"The Weekend Rent offers quick-hit suggestions of what to watch at home to get psyched for new releases in theaters, on Friday."
Whether you love or hate Rob Zombie's movies, you have to admire his unwavering commitment to an aesthetic, namely hillbilly horror and what one might call white trashploitation. The metal singer turned horror auteur is seemingly obsessed with dirty, long-haired, foul-mouthed rednecks with social-maladjustment issues that seem to populate all of his flicks. His latest film The Lords of Salem opens in limited release this week and is about an ancient coven of witches that return to Salem, Massachusetts once a mysterious record is played backwards at a radio station. As you can see from the picture above, Zombie hasn't deviated from his favorite look.
Zombie has four other films available on home video, so let's take a stroll down the hillbilly-horror highway and examine the roadkill. Warning: it ain't gonna be pretty.
In House of 1,000 Corpses, two young couples on a road trip go off looking for a local legend and instead discover a disturbingly functional family of complete psychopaths. If you're thinking Otis, the guy in this photo with the white makeup and cross on his head, looks pretty similar to the picture above from The Lords of Salem, well, you're onto something.
The Devil's Rejects is the sequel to House of 1,000 Corpses, and Baby, Captain Spaulding (seen here sans the clown makeup) and Otis aren't going down without a fight. Conveniently setting the movie in the '70s gives Zombie free license to explore the bloody, psycho-hippie look that permeates all of his films.
Zombie's remake of John Carpenter's Halloween really divided horror fans. On one hand, it's very violent and made Michael Myers scary again. But wasn't the original Halloween scarier because it was set in a believable small town where mass murders don't usually happen? Zombie's Haddonfield is populated by nothing except white trash… except for poor Dee Wallace, who, as Laurie Strode's mother, plays the only wholesome character in this cesspool version of the fictional Illinois town. Note that Michael Myers, pictured here with a pumpkin mask, basically looks like a bulkier Rob Zombie with a pumpkin mask.
If Halloween proved divisive, Halloween II really tested fans' patience with its bizarre hallucinatory sequences of white horses and an ethereal-looking Sheri Moon Zombie that seemed more Hellraiser or A Nightmare on Elm Street than Halloween. In this sequel, Michael Myers runs around without a mask for most of the movie (see below), and—big surprise—he looks like Rob Zombie on steroids (except for the bloody knife, which we're just going to give Zombie the benefit of the doubt about). It's almost like Zombie sees all of these characters as some extension of himself, which is the scariest thought of all.
All of the movies listed above are available on DVD and Blu-ray as well as VOD services.