Genre : Horror
Sheri Moon Zombie : Heidi Hawthorne
Bruce Davison : Francis Matthias
Jeff Daniel Phillips : Herman 'Whitey' Salvador
Heidi, a blond rock chick, DJs at a local radio station, and together
with the two Hermans forms part of the "Big H Radio
Team." A mysterious wooden box containing a vinyl record arrives for
Heidi, a gift of the Lords. She assumes it's a rock band on a mission to
spread their word. As Heidi and Whitey play the Lords' record, it
starts to play backwards, and Heidi experiences a flashback to a past
trauma. Later, Whitey plays the Lords' record, dubbing them the Lords of
Salem, and to his surprise, the record plays normally and is a massive
hit with his listeners. The arrival of another wooden box from the Lords
presents the Big H team with free tickets, posters and records to host a
gig in Salem. Soon, Heidi and her cohorts are far from the rock
spectacle they're expecting. The original Lords of Salem are returning
and they're out for blood.
Bleed us a king!
I must admit that I've actually never heard of Rob Zombie. Not as a musician and certainly not as a film producer. To my surprise, he has an impressive list of things he achieved musically for movies and in directing movies. Even "Haloween" and "Haloween II" were on that list. The list of musical contributions is even more impressive. But remembering names was never my strong point. But "The Lords of Salem" is not exactly a good reference for our dear friend Rob.
However I think this movie had all the right ingredients to become a great movie. Especially the first hour is really enjoyable with the gloomy and sometimes creepy atmosphere. The intro was a little bit of a disappointment, with the old witches dancing naked around a fire and chanting spellbinding lyrics. They really looked terrible. They looked a lot like paper pulp made hand puppets. But what can you expect when you read the following in the trivia on IMDb:. "There are no digital effects in the film". Yes that was obvious. Regardless of this small detail, this introduction gave me a feeling of expectation and I was hoping that this was the start of a creepy satanic movie with a pack of witches in the lead.
The next image is the tasteful butt of Sheri Moon Zombie, Rob's wife and in terms of female nudity worth while to look at, who plays a local DJ called Heidi, who recently kicked her drugs habit. At a sudden moment she receives an anonymous delivery of a vinyl record from the band "The Lords" and plays it at home. And then hell breaks loose. The next half hour I could only look in an approving way. The atmosphere was dark, menacing and subtly portrayed. The corridor with the ominous looking door at the end. The lamps that hung symmetrically in a row. The sudden appearances of naked wrinkled witches in the bathroom and the kitchen. All this resulted in a magnificent creepy feeling that could lead to a seemingly terrible end.
From then on it goes downhill for me. Heidi starts to get bizarre and abstract delusions. She lapses back into her addiction and puts us on a hallucinatory trip with bizarre images that gave me a "What the hell is this" feeling and several times I had to frown my forehead. A yeti-like monster that appears growling, ghost figures with gray waving masks (I guess it's a symbolic representation of fire-melted faces) ripping out her intestines, masturbating priests, Heidi doing a rodeo on a goat, Heidi dancing erotically with a KISS impersonator, bizarre melting images, flashes of demonic figures and eventually Satan himself that looks like a small pig or a plastic Teletubby hopping around. That really didn't make any sense to me. I myself am not religious, but I fear that the real devout people may be offended. The content of blasphemy is kind of explicit. Its use is justified as it's about devil worshipers who reject everything that is divine .
In the end it was just a variation on the theme of "Rosemary's Baby" but terribly elaborated. The end was in a kind of theater where a select audience could watch the final scene (probably people evoked by the music). The three modern witches who had settled in the house where Heidi lived, to make sure that the ancient ritual wasn't interrupted by some stranger, performed in such a way that many abstract and modern theater companies would be jealous.
For me it wasn't such a great horror movie (if we can call it that way). It had a promising start and finished in a really crazy way. I'm pretty sure this last part was created under the influence of some kind of chemical substance. I'm not going to avoid other movies from Rob Zombie, because even though this was a freaky experience, I am pretty sure that this man is capable to produce an outstanding and obscure horror movie.
My rating 3 /10
Links : IMDB
Labels: 3/10, Horror