The Devil's Rejects (2005)
By: J.R. McNamara on June 1, 2006  |  Comments  |  Bookmark and Share
DVD
Lionsgate (USA). Region 1, NTSC. 1.85:1 (16:9 enhanced). English DD 5.1, English DTS 6.1. 109 Minutes
The Movie
Credits
Director: Rob Zombie
Starring: Sid Haig, Bill Moseley, Sheri Moon, William Forsythe, Ken Foree, Matthew McGrory, Leslie Easterbrook, Geoffrey Lewis, Priscilla Barnes, Dave Sheridan, Kate Norby, Lew Temple, Danny Trejo, Michael Berryman
Screenplay: Rob Zombie
Country: USA
Imagine if you will, that you have an opportunity to make a movie where you have entire creative control, where you can put anything you like in it. What would you do? Would you carefully pace yourself, or would you fill it full of as much stuff as you wanted to get it out of your system, after all, you may never get to make another movie again. Rob Zombie, with his debut feature did just that. He pushed the film with as much creative influences as he could. House of 1000 Corpses, the preceding movie to this, was filled with homages, influences, and plain out rip offs. Did it work? Oh yeah, Zombie created a Texas Chainsaw wannabe filled with some amazingly imaginative characters who were both villainous and cartoon-ish at the same time. In this film, The Devil's Rejects, Zombie has been able to strip the comedic elements of Otis, Baby and Captain Spaulding back, revealing three fearsome desperados who will stop at nothing to get what they want. As Zombie got the opportunity for a sophomore effort, he could change the nutso pace of the first film, creating a gumbo styled mix of exploitation, western, horror and Death Wish styled action.

The Devil's Rejects takes place 8 months after the events of House of 1000 Corpses and not much has changed in the Firefly household. Mother Firefly (this time played by Leslie Easterbrook, and not Karen Black), and her children Otis Driftwood (Bill Mosely), Tiny (Mathew McGrory), R.J. (Tyler Mane) and Baby (Sheri Moon Zombie), along with her father, local businessman Captain Spaulding (Sid Haig) have been up to their usual tricks…murder, rape, torture and general mayhem. Unfortunately for them, a cop they previously murdered, George Wydell (in House of 1000 Corpses) has a brother, Sheriff John Quincey Wydell (William Forsythe) who has sworn revenge. After a not quite successful raid on the Firefly house, Wydell kills RJ and captures Mother Firefly, while Otis, Baby and Spaulding go on the lam. Spaulding, along with the other two, choose to take refuge at his brother, Charlie Altamont's (Ken Foree) whorehouse, but not without causing more chaos on the way, including terrorizing country and western singing group, Banjo (Lew Temple) and Sullivan (Geoffrey Lewis) and their wives (Pricilla Barnes and Kate Norby). Realizing he shall need means above the law to catch these 'Devil's Rejects', Wydell hires bounty hunters Rondo (Danny Trejo) and Billy Ray Snapper (Diamond Dallas Page). Needless to say, much blood shall be shed…

This film has so many cameos and horror dudes in minor parts it is not funny: Steve Railsback (Turkey Shoot), Michael Berryman (The Hills Have Eyes), Kane Hodder (Jason Vorhees), Mary Woronov (Eating Raoul), Debbie Van Valkenburgh (The Warriors) and many others (including E.G. Bailey, maybe best known as the voice of Buttercup from Powerpuff Girls and Tommy from Rugrats). Also, Zombie had full intentions of doing live gore effects using seventies styled methods, but due to time restraints, had to use digital effects for most of the blood scenes.

The way this film affects the viewer is unusual. At times it gives you those same sick in the stomach feelings that films like Last House on the Left leave you with, but you are rooting for the 'bad guys' so much, or looking for the homages and cameos that it passes quickly and feels more like a one and a half hour carnival ride.
Video
The image of this film is of a various quality, but it is deliberate, to give it a 'seventies vibe'…and succeeds! The disc looks great, and does have a cool seventies vibe, If there are any imperfections on this disc, they are there on purpose!
Audio
You actually have two choices of soundtrack on this disc: 6.1 DTS ES or 5.1 Dolby EX Digital. The 5.1 on this Region 1 disc was the one reviewed, and it is spectacular. Gunshots cut through you, engines roar and the Texas heat seems to steam from your speakers as the sounds of Texas drift into your lounge room. This film has a great use of the surround sound experience…what's that, you have the Region 4 and not the Region 1, oh well; enjoy your substandard stereo experience then.
Extra Features
There are two discs on the Region 1 version, while the region 4 only has one, another reason to get the 1 and not the 4.

Disc 1.

There are two commentaries on this disc; the first is by Rob Zombie himself, and covers all the technical aspects and creative ideas behind the film. Rob has a laid back style that feels more like you are sitting down and having a beer with him, but remains informative, the second is by Sid Haig, Bill Moseley and Sheri Moon Zombie, which is more irreverent than Zombie's, but never sinks into too much self appreciation, as some commentaries featuring actors do. There are however, lots of interesting anecdotes from all their careers. These commentaries are NOT on the Region 4 version.

Blooper Reel (5 minutes 23 seconds) is just the usual array of tomfoolery and buffoonery that these types of extras contain.

There are a few extended sequences from the film, which include 'The Morris Green Show' (13 minutes 18 seconds), Mary the Monkey Girl Commercial (1 minute 10 seconds), an unused Captain Spaulding Christmas Commercial (1 minute 9 seconds) and Cheerleader Missing – The Otis Home Video (which is also subtitled'Valerie Green…was there originally supposed to be a Morris Green related victim?) (57 seconds).

There is a video from Buck Owens of his song 'Satan's Got To Get Along Without Me' (1 minute 52 seconds)

There are 13 minutes and 18 seconds worth of deleted scenes, which include highlights such as Doctor Satan (before Zombie decided to remove him from the storyline), Rosario Dawson in a Nurses outfit (hubba hubba) and others.

Mathew McGrory Tribute (2 minutes 8 seconds) is a short look at the now deceased actor Mathew McGrory, who played Tiny in this film.

There is a stills gallery of 23 photos.

Traliers and TV Spots run for 3 minutes and 4 seconds.

Soundtrack (32 seconds) is an advertisement for the CD soundtrack of this film.

Disc 2 – 30 Days in Hell: The Making of The Devil's Rejects (2 hours 24 minutes). Now don't just think the soundtrack in a reason to get this 2 disc Region 1 special, this second disc has possibly the best making of feature ever made for a DVD. Covering pre-production and going through the shoot day by day to give you a fairly good idea of the people, problems and fun that can be had making a movie. This extra disc makes this region 1 import an essential buy.
The Verdict
Sure it is a tribute to every sleazy exploitation and horror film made from 1970 to 1979, but damn it, it is a good film, with solid if not occasionally over the top performances by genre icons and some great extras which makes it worth whatever it costs to get this region 1 version. If this isn't in your collection, GET IT NOW!!!
Movie Score
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