I'm not even about to get into the debate on the good or bad of Halloween. That is for another time and another place. I will get into the thought that I believe no other genera of film or literature addresses spirituality as does horror. For that reason I am doing a special feature for the month of October. I will be posting old reviews of horror films I have done in the past. I'll also be including YouTube clips that helps bring that feature home. On the debate regarding the appropriateness of Horror I would encourage you to visit some of the conversations and dialogs that have taken place at Hollywood Jesus. The links to some of those are featured at the conclusion of this blog. I am not saying the genera is for everyone, just that there can be value in it. I also believe reviews like this can also open up doors of discussion regarding movies like The Devil's Rejects.
I am actually looking forward to this, and knowing I have too many cookies in the oven as I type, I believe this is one I'll be able to stay on top of. So, enjoy the clips, check out the review, and have a great time at the movies.
First Installment is one of my favorites of all time, The Devil's Rejects. I wanted to especially do this one with my recent blog of Am I Going To Hell Because I Love Rob Zombie and Sky Lopez. That blog has had tremendous success and for anyone appreciating art in the pure sense of the word, especially related to film, you will see one of the reasons I have so much respect of Rob Zombie. Now I know there are some who disagree with me and that is okay. My wife disagrees with me on this one, in fact she refuses to watch the movie. I guess that is one of the things that helps drive the genius home, I have had to watch it at home alone, unlike I did when I first saw the movie in the theater.
How good is the movie? I'll tell you this, I purchased the DVD at midnight on the first day of release. It is that good. Oh Yea Rob, the desire for that interview has never ended. I appreciate your work man. Now, let's get on to business. Here are the clips and the review for The Devil's Rejects in this special reissue review.
The Devil's Rejects Trailer
Another Great YouTube Fan Video, A comedy clip I love
The Devil's Rejects
—About this Film
In 2003 I gave one of the most controversial reviews I have ever given when I reviewed Rob Zombie’s new release titled, House of 1,000 Corpses. Forget about the fact I didn't especially like the movie, although I did think there was some thought provoking components of it, the fact I would even view the movie by many was something I did that was worthy of confrontation and email that caused many to prejudge me. Well get ready for this; while I didn't especially like House of 1,000 Corpses, The Devil's Rejects is possibly the best movie I have seen all summer.
I have always, and still do appreciate Rob Zombie as an artistic genius, I expected that when going to see The Devil's Rejects, and I was not let down. What Rob Zombie has done is give us one of the best portrayals of evil ever presented on screen. I am reminded of an interview I did with author Ted Dekker regarding the painting of evil, and the need to paint evil with as dark a brush as possible. Zombie paints it with as much darkness as is humanly possible. What we have as a result is a splattering of blood and evil along the way that is so dark I personally found myself having difficulty watching what was portrayed before my very eyes on the screen.
If portraying evil for the sake of being evil was the intent, this movie would be a waste of time, but Zombie in his brilliance does something, as I have never seen done before. He presents a story and concept where we long for justice for those who are the incarnate of evil, and yet, we find ourselves eventually caring for those very individuals. We are also presented not only with the hypocrisy, but also the hope that is available through, Christianity. I must say now, and I hope Rob Zombie sees this review at some point, but if I could interview anyone on the planet, I would like to talk to Zombie about his views on various subjects. Why for example does one who has a "perceived" notion and hatred of Christianity, portray it in such a thought provoking and intelligent way? What are his views on spirituality? In addition, there would be many other questions. To be honest, this man and his genius intrigue me tremendously.
This story carries on after the story line of House of 1,000 Corpses. It is essentially the same characters and a continuation of that story. Where House of 1,000 Corpses lacked and showed little hope, this movie is thought provoking and brings to light several components to reflect upon whether one be a Christian or not. Rob Zombie shows his brilliance as a filmmaker in this film. He reminds me as a cross between Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriquez. I know that sounds like a crazy mix but his brilliance with edits, shocking story telling, and effect is along these lines. He also does a brilliant job at using such a horrifying story to give such a brilliant artistic presentation. From his various stylizations in this film, to the shocking character development I was enthralled.
The story reminds me of a great Christian author that I always loved, Flannery O'Connor, and specifically the story A Good Man is Hard to Find. What O'Connor accomplishes in that story is to present a side of evil that is truly evil. It has the mixture of what is good and evil and the conflict is developed for the reader. In this case, Zombie does the same for the viewer of the movie. I can’t help but think if Flannery O'Connor were still alive she would stand and applaud Zombie’s effort.
We see evil as truly being evil, but we also see the potential of good among those who are evil, and in a strange sort of way, we find ourselves caring for those that are evil. This is a lesson that many who present themselves as Christian could learn from. While we are often quick to judge the one we call Christ, Jesus Christ illustrated this perfectly, especially in his death on the cross and his own willingness to ask for forgiveness who were killing him.
I won't go into much detail because I don't like spoiler reviews, but I will say the contrast between the Devil's Rejects, and one "called by God" is brilliantly portrayed in this movie. It is while the one "called by God," is executing vengeance that we find ourselves caring for the ones who are in essence evil. This creates a great conflict within the viewer. What is our role, our responsibility to those we perceive as being evil? What is the role of the one called by God? When does one called by God, take the concept of vengeance into their own hands as opposed to leaving it in the hands of God? What is the difference between vengeance and justice? Zombie portrays this conflict amazingly well, especially from one who is perceived by many as being the "anti Christ" incarnate.
Zombie also portrays the conflict beautifully between those called by Christ, and those who are called by Satan. All through the movie, just as in House of 1,000 Corpses, we see Christianity in the background and playing a vital part to the story. Here even more so than in House of 1,000 Corpses. There is an example of Zombie's brilliance here in one incredible scene prior to a crucifixion scene. We see a quick edit to a image of Jesus Christ on a cross being crucified. The image is on the screen for several seconds intending to catch the attention of the audience member, and thus causing us to reflect about what it is that Zombie is trying to portray. That image, and what follows is still stuck in my head some two weeks after seeing the movie. I have had to reflect for that long on the movie and not since Jacob's Ladder and/or Mystic River have I reflected on a movie as much. For those who don’t know, those are two very respectable movies that have garnered the respect of many in the movie going audiences. Zombie's film, in my opinion needs to have that much respect because it is that good.
Now before being condemned to Hell by many who read this review, I must say that not in a long time have I had a movie open up doors for spiritual discussion as has this movie. My son in law attended the movie with me, and before we left the theater, I had two individuals, one being the manager of the theater come and talk to me about the movie. They asked specific questions about spiritual issues, and were intrigued by the fact that I was a pastor. One individual stated they were the child of a pastor and the movie had gotten them to think about spiritual things. They even stated their father had been talking to them about Alice Cooper and the journey he has been on. My son in law was amazed at how individuals had come up and asked me about the movie and at how easy it was to open up a discussion about good and evil, forgiveness, love and, even love and caring for individuals who are evil. Zombie paints a picture that makes that easy to do, and my hope is that individuals can look beyond the gore, nudity, language and more presented in this movie and be able to discuss the serious questions this movie addresses. If they can, they will engage themselves in one of the most significant spiritual discussions they could ever engage themselves in.
On a scale of 1-10, let the hate mail begin, while it may not be for everyone, you cannot deny the brilliance of this movie. I give a very enthusiastic perfect 10. By the way, Rob Zombie, I would still love to do that interview.
—About this Film
Kevin Miller has posted an amazing reflection on this film
Oh Yea, here is that contact information again.
The Virtual Pew
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Wichita, KS 67217
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To become a part of The Virtual Pew, visit, http://www.thevirtualpew.com/ To learn more about me visit http://www.furches.org/ I am also active on MySpace at: http://www.myspace.com/mikefurches I have another blog at http://blog.myspace.com/mikefurches To visit the Hollywood Jesus group at MySpace with membership by numerous Hollywood Jesus reviewers visit: http://groups.myspace.com/hollywoodjesus For a more in depth weekly study and conversation you an visit: http://virtualpewsermon.blogspot.com/ where you can access deeper teaching and ultimately videos for viewing and teaching.You can contact me via email at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org For those interested in knowing more about my own story, contact me for a free e-copy of my book The Keystone Kid in pre-edit form.