House of 1,000 Corpses DVD: Review By Evan "Mushy" Jacobs

  • OVERALL
    5.0
    SUPERB
  • Feature
  • Extras
  • Replay Value
THE FEATURE
Two young couples take a misguided tour onto the back roads of America in search of a local legend known as Dr. Satan. Lost and stranded, they set upon by a bizarre family of psychotics. Murder, cannibalism and satanic rituals are just a few of the 1000+ horrors that await.

What a great adventure into the unknown. Rob Zombie has really showed his knowledge of horror and filmaking with this release. I can't wait until his next creation unfolds.
THE EXTRAS
Character Hosted Menus

With various menus hosted by Capt. Spaulding, Otis and the lovely Baby I certainly hope more dvd makers take up this tact. To go into the menus, which so many people just use for simple motion graphics should tell any viewer that this dvd isn't screwing around. In fact, these menus are so well done they are like a little movie in themselves. I laughed, I was shocked but mostly I was scared about what Capt. Spaulding and Co. might do or say next!!

Director Commentary

Rob Zombie should make more films. Period. Anybody with his knowledge of the genre and his obvious pulse on what people want to see, should be given modest budgets and carte blanch with his ideas. I was reminded a bit of a young William Friedkin when he made THE EXORCIST. I don't know of any young director recently who has made a film that has been loved by so many people. Those that are into this movie are INTO it. They want to share it with others with an almost rabid-like desire. The thing is(and this is quite apparent in the commentary) Rob Zombie is in no way dumbing anything down. In fact, this is why HOUSE is such an interesting viewing experience because of it's sure handed direction. It is also telling that this film had such a hard time getting released. It is as if it came from another world. It is that fresh. It is certainly no more violent then other films that were released this year, yet for some reason UNIVERSAL got cold feet come release time. Well their loss is LIONS GATE'S gain, and gain they did because hopefully they will be a pipeline for Zombie's future moviemaking endeavors.

Featurette

A cool look at the making of the film. I am reticent to get very in-depth about the inner details of this dvd, only because I want the "virgin viewers" to be surprised when they watch the film for themselves. Let me just say that this Featurette fits very nicely with the overall theme and tone of the dvd. Like the JEEPERS CREEPERS dvd, I really feel that no stone was left unturned when the powers that be put this thing together. Which brings us too...

Audition and Rehearsal Footage

AWESOME!!!

Okay, faithful readers follow these directions...watch the movie, then IMMEDIATELY watch the audition and rehearsal footage. You almost won't believe that these are the same people. It is amazing what has been done to transform these human beings into this morbid evil doers. I found myself almost sickened with how different these people are in real life versus how they look in this early footage. I hope that I haven't built this stuff up too much but I fear that I might've.

Cast and Crew Interviews

I felt this footage may have been better suited added to the featurette. Why they were kept separate I have no idea. All in all, I found the cast and crews takes on the material to be insightful but sometimes a movie of this nature works better when then people involved aren't trying to explain everything.

Stills Gallery

Pictures and production stills taken from the movie are just more icing on an already iced cake. The characters, sets and overall look of the film are so visually interesting that they seem almost made for pictures of this nature. To not include them in this already crammed assortment would have been a noticeable absence. Where Rob Zombie got the idea for all the this stuff is anybody's idea, but it's still nice to see that in this day an age when everything is for sale, that passion and a love for the unknown can still be rewarded.
THE VIDEO
As I have stated, this film looks terrific. At 16x9 Widescreen (1.85:1) I am not sure what type of stock the film was shot on but what ever it was brought out all the colors and texture that I think Rob Zombie was going for. The transfer was crystal clear and as a result even the smallest of things(ie. colored lights in the background in many scenes) were represented well. Another dvd which had a similar look was Darren Doane's GODMONEY.
THE AUDIO
This dvd comes with a 2.0 Stereo music only track(makes sense since Rob Zombie is a musician) and 5.1 Dolby digital. I did not see this film in the theater but I can only imagine how it most played with a steady stream of disturbing images then the cavalcade of sound on top of it. I remember the trailer though and I recall being scared, bewildered and curious all at the same time.
THE FINAL WORD
Okay, I am not a WHITE ZOMBIE fan. I don't go for that type of music and this is why I didn't see the film in the theater. It just looked like a barrage of noise and images that would pound me out of the theater. After screening the movie however, it is exactly that...but this is why I think it is perfect for home video. Whether you are a Home Theater enthusiast or like me(deaf in one ear watching the film on a TV with one speaker) it hits you and it hits you hard.

A film like this needs to controlled. It needs to be rewound at times so you can answer the inevitable question of "Did they just do that?" Every time that answer is sure to a loud, resounding "Yes.". Nothing on this dvd is accidental. It comes at you how Rob Zombie allows it to and either you find yourself swept up or you get swept away. Just when you think the problems for these characters are over they are surely just beginning.

My favorite scene is the execution of one of the police officers. It is such a long, daring scene(and I usually don't go for camera tricks or things of that ilk) but that scene stays with you. The opening teaser scene with Capt. Spaulding comes out of the gate like a punch in the face. He may be the best of all the characters that have been created and I found myself asking anyone I watched the movie with, "Who is that guy?"

If you like horror movies or are a Rob Zombie fan...no matter what category you fall into this movie will surely have something for you. If you don't like horror movies and generally stay away from this type of fare, you should see this movie at least once. So you know what you are missing.

Rob Zombie has created an instant collectors item.

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