Due sometime this year now hopefully, FANGORIA magazine site tells us that the heavy metal rock icon-turned-horror director ROB ZOMBIE has his new film LORDS OF SALEM nearly done with some definately bizarre unusual characters and plotlines. This time the horror comes from legendary witches, in the infamous Salem area.
Again, so far the visuals and poster campaign look close to the grindhouse, cheap snuff ‘video nasty’ aesthetic. But is he in danger of repeating his now established fear film output style?
Having begun with the hugely problematic but insanely entertaining TEXAS CHAINSAW influenced HOUSE OF 1000 CORPSES which finally was released in 2003, he stepped away from his known identity as lead singer of WHITE ZOMBIE and solo rock/metal artist. From that first film with it’s unending hype and controversy over cuts, editing, rating problems his following few movies have continued to be released within a fog of media scandal and rumours. Much of his success and criticism has been gained from his return to and respect for the more stripped down, low budget raw films of the seventies such as TEXAS CHAINSAW, I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE, BLOOD FEAST, SUSPIRIA, CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST and more.
As ZOMBIE’S movies continued to come, they arrived alongside the 00’s prblematic sub-genre in horror of ‘Torture Porn’ horror, with movies like HOSTEL and the SAW sequels. ZOMBIE may have shared some of the visual style accidentally, but aimed for but disturbing effect.
With his infamous remake/revision of HALLOWEEN and then it’s sequel, and THE DEVIL’S REJECTS before that, he has always seemed to want to provide undiluted honest genuine no-holds’barred shocks such as those from times before big mainstream gloss and film franchises. But how long can he continue in this same path before it feels tired?
Myself, I was not a huge fan of THE DEVIL’S REJECTS, and some of 1000 CORPSES, not personally enjoying the snuff style extended sequences. The HALLOWEEN films were interesting-not eclipsing the original, fine JOHN CARPENTER classic, though the second ZOMBIE one was more thoughtful.
Now, after his return to rock/metal with a fantastic double tour with ALICE COOPER, and other projects including comic books and bad taste horror animated movie, he comes back to LORDS OF SALEM and other films he has planned. Impressively, it does seem that balancing music, comics, touring, and filmmaking has not diluted or weakened the quality generally of the films. I do hope, that with LORDS OF SALEM, Mr ZOMBIE continues to shock and surprise us again, but that he also might drop some of the extended violence in place of stronger horror thrills. The spook show director will certainly return soon enough with a new movie of good gruesome fear and terror once more…