Heidi, a radio DJ, is sent a box containing a record -- a "gift from the Lords." The sounds within the grooves trigger flashbacks of her town's violent past. Is Heidi going mad, or are the Lords back to take revenge on Salem, Massachusetts?
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Heidi, a blond rock chick, DJs at a local radio station, and together with the two Hermans (Whitey and Munster) forms part of the "Big H Radio Team." A mysterious wooden box containing a vinyl record arrives for Heidi, a gift of the Lords. She assumes it's a rock band on a mission to spread their word. As Heidi and Whitey play the Lords' record, it starts to play backwards, and Heidi experiences a flashback to a past trauma. Later, Whitey plays the Lords' record, dubbing them the Lords of Salem, and to his surprise, the record plays normally and is a massive hit with his listeners. The arrival of another wooden box from the Lords presents the Big H team with free tickets, posters and records to host a gig in Salem. Soon, Heidi and her cohorts are far from the rock spectacle they're expecting. The original Lords of Salem are returning and they're out for blood. Written by
According to Sid Haig the actors where only given the parts of the script that featured their own scenes to prevent any leaks. See more »
On her web biography page, Heidi's name is spelled Adelheid Elizabeth Hawthroen instead of Hawthorne. See more »
Reverend Jonathan Hawthorne:
As I write these very words, the witch, Margaret Morgan, gathers with her coven of six deep within the woods surrounding our beloved Salem. The blasphemous music echoes in my mind, driving me to the point of insanity. I, Jonathan Hawthorne, swear before the eyes of God, on this this day in the year of our Lord 1696, to destroy all persons who choose to pledge allegiance to the demon Satan and his spectral army!
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The closing credits appear over gloomy images of Salem. See more »
Rocker & filmmaker Rob Zombie has fashioned here a different sort of horror film, one owing more to 70s European horror than the modern style. He dares to take his time telling this story, drenching his viewers in intense, overwhelmingly gloomy atmosphere. In fact, his movie functions better as a succession of impressive horror movie visuals than a full blown narrative. One doesn't watch it so much as experience it. It doesn't end as well as it begins, and may leave some viewers less than completely satisfied. Still, fans and detractors alike of Zombies' previous work may come away from this reasonably intrigued. If nothing else, it is a visually beautiful film.
Zombies' wife and repertory player Sheri Moon Zombie gets boosted to star status, doing a decent job as Heidi LaRoc, one third of a radio DJ team who receives a mysterious package in the mail, a vinyl album by some group that have dubbed themselves The Lords. Things proceed to get weirder and weirder after Heidi and her co-workers have played the record: she's subject to hallucinations and nightmares, all tied in to her fate and the sordid and violent past of her hometown, Salem, Massachusetts. As she becomes susceptible to strange forces, an occult author, Francis Matthias (Bruce Davison) does some investigating into the history of both Salem and Heidi herself.
Cinematographer Brandon Trost and production designer Jennifer Spence deserve a shout out for their stylish work, and Griffin Boice & John 5 supply an appropriately moody original score. Also, as one can expect from a Rob Zombie film, he dots the landscape with appearances by many familiar genre and cult actors, some of whom get some of their best roles in a while: Meg Foster (who's incredible) as the primary witch, Judy Geeson, Patricia Quinn, Ken Foree, Dee Wallace, Maria Conchita Alonso, Andrew Prine, Michael Berryman, Sid Haig, Flo Lawrence, and Barbara Crampton, with uncredited parts for Clint Howard, Camille Keaton, Udo Kier, Richard Lynch (in his final feature film) and Daniel Roebuck in the film-within-the-film.
Give Zombie credit where it's due: this is ambitious stuff that maintains a grim tone and sense of inevitability that goes for true ambiance and doesn't use more gore than it has to. All in all, it's got enough going for it to make it a damn sight more interesting than a lot of contemporary genre fare.
Seven out of 10.
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