The Devil's Rejects (2005)

Hell doesn't want them. Hell doesn't need them. Hell doesn't love them. This world rejects them.
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The Devil's Rejects - Go to Hell

The Devil's Rejects is Rob Zombie's follow up to House of 1000 Corpses and was nearly called House of 2000 Corpses. Once again this horror master has created a masterpiece which, although a sequel to Corpses, is a very different movie. The bad guys from the first movie are back, Baby Firefly (Sheri Moon Zombie), Otis B. Driftwood (Bill Moseley) and of course Captain Spaulding (Sid Haig), plus the plot revolves around Sheriff John Quincey Wydell getting revenge on the Firefly family for the murder of his brother (killed in the first movie), but there is a lot less fantasy and bizarreness. Dr. Satan's torture chamber and the strange characters that inhabit it are left firmly buried underground although the hideously burnt and disfigured Tiny (Matthew McGrory) still makes the occasional appearance.

The movie begins six months later with Officer Wydell and a posse of State Troopers instigating a shootout at the Firefly residence. In the ensuing battle the armour clad Baby and Otis escape through a secret tunnel, Rufus is killed and Mother Firefly is captured. Deciding that they need to keep moving, Baby plays the age old "pretending to be dead in the middle of the road" trick so Otis can stab the first Good Samaritan that stops to help, now mobile they call in the help of Captain Spaulding and take refuge in a Motel whilst the heat dies down. All of this and the start credits are barely over!

To pass the time whilst awaiting The Captain the fugitives decide to kidnap and torture "Banjo and Sullivan", a travelling Country and Western band. This is the point where the director starts to mess with your mind, we see that the escapees are truly emotionless, feelingless, sadistic killer-torturers but can't help feeling the notion of some kind of sense of inner beauty and fragility to the murderous duo. As they terrorise and brutally kill the five band members to cheerily pass the time there is noticeably a strong family bond between the pair, but we still know that what they are doing is maliciously evil.

Captain Spaulding, another heartless killer and a clown(!) arrives to get those pesky kids under control and the three seek refuge at the whorehouse owned by the clowns brother from another mother, the pimpingly hedonistic Charlie Altamont (played by horror movie superstar Ken Foree).

Meanwhile Wydell is gradually losing his grip on reality and hell bent on revenge on the Firefly family after his interrogation of Mother Firefly reveals that they killed his brother. He kills Mother and manages to track down the surviving Firefly's to Charlie Altamont's residence. He manages to get a one-on-one with Charlie and forcefully arranges that refugees will be inside the whorehouse at midnight, at which point Wydell's hired goons will capture them and allow him to avenge his brother.

Due to copious amounts of alcohol, sex, dope and narcotics the Firefly's are quite easy to capture and Wydell soon has them all nailed to chairs in their home so that he can drink whisky and staple victims photographs to their chests. When he's had his fill of torture and booze, Wydell allows Baby to escape so he can have a bit of a manhunt to finish the night and torches the murder house with the other rejects in it. Having captured Baby and ready to finish his beautifully planned events for the evening we are reminded that Tiny was never captured and he turns up to save the day.

Dubbed "The Devils Rejects" by the media there is nothing more for the twisted family to do apart from go out in a blaze of glory with the whole Sherriff's department.

There is nothing complex about the plot of The Devil's Rejects but the complexity comes with the deepness of the characters, the bad guys are the main (anti-)heroes of the whole fiasco and you reach the end of the movie with a strange sense of sympathy for them. Rob Zombie is a master of keeping you on the edge of your seat and Sheri Moon Zombie, Bill Moseley and Sid Haig really capture the essence of unfeeling monsters. This is a superb movie with the blood and brutality that you expect from a Rob Zombie movie and it is an ode to redneck horror movie such as The Hills Have Eyes and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre but given a fresh sprinkling of viciousness to keep the modern horror fan engrossed.
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