“Murder school is now in session!”
My friend has this theory about Rob Zombie. It goes like this: Rob saw Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 only once, a long time ago, and he can’t remember the name of the movie.
So every film he makes is his attempt to recreate this elusive movie sitting in the back of his head that he just can’t quite place. My friend thinks that one day, someone is going to show Rob Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 and he’s going to flip out like, “OH MY GOD! THAT’S THE MOVIE!”
And so it goes with his newest horror film, 31. Hike up the most barren mountain in the world and shout the name Rob Zombie and someone will ride up the mountain behind you with sled dogs just to give you their opinion on his entire filmography. He’s the most divisive horror filmmaker since Eli Roth.
And I don’t really understand why because he really does make pretty much the exact same movie over an over again. This should come as no surprise because he pretty much records the same album over and over again in his music. His style and form has deviated very little since White Zombie. So why do people expect him to re-invent the wheel every time he sets out to make a new horror movie? If you’ve seen three or more Rob Zombie movies, or if you’ve heard three or more Rob Zombie songs, you know what this guy is capable of! This is what he brings to the table. This is all he’s got!
Me? I dig this shit. I’m white trash through and through. I dig his dirty, foul mouthed characters. His 70s aesthetic. His groovy soundtracks. His wordy anti-hero villains. His wife’s sexy butt.
I don’t know what exactly it is people who criticize him expect him to make. This elusive Rob Zombie movie that horror fanboys think he has in him. He makes very violent movies that star his wife. That’s all he’s ever going to do. If you don’t like it, don’t watch it. The next one, whatever it ends up being, will just be another slight variation on his trailer park horror gimmick. If you’re not sold on it by now, you never will be.
So 31. Some filthy pothead carnies are driving their piece of shit trailer to the next town to rip off some more locals when they’re ambushed by a group of lunatics who lock them in a giant industrial complex and set a group of sadistic killers lose to murder them violently one by one for the entertainment of several dainty bourgeois in powdered wigs and flowing garments surrounded by hot naked girls and lots of candles.
Stand out moments include a naked girl with a plastic blow up doll sewn into her skin with wires set as a trap by a pair of maniacal clowns wielding chainsaws. And a couple called Sex Head and Death Head who look like they fell right out of a Ramstein music video.
But the shining performance of this movie is Richard Blake’s Doom Head. The film is book ended by psychotic rants performed with shocking earnestness by this dude. He’s every bit as iconic in his delivery of Zombie’s dialogue as any of the nasty exploitation horror icons Zombie loves to pay homage to in these films. Doom Head is the god of this world and I for one hope we get to see some more of him in this 31 universe in the future. Here’s one white trash weirdo’s vote for 32, sooner rather than later.