‘Dare you enter…’
House of 1000 Corpses is a 2000 (released 2003) American exploitation horror film written, co-scored and directed by Rob Zombie, and starring Chris Hardwick, Rainn Wilson, Sid Haig, Bill Moseley, Sheri Moon Zombie and Karen Black. Zombie produced a sequel in 2005, The Devil’s Rejects.
The plot focuses on two couples who are held hostage by a sadistic backwoods family on Halloween. Zombie’s directorial debut, the film drew from a multitude of influences, particularly American horror films of the 1970s, including The Texas Chain Saw Massacre and The Hills Have Eyes.
Filmed in 2000, the film was originally purchased by Universal Pictures, and a large portion of it was filmed on the Universal Studios backlots, but it was ultimately shelved by the company in fear that it would receive an NC-17 rating. The rights to the film were eventually re-purchased by Zombie, who then sold the film to Lions Gate Entertainment. It was released theatrically on April 11, 2003.
On October 30, 1977, Jerry Goldsmith, Bill Hudley, Mary Knowles and Denise Willis are on the road in hopes of writing a book on offbeat roadside attractions. When the four meet Captain Spaulding, the owner of a gas station and “The Museum of Monsters & Madmen”, they learn the local legend of Dr. Satan. As they take off in search of the tree from which Dr. Satan was hanged, they pick up a young hitchhiker named Baby, who claims to live only a few miles away…
Frank Scheck of The Hollywood Reporter wrote that the film ‘lives up to the spirit but not the quality of its inspirations” and is ultimately a “cheesy and ultra-gory exploitation horror flick” and “strangely devoid of thrills, shocks or horror.’
‘ …slaps together just the right amount of creepy atmosphere, nervous laughter, cheap scares, fun rides and blood and guts to satisfy any major fan of the macabre.’ Berge Garabedian, JoBlo.com
‘The acting from both the teenagers and the family is top-notch. Sid Haig is nearly brilliant in his portrayal of Captain Spaulding. He’s crude, crass, and a barrel of laughs. This movie fell apart for me in the second half. I dare say House of 1000 Corpses was almost brilliant in its first half, but turned into a run-of-the-mill horror picture the second.’ Martin Liebman, Blu-ray.com
‘Strung together with a migraine-inducing MTV aesthetic, this trawl through B-movie horror flicks plays like a fan film with a multi-million dollar budget. While Zombie’s love of the horror genre is readily apparent, this is a travesty of everything he professes to adore, a tour-de-farce of depressing inanity, that’s unable to do anything more than offer a messy, incoherent pastiche of other, better movies.’ Jamie Russell, BBC.co.uk
- Sid Haig as Captain Spaulding
- Bill Moseley as Otis B. Driftwood
- Sheri Moon Zombie as Baby Firefly
- Karen Black as Mother Firefly
- Erin Daniels as Denise Willis
- Chris Hardwick as Jerry Goldsmith
- Rainn Wilson as Bill Hudley
- Jennifer Jostyn as Mary Knowles
- Tom Towles as Lieutenant George Wydell
- Walton Goggins as Deputy Steve Naish
- Matthew McGrory as Tiny Firefly
- Robert Mukes as Rufus “RJ” Firefly, Jr.
- Dennis Fimple as Grampa Hugo Firefly
- Jake McKinnon as Rufus “Earl” Firefly, Sr.
- Harrison Young as Don Willis
- Irwin Keyes as Ravelli
- Michael J. Pollard as Stucky
- Chad Bannon as Killer Karl
- Walter Phelan as S. Quentin Quale / Dr. Satan
- William H. Basset as Sheriff Frank Huston
- David Reynolds as Richard “Little Dick” Wick
- Joe Dobbs III as Gerry “Goober” Ober
- Gregg Gibbs as Dr. Wolfenstein
- Rob Zombie (uncredited) as Dr. Wolfenstein’s assistant