I decided to do this listicle as a personal challenge to myself. Full disclosure, Rob Zombie has become a bit much and his films have essentially jumped the sharknado. House of 1000 Corpses and Devil’s Rejects gave us a taste of something new and interesting–a modern take on the B-Horror flick. But now that the genre has been explicitly and overtly co-opted by Tarantino, Rodriguez, Roth, and more, Rob Zombie’s brand has become a bit repetitive and stale.
But you know what else is repetitive and stale? Forced listicles. So let’s party-the fuck-on.
31. The new indie, straight-to-On-Demand flick is a return to form for Rob Zombie.
30. It is the HIGHEST RATED narrative film Rob Zombie has ever made, even if it’s only at 56% on Rotten Tomatoes. And that’s out of 16 total reviews. That number could go up slightly, or way way down.
29. Rob Zombie is a cool dude with possibly genius-level ideas, but where he hits a wall seems to be his reliance on pop-culture-driven dialogue. However, the ridiculous writing is still fun.
28. Horror and gore fans will love the carnage, even though none of it is particularly “shocking.”
27. The ensemble cast lends to some entertaining performances, especially from “The Heads” (Bad Guys), but don’t get bogged down trying to rationalize any of it.
26. Take the most stomach-churning aspects of movies like Battle Royale and The Hunger Games, put a Rob Zombie spin on it (e.g. Add Rednecks and CLOWNS), and you get a pretty intriguing ride.
25. Zombie’s crowdfunding effort provides a suitable apology for his take on the Halloween franchise, and is nothing more than a gift for his genre-lovin’ fans.
24. The movie was put out by Saban Films. Wait…the Power Ranger people? Oh yes. Evidently, they’re snatching up film festival goodies left and right.
23. Surprising, but generic cameos from classic actresses like Judy Geeson & Jane Carr.
22. E.G. Daily plays a weird middle-aged version of a sexy teen baby-face…making you feel weird about Rugrats‘ Tommy Pickles.
21. You get to see Jeff Daniel Phillips, the GEICO Caveman who isn’t Nick Kroll.
20. Rob Zombie throws together a mish-mash of TV and movie culture icons you never expect to see in one place, like Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs who played Freddie “Boom Boom” Washington on Welcome Back Kotter…and Ginger Lynn who played in almost every single porn your dad’s seen.
19. If you’re afraid of clowns, you’ll get your non-stop chills. If clowns don’t bother you all that much, you’ll get to see them do and say some pretty fucked up shit.
18. If you think Rob Zombie’s wife, Sheri Moon, is as incredible as he seems to, you’re in for 2 more hours of what’s essentially her character from Devil’s Rejects.
17. Richard Brake (who plays the main attraction, Doom-Head…and the leader of the White Walkers in Game of Thrones) shows us how much better he would’ve been for the role of The Joker than stupid Jared Leto.
16. Even though Zombie says that 31 is not connected to any of his other films, there are so many clues that it is. Thinking of it as a loosely connected story definitely makes everything going on much more engaging.
15. Following the film’s production is super-fun and you get great little factoids…like how Rob Zombie based the entire concept of the film on the fact that more people go missing on Halloween than any other day of the year…which is, of course, false.
14. A Hispanic Nazi Midget Clown named Sick-Head.
13. The reviews. My god, the reviews. I suggest you don’t read them, ‘cuz they ain’t good. Critics don’t seem to have a “just for fun” filter and believe that everything a writer/director comes out with needs to be wholly original and groundbreaking. 31 is the exception to the rule.
12. We were treated to this new music video for The Hideous Exhibitions of a Dedicated Gore Whore, a nice little reminder of why we fell in love with Rob Zombie in the first place.
11. You get to make that very important decision of whether you actually really liked the film, or you’re just going to pretend to like it. Because it’s way too easy to talk shit.
10. Get to see the ‘R-Rated’ version before Zombie releases the “Uncut Version” which probably just included one or two quick moments that would have pushed it to NC-17. That’s valuable, I guess.
9. Malcolm McDowell in what would be an even more insane role if he hasn’t played the same character in every horror movie ever.
8. A plot that winds up being just as inscrutable as the “31” games themselves. There is no winner, and the entire thing just seems like a waste of time and money. The games, that is.
7. Like all Rob Zombie movies, we’re given half-a-film’s worth of character acting that would probably lend itself to a much better story.
6. Did I mention the knife-wielding South American Nazi Clown Midget? I did? Shit. How about the two chainsaw-wielding rapist clowns named Psycho-Head and Schizo-Head? No? Well there ya go.
5. Torsten Voges, the lanky German actor from The Big Lebowski and Funny People appears as a transvestite clown named “Death-Head.”
4. An opening scene that has nothing to do with the plot of the film; which we get some nonsensical insight into later on in the film. So there’s another example of how you could have imagined a cooler plot based around the acting talent on hand.
3. If you actually helped to fund this movie, it may be cool to see how your donations were utilized. They did accomplish a lot with a relatively small budget. Especially when you consider that Devil’s Rejects, in its minimalist style, cost almost 7x as much to make.
2. You get that constant rock and roll soundtrack which fits well during key moments; a visceral reminder that all Rob Zombie really wants to do is make cool music videos.
1. I mentioned the knife-happy Chilean dwarf-Nazi, right? Twice? Ah–fuck it. Here he is on a skateboard.