Welcome Horror & Rob Zombie fans! Zombie is one of Old Man Feind’s favorites both in music and now movies so it’s high time I reviewed one. Everyone seems to hate this one so let me walk you through why you’re wrong!
A quick glance to Rotten Tomatoes confirmed pretty much what I already knew, for the most part people didn’t like this movie with a 45% positive critic rating and a 30% audience rating. While I love this movie I get why fans pan on it but ya wrong! While House of 1000 Corpses and The Devil’s Rejects will probably always be my favorite Zombie films because they’re just fucking awesome The Lords of Salem is right up there in the second slot for me (I count House’ and ‘Rejects as one film really) but other than Halloween 2, which I didn’t like all that much, I love everything that Zombie has done so far. Zombie is only a touch older than me so maybe it’s just from growing up in the same era that helps me get what he’s trying to do at times or perhaps people just need to take the stick out of their ass and admit he makes pretty damn good films (and music!). I could go on about Zombie all day but back to the task at hand, why you should cut The Lords of Salem some fucking slack…
If you’re one of those who hated this movie (which is apparently 70% of you) perhaps it’s because you were expecting The Devil’s Rejects 2 which is what a lot of comments I’ve seen seem to suggest. The Lords of Salem is nothing like any of the other films Zombie has done and that was his intent. As much as I love The Devil’s Rejects I don’t need him doing the same thing over and over ad nauseum which is what people always seem to complain about but then when an artist does something a little different you give them shit for doing something different which is what you were asking them to do! The stupidity boggles the fucking mind! If you really want to appreciate The Lords of Salem I suggest watching The Shining first. What Zombie was going for was his version of a Stanley Kubrick film and he succeeded better than most people give him credit for. The wide shots Kubrick was known for are on display in TLoS by the truck load as well as the overall air of ominousness on display in The Shining. You know from the very beginning of The Shining (even if you never read the Stephen King book) that something bad is going to happen as we watch Jack Nicholson slowly descend into madness and that same foreboding is utilized by Zombie in TLoS though our main character here only thinks she’s going crazy.
I’ll try not to completely spoil this for those who have yet to see it and hopefully you’ll take my advice and watch The Shining first to set the mood (honestly, you’ll appreciate it much more). I also have to give kudos to Zombie on the screenplay since I personally think it’s well written but hey, that’s just me. The Lords of Salem is all about opening the gates of hell for Satan to rule on Earth. Come on, how can you not love that!?! The Lords of Salem is also a revenge story of the Salem witches getting their revenge on the town that cast them out, imprisoned them and in some cases killed them, a revenge over 300 hundred years in the making. It’s definitely a dark period in American history that most would like to forget but if we’re being honest it still happens it’s just not accusations of witchcraft these days rather terrorists are the 21st century witches. But I’m off track once again.
Honestly I love this movie so I don’t want to spoil too much for anyone that has yet to see it. People seem to love bashing just about anything Zombie does and I don’t really understand why as personally I think of him as one of the best filmmakers in horror today. I know purists hate remakes but his remake of Halloween was awesome and not a pure copycat of the original which is what I want out of a remake. I saw the original so if that’s what I want to see I’ll just watch that and… again I’m off track. From a directing standpoint I do think The Lords of Salem is perhaps Zombie’s best work so far. He does a fantastic job of capturing the Kubrick style in TLoS which is something that should be envied not panned as few who try are actually able to pull this off. He is also very adept at pulling good performances out of his actors. TLoS could have easily been a terrible cheesy film but through his camera work and the performances it never really slips off the rails something that can’t be said for that many directors.
Rather than just spoiling this one I’ll wrap it up since either I’ve convinced you to give TLoS another chance or a first chance. If you like creepy conniving witches, great haunting atmosphere and, of course, Satan you should love The Lords of Salem as much as I do. Sadly, since at best you could say it had mixed reviews I doubt Zombie will stretch his artistic wings in such a manner again, at least not any time soon. His latest film 31 is set to begin shooting soon which he has said will have more of a Devil’s Rejects feel to it. No complaints from me since I love that damn movie but I do like to see artists stretch their talent trying new things. I was really looking forward to what Zombie had planned to do next in Broadstreet Bullies which was to be about the Philadelphia Flyers but it seems at best that project has been put on hold. I was looking forward to seeing Zombie step outside the horror world to see what he could do though I’m not complaining about him staying with horror either. Some critics claimed The Lords of Salem didn’t have enough “scares” which is something I find stupid. Maybe it’s just me but I haven’t been “scared” by any movie since I was about 12. I just enjoy watching terrible things happen. Jaded? Fuck yeah, but what else is supposed to happen after over 30 years watching horror movies. The Lords of Salem is supposed to be creepy, haunting and ominous and it succeeds at all of those. If you want cheap jump scares watch some crap like Paranormal Activity or something, as a pure horror fan it doesn’t get much better than The Lords of Salem. This one won’t satisfy the gorehounds but it is an excellent horror flick. I’ve watched this movie several times so The Scribbler Clock Test was never in doubt and as you can easily tell I think The Lords of Salem is…
Since I’m a fan of Zombie’s music for over 20 years now here’s the theme song he put out prior to the film being made which doesn’t appear in the film at all from 2006's Educated Horses.
Don’t forget to stop by S Mart for your awesome
What do you think Scribbler fans? Love it, hate it? Did I do enough to convince you to give it another chance? Let me know in the comments below.
Scribbler Movie Reviews
Feind loves watching movies of all kinds so if we watch it, we tell whether you should as well. I'll share mostly horror but I also enjoy everything from big Blockbusters to micro-budget Independent films.
Enjoy all we do here? Help us bring you even more with a small donation today.