A few tweaks here and there, and these guys could be a force to be reckoned with.
1976, All Hallows’ Eve, a group of Carnival workers travelling are forced to stop their truck and attacked by a gang of masked strangers.
A few are brutally murdered, but the survivors are forced to participate in a sadistic game for 12 hours led by someone called Father Murder, and whoever survives will be released.
Soon they are attacked by sadistic killers dressed like clowns……..
Imagine The Running Man meets Escape From New York, by way of The Purge: Anarchy, and you have this utterly grimy, dirt filled, but wondrous new film by Rob Zombie.
I don’t know why, but I’ve always had a weak spot for his work, I thought his first two films were genre changing horror films. His Halloween remake and sequel were something else, and The Lords Of Salem was just a complete work of art.
And here, for me at least, this is just as good as his others. I know most people will completely disagree, but his filming style, gives it this dirty, organic feel to his films, and the editing offers a kind of nightmarish element to the narrative.
It starts with a monologue by uber clown hunter Doom-head, explaining to a pastor about his inevitable death. It reminded me slightly of a Tarantino monologue, sans the clever with and pop references.
This is one person mocking another about his imminent murder, and sets the tone for the rest of the film.
Like previous Zombie movies, the characters are wholly unlikable, which makes you sit on the fence a little regarding who lives and who dies. Mrs Zombie takes the lead as usual, and she does a good job as the heroine, but is over-shadowed my McDowell, who puts in one his most over the top performances in a long time.
Some may say he may be phoning it in, but as Father Murder, maybe he is getting fed up with his life as a murderous ringmaster, and needs a little bit of ice in his killings, hence this elaborate set-up (even though this appears that it’s been going on for a long time). But this is just my observation.
This could be a commentary on the rich ridding themselves of the poorer, less educated people who share their country, slightly digging Trump in the ribs, winking at him and saying ‘is this what you want Donald?’.
But whatever the message, it’s a grimy world Zombie has created, with some gorgeous cinematography thrown into the mix, and some pretty messed up characters.
Certainly not for everyone, but I loved every minute of it.