On this date 14 years ago, Rob Zombie officially broke into the world of filmmaking with his debut feature House of 1000 Corpses landing in theaters. Much like Alice Cooper or KISS before him, the musician was just as well known for his heavy metal musical stylings as he was his stage show and horror-themes aesthetics.
In the years since his first feature, his notoriety for genre filmmaking has gained equals amounts of attention as his music, becoming an exciting voice in the world of horror filmmaking.
Through his films, Zombie has explored various themes and styles, with varying amounts of critical acclaim and success with fans. So far, all of his films have been of the horror variety, but he's long been rumored to be making a film about the "Broad Street Bullies," the nickname for Philadelphia Flyers in the '70s and their tough guy hockey playing.
Which of Zombie's films is your favorite? Check out our picks and let us know yours in the comments!
6) 31 (2016)
For the killer clowns rampaging on Halloween film 31, Zombie embraced his sillier side and focused on controversial dialogue and ridiculous characters, much to the fault of the narrative. Seemingly a direct response to fans that didn't like his more artistic film that preceded this one, Zombie went whole-hog on lunacy, resulting in a half-baked idea that focused on cheap gags more than anything of substance.prevnext
5) Halloween (2007)
Zombie's remake of the seminal slasher Halloween is tough to dissect as, at a conceptual level, the direction the film went was the antithesis of what made the original film so successful. What made Michael Myers so terrifying in the original film was the lack of backstory, so as soon as Zombie made the decision to explore the emotions of a young boy with a troubled family life, the filmmaker had sealed his own fate. Conceptual issues aside, the film also struggled with pacing issues and had difficulties finding the balance between slasher fun and psychological examination.prevnext
4) Halloween II (2009)
With his first Halloween film having taken care of much of the exposition, Halloween II plays out much more similarly to one of the countless other sequels that the original film spawned. Aided by cinematographer Brandon Trost, Zombie created one of the most gorgeous of the Halloween films that featured a relatively straightforward "Michael Myers kills people while trying to get from Point A to Point B" storyline.prevnext
3) House of 1000 Corpses (2003)
Zombie's first film wore its influences on its sleeve, paying homage to various grindhouse films while also showing off his signature style made famous in his music videos and stage shows. As with many filmmakers' first films, there are flaws to be found throughout, but his witty dialogue and disturbing sense of humor are on display in each and every scene, making a highly entertaining film. The film also gave us now-iconic characters like Captain Spaulding, Otis Driftwood, and Baby Firefly, played by Zombie regulars Sid Haig, Bill Moseley, and Sherri Moon Zombie.
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2) The Devil's Rejects (2005)
It's clear that Zombie learned quite a few things about filmmaking in his first outing, which is why he could take all of the things that worked about his previous film and kick it up a notch with its sequel, The Devil's Rejects. Exploring the gruesome adventures of Captain Spaulding, Otis, and Baby, Zombie got to flex his writing skills by having them say/do incredibly sadistic things, all while remaining relatively charismatic. The filmmaker also brought in genre icons like Ken Foree, Danny Trejo, and Michael Berryman to pay his respects to what they brought to the world of horror films.
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1) The Lords of Salem (2012)0comments
Easily the most polarizing and challenging of all of his films, Lords of Salem is also his biggest success. As far as narratives go, his previous films were much more direct, due in part to their focus on crazy killers. Once he incorporated supernatural elements into his story, he was able to get much more ambitious and incorporate bizarre and surreal imagery. This story of a radio DJ and her connection to the Salem witch trials is gorgeous, freaky, and his biggest achievement.prev