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Rob Zombie
Karen Black, Bill Moseley, Sid Haig
Rob Zombie

Two young couples traveling across the backwoods of Texas searching for urban legends of murder end up as prisoners of a bizarre and sadistic backwater family of serial killers.

Rated R.

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
English DTS-HD HR .1
English Dolby 5.1 EX
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 88 min.
Price: $14.99
Release Date: 9/17/2007

• Audio Commentary with Director Rob Zombie
• “ZombieTron” Game
• “Making of” Featurette
• “Behind the Scenes” Featurette
• “Tiny Fucked a Stump” Featurette
• “Casting” Featurettes
• “Rehearsals” Featurettes
• Interviews
• Previews


-LG OLED65C6P 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV
-Marantz SR7010 9.2 Channel Full 4K Ultra HD AV Surround Receiver
-Panasonic DMP-BDT220P Blu-Ray Player
-Chane A2.4 Speakers
-SVS SB12-NSD 12" 400-watt Sealed Box Subwoofer


House of 1000 Corpses [Blu-Ray] (2003)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (April 20, 2023)

When most musicians leap to the movie screen, they do so as actors. However, Rob Zombie took a different path.

Zombie began his career in the mid-1980s as the leader of a band called White Zombie. He also embarked on a solo career after White Zombie disintegrated in 1998.

2003 brought a new arena for Zombie’s talents: behind a film camera. That year saw Zombie as the director of a horror flick entitled House of 1000 Corpses, the first of his 10 flicks through 2022.

Set on October 30, 1977, four pals travel around the US in an effort to document offbeat attractions. Along the way, they arrive at “Captain Spaulding's Museum of Monsters and Madmen”.

In this spot, they learn the legend of “Doctor Satan”, a deranged serial killer. When they attempt to visit the spot where the madman got hanged, they meet local weirdos with their own insidious plans.

While House became Zombie’s cinematic debut, it still came with some expectations, mainly because of his built-in fan base. Also, Zombie entered his movie career as a student of “grindhouse” horror so he felt like a good match for this neo-drive-in fare.

Indeed, Zombie arrived behind the camera with good intentions. He aimed to revitalize the genre and get back to its gory glory after horror leaned toward “softer” teen-oriented flicks in the late 90s.

Unfortunately, he flopped. Zombie’s flick contains plenty of violence and nastiness but little in the way of true suspense, tension, or terror.

Zombie actually completed House in 2000 but it on the shelf for a few years. Apparently Universal – the studio that funded the flick – didn’t like the “drive-in nasty” product Zombie delivered and refused to release it.

Ultimately it ended up at Lions Gate. It didn’t find much of an audience, but to be fair, Zombie never intended to create something with mainstream appeal.

Despite all of its faults, Zombie does credibly pay homage to low-budget 1970s forebears like Texas Chain Saw Massacre and Last House on the Left. At the end of the day, Zombie made it for hardcore fans of B-grade horror flicks who will get a kick out of House regardless of what the majority of the movie-going public thinks.

That said, it still feels very hard to recommend this film to others than the aforementioned genre fans. Fans of White Zombie and its leader anticipated this film for over a decade.

With Zombie’s horror-themed videos and obscure audio clips mixed into his songs, it seemed that a full-length feature would be a natural fit. Unfortunately, it wasn’t and Zombie showed little ability to flesh out his genre interests into a coherent and compelling film.

A rambling mix of graphic violence and campy silliness, House fails to find a groove. Fans of cheap grindhouse fare might enjoy it as an homage, but the movie simply lacks drive or impact.

The Disc Grades: Picture C/ Audio B/ Bonus B-

House of 1000 Corpses appears in an aspect ratio of 1.85:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. A fairly early Blu-ray, this one doesn’t hold up well.

Note that House came with lots of intentionally degraded visuals. I didn’t consider those for my overall rating of the image.

Unfortunately, the material that should look “normal” came with its own issues as well. The transfer used a fair amount of noise reduction, and that reduced fine detail.

Apparently to compensate, the presentation then pumped up artificial sharpness, and that led to an unnatural vibe as well as edge haloes. The movie delivered a hyper sense of definition that felt overcranked.

No issues with jagged edges or moiré effects occurred. Print flaws manifested through the film, as I saw sporadic specks and marks.

The movie’s palette opted for broad colors, and these worked pretty well. Though they sometimes veered toward a tendency to feel too heavy, they usually seemed pretty vivid and full.

Blacks looked reasonably deep and dense, while shadows seemed smooth and clear. Despite some positives, the image ended up with too many flaws.

Unsurprisingly, the movie’s DTS-HD HR 7.1 tended toward a hyperactive soundscape – well, at times, as this domain varied. The film threw out lots of jolts but it didn’t maintain much else.

This meant we got big, broad elements but not a lot of general atmosphere. It felt like the sound designers focused on in-your-face impact and forgot to offer much else to give the track a natural feel.

In any case, the mix did kick to life pretty well – at least given the over the top goals of the film. While the endless series of jolts got tedious, they suited the flick’s aims.

Audio quality worked fine, with speech that appeared natural and concise. Music showed good range and force.

Effects came across as accurate and full, with positive low end. I would’ve preferred a better-integrated soundscape, but the track still worked reasonably well.

This Blu-ray comes with a mix of extras, and we begin with an audio commentary from writer/director Rob Zombie. He offers a running, screen-specific look at story/characters, cast and performances, sets and locations, editing and cut scenes, various effects, costumes, hair and makeup, music, and connected domains.

Despite a sporadic tendency to simply narrate the movie, Zombie makes this a good chat. He proves willing to criticize various elements, and his snarky remarks during the end credits amuse.

I wish he’d delved more into the issues with Universal he experienced, as he touches on those a little but not in detail. Granted, he might’ve held back to not burn bridges for future projects. In any case, Zombie delivers a satisfying commentary.

A game called ZombieTron works based solely on the use of directional buttons, so it remains intensely simple – and devoid of fun. It becomes clunky and awkward.

Video pieces follow, and Making of runs four minutes, 15 seconds. It brings notes from Zombie and actors Rainn Wilson, Karen Black, Bill Moseley, Chris Hardwick, Sid Haig, Sheri Moon, Jennifer Jostyn, and Erin Daniels.

We find out what attracted various participants to the film as well as characters and performances. Don’t expect anything more than promotional fluff.

Behind the Scenes goes for two minutes, 35 seconds and simply features shots from the set. The clips seem mildly interesting at best, as the reel doesn’t last long enough to give us much.

With Tiny Fucked a Stump, we locate a three minute, eight second reel with actors Moon, Moseley and Haig in character as they tell jokes all with the same punchline. Someone might enjoy this, but not me.

Casting spans two minutes, seven seconds and shows an audition from Dennis Fimple. It offers material of minor interest.

Next comes Rehearsals, where we see three segments: “Bill Moseley and Jennifer Jostyn” (3:04), “Rainn Wilson, Chris Hardwick and Erin Daniels (2:15) and “Chris Hardwick and Eric Daniels” (0:56).

As expected, we see the actors work through their scenes. These pieces become reasonably fun to see.

Under Interviews, we get chats with “Bill Moseley” (4:30), “Sid Moon” (5:43), “Sheri Moon” (1:33) and “Wayne Toth” (3:33). The actors deliver rudiments about their roles, experiences, and thoughts about horror.

Makeup designer Toth gets into his work on the film. These become moderately engaging clips.

The disc opens with ads for The Punisher (2004), The Condemned, The Descent and Saw III.

Via House of 1000 Corpses, Rob Zombie launched his career as a feature film director with a thud. Little more than a random mix of 70s horror throwbacks and campy oddness, the movie becomes tedious and obnoxious. The Blu-ray comes with mediocre visuals, decent audio and a mix of bonus materials. Though the movie enjoys its fans, I can’t find much positive about it.

To rate this film, visit the prior review of HOUSE OF 1000 CORPSES

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