Thursday, October 17, 2013

Zombie Crap?: The Lords of Salem

It's always fun to meet up with old enemies.  For the record, Rob Zombie has made some films that people like.  I'm not one of those people, mind you, but I know that some people do like them.  I know people that love his films House of 1,000 Corpses and the Devil's Rejects.  I even know someone who *likes* the original Halloween and how it focuses so much on Michael Meyers as 'a person.'  I have yet to meet anyone that defends Halloween II, but that's besides the point.  Certain Austrians (who shall remain nameless) feel that Mr. Zombie works best when he does original projects.  I agree.  I don't think he's actually MADE one yet though is the thing.  For me, all of Zombie's work has been 'homages' to stuff from the 1970's and very little new has been brought to the table.  That has not changed (IMHO) with his latest film: The Lords of Salem.  Rob- I can call you 'Rob' right?-, you saw Rosemary's Baby.  Most people have, in fact.  The difference is that we didn't waste over $1 Million making it again, only with Witches.  He's even dipping into his own works for this film, as Ken Foree is playing a Radio D.J. right out of the 1970s in the same way he played a similar-looking guy in Halloween (2007).  Speaking of which, why isn't this film set in the 1970's?  Everyone dresses like it is, the film's main characters are popular Radio D.J.s and modern-technology plays very little role in the story.  Instead, it's a bunch of people doing all of this 'ironically' and it just distracted me.  The film has a lot of good people in it, so I'm willing to give it some leeway.  It also STARS Sherri-Moon Zombie, so I'm going to give it quite a bit less.  To see if Zombie can outdo Paul W.S. Anderson in 'wife-worship Cinema,' read on...
The film begins with footage of a bunch of ugly, old Witches dancing around by a fire.  If you like this footage, it (and scenes like it) make up approximately 1/4 of the film.

If you don't, well, tough shit.
This is our heroine: Sherri-Moon Zombie.  She's a Radio D.J. who is the descendant of the Preacher that killed the group in the past.

This shot sums my problem with her quite well.  Pointless dreads, hipster apartment (note the Melies Moon on the wall) and her lackadaisical attitude.  She's the worst kind of heroine: a complacent one.
Speaking of problems, how about 'wish fulfillment' by way of Casting?  This guy is the film's secondary lead and he looks...exactly like Rob Zombie.  Wow.

It's one thing to rip off an iconic film, but it's another to be proven to be so lazy that you actually write yourself into your own Screenplay!
Here's the gist of what The Lords of Salem is.  First, Sherri mopes about and wanders with no direction.
Next: something weird happens (be it random ghoul walking by, evil zombie doctors or this demon guy walking a goat).
Finally, the scene ends abruptly and nothing has actually happened.

Seriously, Zombie pulls the 'something weird happened...but it didn't' card about five times in 90 minutes.  What do you think of that, Bruce Davison?
Random cameo by Michael Berryman and Sid Haig.  The same scene was shot with Richard Lynch as the Pastor, but apparently his scenes couldn't be used and were re-shot.

Listen, I like both guys, but what does this add?  They have no lines, so why bother?  Why?  At least Lynch was supposed to have lines...
As the film nears its climax, the evil forces continue to work on Sherri-Moon and her faux hipster artwork.  Her response: mope, cry and do drugs.

Who said that there were no good roles for women these days?
I won't SPOIL the Ending for anyone, but don't expect any big surprises.  You've seen this movie before.  The End.
Look, I don't hate Rob Zombie.  The guy has made some good music and I do appreciate his love for classic cinema.  That said, his love for it tends to get in the way of a lot of his other efforts.  The Haunted World of El Superbeasto was chock full of Cameos by Horror Film Characters- including having the Wedding party featuring Dr. Phibes!-, but still wasn't good.  He made a character based on the robot from The Phantom Creeps...but he's a one (bad) joke character.  Hell, even the name Doctor Satan is from an old film serial.  I could go on and on with this, but you get the idea.  If you strip away all of what he's 'paid homage to' and/or ripped off, you wouldn't have much left.  He changed the Satanic Cult into a group of Witches.  Do we give out awards for that?  I don't.  Sorry if you liked this movie, but I just feel that it's as pointless as this shot below...
Next up, a 'glossy' Remake of a film that deserves a lot more praise than it gets.  With the original Star long-dead, can Frodo fill in for him?  Stay tuned...


  1. I fully understand why you and others don't like it. The Cinema Snob even called it "an embarrassing disaster"

    But for some reason, the whole pointlessness and senselessness of it blew me away. Like last year's Livid, nothing gets explained, stuff happens, things and characters come and go but it's all directed in such a fantastic way, and the atmosphere of the movie is simply compelling.

    Can't help it, I adore this shit. Weird Austrian, huh? ;)

    1. ...and yet you hate Quentin Dupiex films.

      I'd say that your logic confounds me, but I don't even see any. :-)

      In all seriousness, 'Lords' felt like the pretentious, non-film mess that you think 'Wrong' is. The only thing that really makes it a film for me is the fact that it is a blatant rip-off of 'Rosemary's Baby.'