The Devil's Rejects
What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that the movie includes harrowing scenes of brutal violence, horrendous language, grisly nudity, and frightening family tension scenes. The film includes drinking, smoking, drug use, torture, sex performed under threat of death, murders by penetration by large weapons, car accidents that leave splatty bodies, dead animals, prostitution and pimping, religious sacrileges.
What's the story?
Like his first feature, House of 1000 Corpses, rocker/director Rob Zombie's THE DEVIL'S REJECTS. is relentlessly ugly, violent, and visceral. All the characters -- killers, victims, and lawmen -- are unsavory. It's not so much a sequel as it is a rearrangement of the characters, as Captain Spaulding (Sid Haig) and his blood-lusting children, Otis (Bill Mosely) and Baby (Sheri Moon Zombie) seek victims and elude state cops.The gore begins when Sheriff Wydell (William Forsythe) and his team raid the home of Mother Firefly (Leslie Easterbrook). Though she is captured, the kids escape, track down their clown-faced father, and run off in search of temporary shelter with dad's old pimp buddy Charlie (Ken Foree). En route to Charlie's, Captain Spaulding and kids stop at a seedy motel, where they take four hostages, including Roy (Geoffrey Lewis) and his wife Gloria (Priscilla Barnes). She endures two sexual tortures, first by Spaulding and then the less focused Baby, both terrible to watch. As Wydell's brother (Tom Towles) was killed in the first film, he has a special desire for revenge here. He hires a couple of bounty hunters to "take care of" his prey, or at least set them up so he can finish them, without worrying too much about legal restraints.
Is it any good?
Steeped in allusions to other movies, THE DEVIL'S REJECTS mounts a bit of a challenge to mainstream movie conventions that invite viewers to celebrate violence. Still, with its classic/southern rock soundtrack ("Midnight Rider," "Free Bird," "Reelin' in the Years"), it does grant some pleasure in consuming brutality. And so you have to consider your own reaction to what you see, as a means to gauge its effectiveness.
That Wydell's efforts to get even are so horrific and hypocritical raises questions about vengeance as a pop-cultural (even national or political) theme, in that the pay-off is so meaningless. And concerning Gloria's sexual torture: There's something to be said for making viewers uncomfortable in the face of such abuses, but this movie says it confoundingly.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about reasons for its resurrection of previous films: why is the family focus of '70s horror reappearing at this moment? What are the threats to today's families that the movie makes both metaphorical and literal?