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House of 1000 Corpses (2003)

R | | Horror | 11 April 2003 (USA)
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Two young couples traveling across the backwoods of Texas searching for urban legends of murder end up as prisoners of a bizarre and sadistic backwater family of serial killers.

Director:

Rob Zombie

Writer:

Rob Zombie
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Popularity
1,943 ( 58)
4 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Sid Haig ... Captain Spaulding
William Bassett ... Sheriff Frank Huston (as William H. Bassett)
Karen Black ... Mother Firefly
Erin Daniels ... Denise Willis
Joe Dobbs III Joe Dobbs III ... Gerry Ober
Judith Drake ... Skunk Ape Wife
Dennis Fimple ... Grampa Hugo
Gregg Gibbs Gregg Gibbs ... Dr. Wolfenstein
Walton Goggins ... Steve Naish
Chris Hardwick ... Jerry Goldsmith
Ken Johnson Ken Johnson ... Skunk Ape Husband
Jennifer Jostyn ... Mary Knowles
Irwin Keyes ... Ravelli
Matthew McGrory ... Tiny Firefly
Jake McKinnon ... The Professor
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Storyline

In "House of 1000 Corpses", two young couples take a misguided tour onto the back roads of America in search of a local legend known as Dr. Satan. Lost and stranded, they are set upon by a bizarre family of psychotics. Murder, cannibalism and satanic rituals are just a few of the 1000+ horrors that await. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

There's no turning back! See more »

Genres:

Horror

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong sadistic violence/gore, sexuality and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

11 April 2003 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

1000 cuerpos See more »

Filming Locations:

California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$7,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,460,666, 13 April 2003, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$12,634,962, 6 July 2003

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$4,194,583
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

|

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | SDDS (uncredited)| DTS (uncredited)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Near the beginning of the film, Capt. Spaulding tells Bill that he took over the shop "right after The Duke nabbed Oscar," speaking about John Wayne winning the award. Later in the film, Spaulding tells Wydell, "Don't get all true grit on my ass." This is a reference to his previous comment, as True Grit (1969) was the first (and only) time Wayne ever won an Oscar for Best Actor in a Leading Role. See more »

Goofs

When the robber with the ski mask points his revolver at Captain Spaulding for the last time you hear the sound of the hammer being cocked, yet in subsequent shots the hammer is uncocked. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Announcer: Attention boils and ghouls, it's time for Dr. Wolfenstein's Creature Feature Show.
Dr. Wolfenstein: Ah! The doctor is in! Don't scream, don't move. Stay tuned for channel 68's Halloween Eve movie marathon! I'm your host, your ghost ghost, with the most, Dr. Wolfenstein! I will be with you until the end!
See more »

Crazy Credits

The end credits show a dedication to Dennis Fimple (Grampa Hugo) who passed away in 2002, the year before the movie was finally released. See more »

Connections

References The Last House on the Left (1972) See more »

Soundtracks

House Of 1000 Corpses
Lyrics by Rob Zombie
Music by Rob Zombie & Scott Humphrey
Performed by Rob Zombie
Courtesy of Geffen Records 2002
Published by Demonoid Deluxe Music/WB Music Corp. and Gimme Back My Publishing administered by Bug Music
See more »

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User Reviews

Worth the wait
12 April 2003 | by fred-287See all my reviews

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....


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