The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter


Saturday, August 06, 2005

The Devil's Rejects (2005)

there seems to be a cinematic time machine, enabling one to step back thirty-five years or so, to a time when grind-house theaters played triple-bills of "The Last House on the Left," "Gator" and "Black Belt Jones."  The popcorn was old and nasty, drunks slept in the balcony, and kids like me ditched high school to watch the latest slaughter carnival, never asking questions about the morality of what we saw on the screen.   And I seem to have stepped into it.  Saw "The Devil's Rejects" yesterday, and this story of  a backwoods Texas clan (what IS it with Texas, anyway?) and their violent ways is such a throwback to the 70's films such as "The Hills Have Eyes" that my jaw was about on the floor.  Up to and including the Sacrificial Negro (Ken Foree from "Dawn of the Dead," dying to protect a white woman.  Sigh.  Every white man in the film is sexualized, especially the villains.  The black guy, a pimp, apparently has no interest in women.) for the two hours of Rob Zombie's sick little masterpiece I was cringing and feeling, well, genuinely uneasy.  Wow.  Now, I'd never reccomend this to someone who wasn't already corrupted, this little piece of sleeze was the very definition of a Guilty Pleasure.   Avoid like the plague if you have any respect for cinematic human life at all.  But if you have a wistful memory for movies like "Chainsaw massacre," this is a must-see.  An "F" for decent Gawd-fearin' folk.  An "A" for the guys and gals who like it raw.

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