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31 Films # 29: House of 1000 Corpses Review

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My first exposure to this film, was at an intermission of a Rob Zombie concert, where they debuted the trailer. This was in 2001. This film was in development hell for a couple years, when Universal Studios backed out over disagreements over content.

The story is pretty simple, a group of teenagers, On Hallowe’en night, decide to embark on a journey to discover the legend of Dr Satan. And end up finding more than they bargain for, after being shown the way but Captain Spaulding, a haunted ride, gas station and fried chicken store operator. They end up being trapped in the middle of nowhere after their car breaks down, and end up in the middle of some Hallowe’en festivities.

I love this film. I have collected about as much swag from it that I can get, and loved the sequel even more. It is fun, well paced, violent and beautifully over the top in parts. It also gave Sid Haig an iconic role, Captain Spaulding, one of my favorite fictional characters ever, as well as the equally awesome Otis B. Driftwood, again Bill Moseley. I only wonder what would have came of this had the budget not been clawed back, this film has the grittyness of a late 70s exploitation, with some 1980s horror sensebilties. It also draws a fair bit of inspiration from another favorite of mine, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2.

PROS: Great characters and cast, nicely violent, a good dark sense of humor, great atmosphere and another great Hallowe’en film.

CONS: The doctor Satan sub plot did little for me, but took nothing away from the film.


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