film, much like RZ's songs, is so campy that it seems a straightforward horror comedy. However, once our protagonists are in "the house", the plot takes a decidedly more sinister spin, and never lets up from that point forward.

This film successfully and entertainingly portrays all of RZ's themes in about the same proportions as his music. Of them all, sex is the least explored, and I, for one, am thankful for that. The film also walks a delicate line between Hannibal Lector grotesque art realism and supernatural forces. For example, at one point, one of the bad guys turns on a cassette player with low batteries so that the voice recorded on it sounds extra-satanic.

If you have problems with blood and other bodily fluids, and utterly repulsive surgically induced variations on the human body, you might want to avoid this film. If you don't have any great objections to standard hardcore horror imagery, or if you like it, you might want to see this. It is masterfully visualized and does a much better job of making horror into art than the standard Hollywood horror fair. This is Rob Zombie's art, and he does it much better than most. This first major effort in film bodes well for his future use of the medium, and I will look forward to his next.
114 out of 143 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
A revival of true horror
zombie843 May 2003
Its sad that a film as wonderfully made as this is so grossly misunderstood.

Let me say this right off that bat. If you're idea of a horror film is I know What You Did Last Summer and you consider Scream and The Exorcist to be the most shocking films ever made, this is not a film for you. If you havent seen I Spit on Your Grave, Evil Dead, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Dawn of the Dead or Last House on the Left, this is not a film for you. If you've never listened to "Living Dead Girl" or "Superbeast" this is not a film for you.

Now having said that, this is a film for me. It is a film for true horror fans, the kind that stay up and watch Dawn of the Dead and The Beyond, who know who Lucio Fulci and Dario Argento and George Romero are. This is a film that was meant to be seen by people like this and will only be enjoyed by people like this. This is not exactly mainstream stuff here. Only a small percentage of people enjoy this stuff, and for those people, this film is a true rivival of classic exploitive horror.

Rob Zombie has created a homage to 1970's exploitation/horror films, and he has been extremly successful in achieving that goal. The film borrows largely from Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Last House on the Left, with his own little bits of original demential thrown in and an assortment of other horror film references. The film tells the tale of four teenagers who are terrorized and tortured by a bizarre southern family living in a remote farmhouse in 1977. The film uses all sorts of camera tricks--negative colouring, split-screens and seemingly random inserts of grainy snuff-like footage of various S&M and gore images; the off-the-wall effect is similar to what Oliver Stone did in Natural Born Killers. The film is not about plot, or about characters. Its purpose is to shock and disturb, to serve no other function than to entertain through exploitation and disgusting and bizarre violence. Just as you think the limits of weirdness are approaching, Zombie takes the film a step farther, and before long you surrender yourself to the mercy of the film and just accept things for what they are. The film has the feeling of an out of control freight train being piloted by a madman and the climax of the film is truly bizarre. The reviewers who wrote the film off as overly-sadistic with little in the ways of character development, plot or suspence have come to see a different kind of film, perhaps more at home with titles like The Sixth Sense or Silence of the Lambs. The have no busineness debasing a great film like this.

Rob Zombie has created a film that is both a homage and derivative at the same time; most things in the film have been done before, in one shape or another, and the level of gore is a fraction of what was intended, due to its shameful R-rating. To see the inevitable Unrated Directors Cut on video is going to be a true horror experience.

But this film is something has hasnt been seen in decades and it has been made with the utmost care that only a true horror fan could provide. It is a film made by horror fans for horror fans, a true labor of love by Mr. Zombie, despite some flaws. If you arent sitting the theater going "hey, theres Bill Mosely from TCM 2!" or "hey, that shot is a homage to the cover of Evil Dead!" or "hey, he wears peoples skin like Leatherface!" then you probably arent meant to be seeing this film. But for those who are, the film is a true gem and a rarity; it is a kind of film that hasnt been seen on the screens in over twenty years and probably wont be for another twenty years. Get out there and enjoy this rare experience while you still can.

An instant cult-hit.

Grade: A

For true horror fans only. Everyone else just wont get it.
208 out of 344 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Is a horror fan entitled to have a second opinion?
Coventry16 August 2005
I already had a user comment for "House of a 1.000 Corpses" submitted here on this site, dated over a year ago and…um…not very praising. In fact, my first viewing of this film was so disappointing that I excessively discouraged other people here to see it. Rather than to simply ignore the old comment and pretend I never bashed it, I wish to write a new – more positive – review, if it were only to convince other people (who also disliked at first) to give it a second change. Several factors (like the praising reviews on "The Devil's Rejects"-sequel and conversations with fellow horror fans) nearly forced me to re-watch "House of a 1.000 Corpses" and I'm glad I did. This truly is a film that requires multiple viewing before one can properly judge it. Rob Zombie's style is often innovating and so overwhelming that it might look overly hectic at first but, in reality, his dedication towards obscurity and his knowledge on classic cinema is one of the best things that could ever happen to the horror genre. And that is something you (or at least I) have to discover with repeated viewings…

The power of this film lies in the fact that the screenplay covers all kind of successful horror premises. Serial killers, mad doctors, a family of crazies, deranged clowns, devil-worshipers….you name the type of terror and "House of a 1.000 Corpses" features it! This movie is a small revival of the entire horror genre all by itself. No extended and boring intros or pointless red herrings in this film, "House…" is straightforward and surefooted sickness from start to finish and you're given almost no time to breathe. Some of the sequences in this film are so damn close to brilliant that I can't possibly figure out why I didn't love them right away!! The execution-scene guided by the moody "I Remember You"-song, for example, is amazingly atmospheric and quite unsettling. Although Rob Zombie's directing skills are still open for improvement (the abrupt climax, overly rough editing), his debut is a staggering gorefest that every horror fan has to experience…repeatedly! Bring on the sequel…I'm ready now!!
57 out of 88 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
"It's true....the boogeyman is real, and you've found him.
gorefreak513 April 2003
I love that line! I remember hearing that line in a cool trailer I saw while watching "Urban Legend 2". Obviously, this was a way better movie!!! Besides "Scream," and "Funny Games," this is the best horror film in the past 15 years!!! We wanted blood, and we got it!!! Whoa, that would have been another great line in this "uber celebration of depravity" as those lame Universal execs so succinctly called it. This flick was definitely worth the wait!!!

First off, the directing: Rob Zombie gave this film a unique visual style I had never seen in a film before. It was well made and very well edited. I loved the split-screens, filters, stock footage, use of color, and that infamous slow motion shot (I loved that scene!). Although he borrowed a little from "Natural Born Killers," "Texas Chainsaw Massacre," and "Last House on the Left," what great horror film doesn't nowadays? Seriously!! So Mr. Zombie brought something new to the table, and will hopefully make a great contribution to horror (he has already in my opinion).

Secondly, the acting: Sid Haig and Bill Moseley totally stole the show!! They made horrifying, creepy, and relentless screen sickos, and gave me hope for the screen villain again (as opposed to lame efforts by thugs in cheap masks). Mrs. Zombie, or Sheri Moon, was totally insane as well as hot! Also, genre veterans Karen Black, Micheal J. Pollard, and Irwin Keyes brought creepiness to their insane roles! Tom Towles was also good in a good guy role! The late Dennis Fimple was hilarious as Grandpa Hugo! Newcomers Matthew McGrory and Robert Mukes were disturbing in their roles as Tiny and Rufus. As for the "victims," Chris Hardwick's Jerry was the only one I reasonably liked. The other three made lame efforts at acting, and need lessons from Marilyn Burns, and the cast of "The Hills Have Eyes"!! So it was hard to root for them, which was another twisted feat that Zombie accomplished. I actually rooted for the villains!!!!

Thirdly, the music: I loved the music!! It fit well with the atmosphere of the film! I own the soundtrack, and I loved it! My favorite song was the title theme, of course! I was expecting songs from Black Sabbath, The Stooges, Sex Pistols, Alice Cooper, Deep Purple, King Crimson, Blue Oyster Cult, and other "creepy" bands, but oh well. I was satisfied. I also loved the film's score.

Lastly, the atmosphere at the theater I was at: It was totally insane!!! People were screaming, jumping, laughing, walking out, and commenting loudly on how awesome it was!!! I was surprised there was such a packed audience, and it was barnone the best theater-going experience I had ever had!!!

Overall, this film is a creepy, intense, amazing, disturbing, and darkly funny attack on the senses!!! I definitely can't wait to see it again in the theater and to buy the DVD! Finally, a real horror movie with balls the size of Canada has hit the masses!!! This gives me great hope for the new wave of horror: the 70's throwback horror film!! There's plenty this year with "Irreversible," "Cabin Fever," "Wrong Turn," "Jeepers Creepers 2," "Highwayman," and the "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" remake!!! Out of Five Stars: FIVE STARS!!!!! See this movie!! All Rob Zombie fans, metal music fans, horror fans, or people who want to see a hardcore horror film should go out and see this movie!! If you like it, you're awesome!! If you don't, I guess you're not ready for hardcore horror.
92 out of 152 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Worth the wait
fred-28712 April 2003
Now, let's not get carried away here: is this the best horror flick ever? Not that I've seen. Does it sometimes trip over the fine line between scares and laughs? Sure. Will it remind people of certain other movies? Probably. But bottom line, is this movie a blast? Absolutely.

Writer/director Rob Zombie's music has always had a kind of comic book/horror movie sensibility which he translates into his screen project, a tribute to the pioneering take-no-prisoners classics of the 1970's like "The Hills Have Eyes" and "Texas Chainsaw Massacre," in fact a prominent role is played by Bill Moseley of "TCM II." We're informed at the outset that it's Halloween Eve 1977 in some one-horse town in an unspecified region of the country (which of course allows each actor to use any accent he or she likes, even within the same household). The chief attraction of this town seems to be a "horror museum" run by a Captain Spaulding (who bears no resemblance to Groucho Marx) played by veteran B-movie stalwart Sid Haig, whom I recall from way the hell back in "Busting" as the big menacing bald guy. He's still big and bald but not so much menacing as jovially deranged with undercurrents of menace (and lots of make-up). After a delightfully overwritten robbery sequence involving a couple of local yokels, four fresh-faced young people with one foot in the grave show up at the museum, setting in motion a series of unpleasant events.

No particular reason to dwell on the plot, especially if you've seen "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" and/or it's sequels. It's the tried-and-true damsels (and their boyfriends) in distress. (We even get a pack of cheerleaders thrown in as a bonus. Apparently people have been going missing in this town but back in the Seventies the term "serial killer" was waiting to be invented, so no squads of Feds and profilers have arrived.) For movies like this to work, the actors have to be on the same page in tone; aside from Haig and Moseley I barely knew anyone except Walt Goggins from TV's "The Shield" and of course Karen Black, whose performance is the only one that doesn't quite click. It's like she's playing a whack job where the others are just being whack jobs. (But if they ever wanted to remake "Whatever Happened to Baby Jane," there's your girl!) In terms of direction, Zombie takes a kind of kitchen-sink approach; some of it reminded me of Oliver Stone's "Natural Born Killers" and others of that ilk, with the eye-blink jumping to and from videotape, color variations, flashback and/or fantasy, etc. Some of the editing's a little too jumbled in the modern trend of trying to obscure what's happening, although not to the "Darkness Falls" degree of complete chaos. (I'm old-fashioned, I still think the best way to scare you with something in a movie is just train the camera on it so you can see it coming at you with no way to escape.) But Mr. Zombie has a nice feel for where to put the camera and how to move a scene along. Some of his sequences have a kind of sinister poetry to them, like when the two deputies go checking out the homestead from hell, the kind of setup we've seen in how many shlock items (I just saw one in a recent victim of the Mystery Science Theater 3000 crew) but in this case Zombie replaces all sound with a Slim Whitman tune (we recall how Whitman's voice was enough to slay big-brained Martians a while back) and holds the final crane shot an audaciously long time. Then once the coffin gets lowered into the water towards the end, "House" kicks into overdrive and from then on if there's nothing in the movie that spooks you, then maybe you're unspookable. I know a lot of that imagery will be lingering with me for a while, such as Fish Boy.....

Ordinarily I try to ignore a movie's external circumstances and go by what's on the screen in front of me but in this case it's pointless to pretend this movie has not been in limbo for three years due to it's supposedly violent content. I've read it had to be cut to make the R rating, although I really can't see how an NC-17 would've hurt it; people will go see it partly because it's by Rob Zombie and it's said to be gory and for those put off by such factors, an R rating won't make them less put off. "Hey, honey, it's an R now--forget the babysitter, let's bring the kids!" I've also read Zombie was satisfied with the released version. As released, there's really nothing there you haven't seen before in some form or other; some gore fans may even feel let down, but of course there's always the DVD. I think that had it been released as made three years ago without all the hype, with the chance to "sneak up on" us, it would've been even more effective. But maybe that's what the studio feared? Well, Mr. Movie Mogul, if you're going to commission the guy from White Zombie to do a horror flick, what exactly do you anticipate as a result? Please either defecate or get off the toilet....

Hard to nail down a favorite moment with this one, but it's hard to resist picking the youngsters getting abused in their bunny suits. It's visually striking, it's unusual, it's blackly funny and also somewhat unsettling the more you think about it. When we watch a horror flick, what exactly are we anticipating? Is the one-sided nature of the conflict (overwhelming villain, hapless or helpless victim) part of the appeal for us? Do we "identify with" the chaser or the chasee? Should we feel a little ashamed of ourselves afterwards? Or, as Captain Spaulding put it, are these just a bunch of jack-ass questions?

Great soundtrack, I may have to buy it....
60 out of 105 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Sick and twisted (not in a good way)
sleazydinosaur16 April 2003
Warning: Spoilers

I saw this movie yesterday, I don't really know much about Rob Zombie, I don't listen to his kind of music. I'm not a big splatter fan, but I did like Texas Chainsaw Massacre and other horror films, so I thought I would give this one a chance.

I actually liked it at first, it was kind of scary and bizarre enough, but it just became more and more sickening, the evil family in this movie was just absolutely disgusting, which wouldn't have been so bad, but they are almost treated as the heroes of the movie, I get the feeling that Rob Zombie doesn't find their behavior all that reprehensible.

One thing that happened was just to ridiculous, there were 5 local cheerleaders that went missing that keep getting mentioned in the movie, and when one is discovered in the trunk of a car, dead, with the words "trick or treat" carved into her, they send 2 cops to check things out. That place would have been crawling with cops, my suspension of disbelief doesn't go that far.

I don't mind downbeat endings, sometimes I find them preferable, but this ending just took the cake, I think mostly because it wasn't presented as a downbeat ending, again, I get the feeling that RZ views this as a happy ending. Also, if they were going to end it that way, couldn't at least one of the villains have gotten their comeuppance? I would have loved to see that evil, annoying (but very pretty), blond bimbo get whacked. But of course, I think the director saw them as the heroes of the movie.

I felt dirty after watching this movie.
23 out of 37 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
I'm allergic to this "movie".
nin844 June 2006
Is it possible that in my lifetime or for that matter in the tenure of mankind on this earth to see a film worse than this? This putrid piece of cellulose is terribly written,acted and edited. I remember Rob Zombie pimping this garbage and assuring us that it was so gruesome and gory that no movie studio would give it a go. I thought to myself,well finally somebody will scare the hell outta me like "The Exorcist" and "Hellraiser". Never been more wrong.Even with the obvious satirical overtones. This cinematic insult makes "Plan 9 From Outer Space" look like "Citizen Kane".I have the feeling that Mr.Zombie went on a "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" and "Top Secret" bender and came up with this pile of fecal matter. I understand Rob's fascination with gore,blood and the like,as I have seen him perform live with his band,and they were quite good,but for the love of God,Rob,stop making movies. There are absolutely no redeemable qualities to it. No scene stood out.No likable characters,just all annoying as hell. In short,if this movie was a meal,I'd spend an hour licking my dog's behind to get the bad taste out of my mouth.
23 out of 38 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Low-grade Dog Poop
filmman56-125 December 2007
This film does not merit further comment. But IMDb requires such. So... here we go. Hey Rob! Here's an interesting concept -- how about a story!? Have you noticed that the actors in the behind-the-scenes all praised Mr. Zombie? It is so embarrassing to observe actors gushing over how great their director is while (here is the key point) making the movie? Funny, but I don't recall seeing any of these lunkheads blitzing the press or talk shows doing the same after this crap was released to the general public and they were paid. Good grief, how far Karen Black has fallen. I see it took "Halloween" for Mr. Zombie to construct a film based upon a story and plot. Too bad, although not surprising, it was written by a real screenwriter and filmmaker named John Carpenter. Who in the world thought it was a good idea to throw money at this freak-show, Rob Zombie? Well, with all of that said, it remains a fact that if this bonehead can carve out a living making films like this, they by gosh... ANYONE CAN DO IT!!!
18 out of 29 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
hurtyouso11 April 2003
WOW, I cannot believe how terrible this film turned out to be. I mean borrowing ideas is one thing but completely remaking Texas Chainsaw Massacre? and badly to boot! There were no scares, no gore, no nothing, just a bunch of people running around screaming trying to be scary. What a bore! It's like remember those lame haunted house rides you used to go on as a kid where you would pay tickets and sit in a car and it would go around in the dark while lights and buzzers went off and maybe like a coffin would pop open or a door would shut really loud behind you or imagine watching 90 minutes of that.

Then throw in a girl giggling at the top of her lungs in the most annoying way possible EVERY 2 SECONDS FOR NO REASON, well, no reason other than maybe waking you from the coma/sleeping marathon the movie will undoubtably put you in, and you'll grasp how painfully annoying and awful this film is. Like seriously, aspirin bottles were getting passed around the theatre no joke. Pathetic attempt.
21 out of 35 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Don't make the same mistake I did *WARNING* SPOILERS!
goth_marilyn20 October 2003
Warning: Spoilers
All I heard about all year was how great this movie was, and how scary it was. I'm going to be very blunt and fair. It isn't any of those things. I was horrified, in a bad way. The acting was so bad I almost left the room, the gory violence was WAY too much, and it only seemed that way because it was quite fake. There was so many plot holes I lost count! This is probably the WORST movie I have ever seen in my entire life! As soon as it ended, I grabbed the disk from my DVD player, put it back in it's case and returned it for my money back (To my misfortune, we bought it) That's 2 hours I'll never get back, save your time and money and don't see it. If Rob Zombie is giving up his music career for this... I am truely sad... all in all 0/10
44 out of 81 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
House of 1000 Movies
LexiconDevil2 July 2007
If you have not seen a vast majority of horror movies then this movie will probably seem exciting and new. It is most assuredly not. Neither is it scary, creepy, or really entertaining.

With a plot pulled from Texas Chainsaw Massacre re-visioned so that it can star Rob Zombie's wife, this film was a disappointment at first and then became comically bad as it progressed. So bad that it is now used as a drinking game for several friends and I as to who can guess which scene in this movie is a direct replica of another movie.

Really it all boils down to there is nothing original or even an attempt at original in this film. Instead every camera angle recalls another movie from Evil Dead II to Se7en. This movie seems to be a pandering attempt at teenagers who simply desire some sort of shock and gore with an almost elitist feeling of trying to seem as a homage but just comes off as a cheap bootleg version. I fear for Halloween as from various sources I have read it seems it is heading to the same fate as being a knock-off of Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer.

Of course this is all my opinion. If you have not seen this movie, go ahead and watch it. It is only your time you will be losing and although I dislike it your opinion may be different.
45 out of 84 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
A Rob Zombie film.
Joseph P. Ulibas23 July 2005
House of 1,000 Corpses (2003) marks the directorial debut of Trash/Industrial Artist Musician Rob Zombie. This film was sitting on the shelf for a couple of years before Lion's Gate released it theatrically. A homage of sorts to Zombie's favorite genre, southern fried horror. Throw in Texas Chainsaw Massacre, add a little Eaten Alive and a dash of FunHouse and you'll get the flavor of this film.

Four twenty somethings are riding along the back southern roads when they come across a roadside carnival run by an eccentric clown named Captain Spaulding. He gives them a personnel tour of his fun house of horrors and tells them the tale of a local ghoul named Doctor Satan. Inspired by phantasmagorical tale of the good doctor, they decide to search for his grave. Captain Spaulding draws them a map and gives them directions to an area where the Doctor allegedly died. On the road, they meet a pretty blond hitch-hiker who also knows about the legend of Doctor Satan...and a little more! What happens next? You'll have to visit House of 1,000 Corpses!

A great film that does what it sets out to do. I'm so glad to see old school grind house horror is back in the mainstream. A sequel is out and it's even better! I have to strongly recommend this movie. You won't regret it!
44 out of 82 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
I like horror movies, but I don't really like this movie, is that OK?
smithwarrick16 May 2006
I have to ask because it seems that I'm not a true horror movie fan if I don't like this movie. Thats a load of crap. I have seen all the Nightmare on Elm Streets, Halloweens, Friday The 13ths, Hellraisers, Evil Deads, etc. etc. I like film directors like John Carpenter, Wes Craven, George A. Romero, Eli Roth. I've seen some obscure horror films too, like Blood Beach, The Company Of Wolves and even seen The Last House On the left (even though I didn't like it that much).

Problem I had with this film was it was too sadistic for its own good (the "bunny" killing scene especially made my blood turn cold), the villains antics grew tiresome, and THAT scene where the gun was held on the guy's head was JUST TOO LONG. No matter how stylish it was meant to be, it was just a director letting the scene run for too bloody long!

That said, I didn't totally dislike this movie. I could see that Rob Zombie has an obvious fondness for the horror movie and he set out to create a familiar story with his own sadistic and creative additions. The film was effective at making me wonder if the actors playing the villains were really acting or not, they did seem genuinely disturbed. However, the victims were kind of ho hum.

The production design of the film looked impressive too, with a lot of visual points of references to horror clichés.

Main problem was that I didn't really enjoy watching it, and I grew bored with it in its latter stages. It was shocking (in parts) just for being shocking and was just a film made by an amateur film maker (albeit an obviously enthusiastic one)
36 out of 66 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Can we get a hell yeah? I thought so...
Zombified_66025 July 2005
House of 1000 Corpses was well worth the wait. People were understandably a little sceptical of Rob Zombie's debut as a director, but knowing myself that the man is a scholar of the modern horror movie and a raving fanboy himself, I had high expectations of House. I was not disappointed. From the demented and hilarious opening sequence through to the surreal and terrifying ending, Zombie's first foray into direction and writing gives the world of cinema a much needed boot in the pants.

Is it gory? Well, yeah, it is, but it's never gory in an absolutely horrific fashion. What's such a pleasant surprise is that the movie, despite being a homage to the bleak and nihilistic 70s horror boom, is full of well-painted, full-bodied characters and rich dark humour. House of 1000 Corpses is an absolute blast to watch, never wallowing in darkness and only really becoming a terror-ride toward the very end, meaning it's a movie that while not for all the family could well put a smile on at least some of their faces.

The movies combination of gore-soaked serial-killer horror, Tim Burtonesque visuals and Evil Dead's sense of humour is a fresh turn from a genre currently stuck largely in bleak apartment buildings full of long-faced pouty heroines and even longer-faced pouty ghouls. Yeah it isn't that tense, but it's wickedly funny, wonderfully psychedelic and chock full of demented set-pieces. To be honest, I'd almost forgot what it was like to be entertained by horror before I watched this.

A lot of people love to dissect this movie and venerate it's influences, but the bottom line is unlike Kill Bill which relied on you being as nerdy as Tarantino to enjoy it, Zombie's movie is fun whether or not you've seen the movies he doffs his threadbare circus hat to. It's a warped, psychedelic delve into mania that'll make you laugh out loud and keep you on the edge of your seat. Watch it. Watch it ASAP.
60 out of 117 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Anyone Who Hated This Movie Should Not Be Watching Horror Films
sexytail10 July 2005
You like horror movies? Have you seen the original 1974 "Texas Chainsaw Massacre"? If not, do yourself a favor and go watch it, and then come back and treat yourself to Rob Zombies wonderful homage "House of 1000 Corpses". The film is all homage and humor, but it would be wrong to call it parody. The film is really lovingly done.

Now mind you, this isn't in the same class as movies like "Apocalypse Now" and "Citizen Kane". It is, however, still beautiful. The style is almost in overkill and is where most of the entertainment is derived from. The story is secondary. Like many a horror film, it's about a group of young people who go where they shouldn't and p*ss-off (I can't believe I had to censor this word) some creepy hicks. In this case they are looking for Doctor Satan, a local legend who might just be real. From there it follows the "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" formula pretty closely, but far better than any of that films sequels ever did. The film is very inventive and keeps from being very boring or very predictable. I was able to guess at a few things, but then I watch a lot of horror films.

A real stand out is the use of color. The photography is surprisingly good for a horror effort. Another big reason to watch is Sid Haig who acted in many 70s classic exploitation efforts. The guy has always been fun to watch and is really funny here.

After this I'm really looking forward to Zombies's "The Devil's Rejects"
81 out of 163 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Family values
ainsleytrout16 July 2005
This movie is about bad things that can happen if you are rude to strangers who are trying to be nice to you and fix your car for free. You can tell that the four teenagers are trouble. They think they're too old for Halloween, but then they act totally immature! They don't want to wear the nice home-made masks they get, they are getting a free dinner and hospitality, and all they care about is if their car's fixed yet. Then they complain about the really fun pageant that the Fireflies put on just for them! The girls are totally jealous of Baby, maybe because she's so much hotter than them, or because she tried on the dorky guy's glasses (he's all "Hey! Need those to see!" what a loser!) The one guy from 'Singled Out' screams and yells when Baby gives him this haircut, that he doesn't like. Even when Otis dresses up like Denise's dad to make her feel more at home, she acts totally ungrateful. Even though they all have really bad manners and are so rude to Mama and Baby, they still get to borrow the cutest-ever bunny suits and prance through the woods later on! You do get to see some nice moral values in how the Fireflies are pretty close, and they spend lots of quality time together as a family.
57 out of 113 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
retnuc20 May 2008
Being the type of person who comes to his conclusion after the discussion, not before, I turned to the person who suggested that I watch House of 1000 Corpses with a look of utter bemusement.

I thought I must have missed something. For all I saw was a totally pointless story about four characters being murdered. That's it folks. Nothing else. No reading between the lines, no moment of revelation, no clever twists. Four characters get murdered by Five other characters. End. No suspense, just violence. If you consider violence entertainment, there are numerous websites that will allow you to watch sadistic acts of violence for real. Watch one of the Iraqi hostages being slowly beheaded and then come back and tell me that graphic violence is cool.

Rob Zombie has put himself under the illusion that because he writes music about dark subjects this somehow qualifies him become a film director.

Utter dross.
19 out of 33 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Snore of 1000 Snores?
QueenofBean5 October 2003
I have always considered myself a fan of b-grade horror movies and cult-classics. However, this movie, I hope will never be considered either. Practically plotless, Zombie borrowed too many ideas from Texas Chainsaw massacre when scripting this musterpiece (meaning is that all he could come up with,) and lingered far too long on pointless camera shots in an attempt to capture an artistic sense of suspense(? is that what he was thinking??)

This film relied heavily on sex, foul language, and pointless gore to appeal to thirteen-year-old boy mentality. Who is Dr. Satan and what does that name have to do with this movie?-almost absolutely nothing. I have all but convinced myself that Rob Zombie just wanted to have a character in his movie named Dr. Satan because it was "cool" and kids would "dig" it. He should really stick to making boring music, at least in that area, he's somewhat talented, but then again, if all he was trying to accomplish was make money off of preteens and the rave generation looking for the next Rocky Horror play-along, well then, he's a bloody genius!
31 out of 58 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
vile and disgusting piece of trash
fAiNt7 October 2003
I took a chance on this movie expecting a campy B-style movie that my friends and I could laugh at and enjoy. What I got was a grotesque piece of cinema that should have never been made. This movie is not scary, it is revolting. Using the latest in latex, fake blood, and pretty much every make up technique at Hollywood's disposal this film is an hour and a half of mutilation- including gutting, scalping, disemboweling, disfigurement, and amputation. No plot, no character development, no creative filming, just blatant maiming of each of the characters one by one. I was never scared at any point in the movie, but it made me beyond sick to my stomach.

I am absolutely baffled at how this film was ever made. To give it a 1 out of 10 is generous. It deserves no praise, no points, and should never be watched. I was actually warned by a friend that this film wasn't bad in the sense of "so bad it's funny" but bad in the sense that it's trash. Rob Zombie can not write nor can he direct. He should stick to making music rather than trying to score shock value points on an unsuspecting audience. It sickens me that any self respecting actor, producer, or even crew member could read through this script and think, "hey, this looks like a project I'd take part in. Four twenty-somethings go cross country, stop at an old house (oh that's original), get captured immediately, and proceed to be tortured in the most disgusting fashions imaginable before eventually dying from, oh I dunno, shock, blood loss, lack of internal organs? Sure, I'll do it."

Absolute trash. Not worth renting, not worth downloading, hell, this isn't worth watching for payment.
18 out of 31 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Rob Zombie's Artistic piece of garbage
Robert W.25 June 2006
Warning: Spoilers
House of 1000 Corpses has Rob Zombie written all over it. This wasn't created with viewers in mind, or how the audience would like it but rather he created it (both writer, director and composer) as his own love child of his own twisted, demented ideas. I mean the story is pretty stereotypical ripping off ideas from Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and a dozen other horror films. The sadistic family from Grandpa, to Mama, to Baby is a fun idea but then Zombie mixes it with some sort of stylized flashback, acid trip that makes the entire film annoying and unwatchable. I did watch the whole thing but I also fast forwarded through most of it and watched it that way and found it far more amusing. Fortunately it's short, and I was surprised that it wasn't as gory as I expected. I heard many people rave about the gore and horrendous death scenes and I mean it was pretty typical horror. I've certainly seen far worse as of late with Hostile, The Saw series and so on.

Rainn Wilson, Chris Hardwick, Erin Daniels, and Jennifer Jostyn play the four unsuspecting young people driving across the country writing a book about out of the way tourist attractions when they come across Captain Spaulding's store. The four of them do a decent job of being the scream teens of the story, getting picked off one by one and leaving us to guess who is next and how they will die although I'm still not sure how come of them died it was done in such a confusing music video style. The four of them all do a relatively similar job with none of the standing out particularly. They all distinct personalities and do that part of it well. You don't really, truly get attached to any of them so you don't particularly care whether they die or not. Veteran actor Sid Haig plays one of my favorite characters in the film (yes I do have a favorite) Captain Spaulding. He's kind of the front man for the family because he actually runs a legitimate business without murdering every single person that walks through the door. He's funny, sarcastic, and sadistic all at once and he definitely adds some spice to the film. Bill Moseley plays Otis Driftwood, the most sadistic killer, and kind of leader of them all. He is appropriately deviant, and completely messed and his make-up and costume fits nicely. The idea of the character is pretty good and he does it well. Sheri Moon takes her performance over the top and does a great job as Baby Firefly. She looks completely normal, even sexy to the average guy but she as crazy and twisted as the rest of them always desperately wanting to kill something. Karen Black is Mother Firefly and she too is appropriately twisted and disturbing. Her and Baby Firefly play off each other well and are convincingly mother and daughter because of their completely twisted personalities. Matthew McGrory is the mute, deformed Tiny Firefly. Considering the character has nothing to say and little to actually do he does an alright job. I would hope that they would do more with a character they barely explain but they don't. He's just kind of there. Dennis Fimple, and Robert Allen Mukes play the final two members of the family but they also get the least screen time. Fimple as Grandpa Firefly has some funny lines but never does much of anything. One character entered the film and I thought it might change the entire premise and I was excited. He looks rough, tough as nails, ready to take on the Firefly family and that was Sheriff Drake Huston played by William Bassett. Brought in by one of the girl's fathers he immediately launches an investigation. Except he sends other people to do the investigating and we never see him again. He looked so great and tired and weathered and experienced...he was like Dr. Loomis of Halloween, ready to chase down these murderers and he was completely not used at all. What a disappointment!!

So the cast was a lot of potential to at the very least be a typical, fun little teenage slasher flick where the kids try to escape but it wasn't. The story was far more complex than it needed to be. It was all about an aging murderer who used to be a doctor in a mental facility and was trying to make a race of super humans by operating on mentally disturbed patients and now they all reside under ground, under the house hence "House of 1000 Corpses." DUMB!! Pointless, stupid, and by the time this all unravels you don't care in the least. Rob Zombie simply wanted to slap something together for himself with no thought to audiences or whether it was worthwhile and he wasted some good acting talent and even a decent idea for a good horror film by stylizing it with the ridiculous flashbacks, dream sequences and pointless cut ins done in different video styles like grainy, color drained, and so on. I will see the sequel "The Devil's Rejects" because I'm a horror fanatic and I want to see if he managed to improve it because it did better than the original one at the box office but even still... I suppose a lot people did enjoy it although with such a small budget it's not hard to do well in the theater. So if you like completely twisted, sadistic garbage like Zombie's music and films then you'll probably say I'm crazy but if you like a GOOD, WELL DONE, THOUGHT OUT horror film then you'll agree with me and say this one IS a corpse. 3/10
15 out of 25 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Generic And Not Very Scary
christian12321 May 2005
House of 1000 Corpses is a below average horror flick that's more disturbing then scary. When car problems force cross-country travelers Jerry, Denise, Mary and Bill to stop for a break, the foursome pull into the gas station-cum-museum on the night of October 30, 1977--All Hallows Eve. Though most of the group is wary of the stranger they find within, Bill is enthralled, for he is penning a book of offbeat roadside attractions. When Spaulding invites them to take in the Museum's premiere attraction--the Murder Ride--they embark into a world of darkness where "Life and death are meaningless and pain is God." But for these four travelers, this strange ride is just the beginning. The plot may not be original but it does sound like it has some potential. It didn't work out so well as the film isn't very good. I was expecting a good horror film that would be fun to watch but I didn't really get that. Rob Zombie directed and wrote the film and he apparently watched a lot of old horror films. The film just felt like a collection of old horror clichés. House of 1000 Corpses also gets really ridiculous at times and the film seems like it wants to achieve cult status, which it probably will. The acting was average with some performances being scary and others being terrible. The best was Bill Moseley and his performance was effective. The film is very disturbing as some scenes and images were defiantly very creepy. Its also very gory but that doesn't mean its scary. It also sometimes goes over the top on the gore. The running time is only 88 minutes long though it does get boring at times. There were a lot of horror flicks that were released in 2003 and this one is probably at the bottom of the list. There's a sequel coming out soon that I'll probably end up watching and hopefully they will improve. In the end, this is a predictable, unoriginal horror flick that's worth skipping. Rating 4.3/10, horror fans and everyone else should skip this film.
17 out of 29 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Zombie tries to be Oliver Stone redoing Texas Chainsaw Massacre
MisterWhiplash8 May 2003
And the results, from my perspective, are mixed. Many of the reviews on this site are glowing for the fun Zombie had with the gore, the violence, the chaos. As a throwback to the Texans Chainsaw movies, I think it works partly well, with not an ounce of sympathy thrown to either heroes or villains (after a while the term "villain" doesn't give these characters justice). But what made me dislike the picture was the staggering, constant use of editing in clips from other movies, other sounds, which after the first ten to fifteen minutes became a big distraction. The level of terror is recognized, yet Zombie thinks in his writing and directorial debut, that he has to do EVERYTHING all at once, over and over, to get the audiences attention; it's understandable why Universal thought his film would get an NC-17. For the most hardcore and die-hard fans of horror flicks and Rob Zombie fans, it's a treat I suppose, but for someone like I, who has seen many horror films and listened to Zombie's music, it's a little too much (the expectation levels from scene-to-scene are numbingly painful at times). C-
17 out of 29 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Disturbing, Different, Bizarre, Unique and Flat Out Scary! Hats Off To Rob Zombie!
movies2u14 August 2003
House Of 1000 Corpses (2003)

This movie was awesome! To tell you, I have never, ever seen anything on the big screen quite like this before. House of 1000 Corpses is a throwback to old school horror movies such as Texas Chainsaw Massacre, but succeeds much more. It is about four friends who are driving cross country and are returning home after a long trip. Late on Halloween eve, they stop by a sleazy gas station and next to it is "The Museum Of Monsters And Madmen", owned by Captain Spaulding (Sid Haig). Interested and curious, they check it out and end up riding a "murder ride" inside the museum, learning a bit more about a local legend, Dr. Satan. They then head for the road and pick up a strange hitchiker, Baby (Sheri Moon). Their car then breaks down and Baby takes them to her house, not far up the road. They then are pulled into a world of torture and violence, as they are captured by a family of insane lunatics who want them dead.

I have to say, congrats to Mr. Zombie! He has created a horror masterpiece that may become a historical landmark in film history such as others have done before. Zombie's directing debut is wonderful, and had some uniqe and unusual touches to make the film that much more bizarre and spooky, such as the split screen effect, I mean I haven't seen that used since the movie Carrie! The movie also had strange flashbacks and flashforwards. I recommend this movie to any horror fan! You won't be disappointed! I'm surprised it took 3 years to get a company to buy this movie! I can't believe Universal turned it down! I give House of 1000 Corpses a 10/10.
51 out of 102 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Probably the worst film ever made
jesherma8 September 2003
I don't believe that the words exist in the human language to describe the magnitude of how incredibly horrible this movie is. It is a tediously long and boring journey into nothingness. There is no character development and the characters make no sense what-so-ever. The acting was bad, and the special effects were horrible. There was nothing scary, only occasionally gross. The only thing even remotely decent about the movie (and I really had to dig to find anything good to say about this film) is the the blood usually look remotely real. There are numerous scenes that have nothing at all to do with the story and do nothing but take up even more time in this 90 total waste. All aspiring film directors should study this piece of garbage to see what not to do.

This is the number one film of all times only if you count from the bottom up.
34 out of 65 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Deeply Sick Feature Derivative of 70s Horror.
nycritic17 March 2005
Warning: Spoilers
In a nod to 70s movies like THE HILLS HAVE EYES and THE Texas CHAINSAW MASSACRE (and others), HOUSE OF 1000 CORPSES, while being the farthest away from even a decent slasher movie, does manage to weaken the stomach with its singularly twisted images of an insane family of cannibals who prey on a quartet of young twenty-somethings who happen to come within their reach and become fodder for their truly sick entertainment. Were it not for Karen Black, one wouldn't be sure these are actually actors playing their roles as if they were those barbaric, mentally defective sadistic killers, and while clearly Rob Zombie knows enough of movies to throw in a variety of references to Marx brothers movies as well as slasher classics, the very inhuman nature of the movie will be so forbidding that only hardcore lovers of this sort of movie will see it.
25 out of 46 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
An error has occured. Please try again.

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews