Review: Rob Zombie’s The Lords of Salem

Synopsis: Heidi, a radio DJ, is sent a box containing a record — a “gift from the Lords.” The sounds within the grooves trigger flashbacks of her town’s violent past. Is Heidi going mad, or are the Lords back to take revenge on Salem, Massachusetts?

Rob Zombie and I have a bit of a strange relationship, such as it is. I’m a casual fan of his work with the band White Zombie, but I loved Hellbilly Deluxe as an angsty teen, and so when I first heard about House of a 1000 Corpses all those years ago, I was excited.

Anyone who’s ever brought that film up knows I hated it. I’ve seen it at least three times and I hated it every single time. It’s a dull, overly long music video with only one really impressive shot in its entire running time.

The Devil’s Rejects was much more in line with what I expected from Zombie as a director, grittier, more vicious, sleazier, more 70’s.

Then he took on Halloween and its somewhat misguided sequel, H2, further dividing the horror community on whether or not Zombie was a director to keep an eye on or just a hack.

Finally, the much talked about The Lords of Salem has arrived, Zombie’s big return to original storytelling, and while it certainly has elements I enjoyed, it also feels too much like a step backward.

Lords is visually fantastic, blending the flashback scenes of Salem’s past with the modern city, visual references to any number of bands and other films, and somehow making it all sort of work, at least on the visual side.

The story on the other hand can best be summed up as Rosemary’s Baby, and while Polanski managed to wring every last drop of tension and believability out of his premise, Zombie just isn’t that strong of a writer or director. The dialogue is wildly uneven, at times jaw dropping in how bad it is, at other times strangely perfect, but the film always seemed to keep me at arm’s length. I never felt drawn into the story, as it seemed like every time I would start to be drawn in, some incredibly silly bit of dialogue would be throw out or something just plain dumb would take place.

The pacing surprised me, as the film unfolds at a slow, deliberate pace that kept my interest throughout.

Unfortunately, the story itself just isn’t that good, and the ending is almost laughably bad. That shot of Sherri Moon Zombie riding on a goat like it’s a mechanical bull is real, and it’s set in what is supposed to be a great trip out sequence that for the most part came across more like the youtube video of a high school Satanist than the final act of a feature film.

The Lords of Salem feels too much like a bubblegum pop approach to the “Devil among us” films, and while it was fantastic to see Ken Foree working in something that isn’t a direct to video piece of shit, and Dee Wallace and any number of other recognizable actors (including a blink and you’ll miss it scene with Barbara Crampton) none of them is really able to elevate the poor writing, though the team of Wallace, Judy Geeson and Patricia Quinn steal every scene they’re in and manage to add some gravitas to the nonsense they have to say.

I didn’t hate Lords of Salem but I also wasn’t particularly impressed with it either. For all the promise the visuals have, the story just never rises to match, and when it was over, I was left with an overwhelming sense of wanting to see what Zombie could do as a director with someone else’s script.

C+

Pros:

Fantastic casting

Great Visuals

Good Score

Cons:

It’s Rosemary’s Baby but with Sherri Moon Zombie instead of Mia Farrow.

Some truly dreadful dialogue.

Devour the Podcast Episode 59: The Scream Retrospective Part 4: Scream 4

59

We’re still watching this shit?

Welcome back to another episode of Devour the Podcast!

 

It’s been a long break, but we’re back now with a triple review episode!

 

Spoiler Warning: We spoil Audrey Rose, Evil Dead (2013) and Scream 4.

 

 

It Came From the Instant Queue:

Audrey Rose:

Bo: 2/5

David: 2.5/5

Jamie: 3/5

 

Evil Dead (2013)

Bo: B+

David: C+

Jamie: A-

 

The Scream Retrospective part 4: Scream 4

Bo: D-

David: F

Jamie: D-

 

Next Episode:

We’re covering The Asylum flm Hold Your Breath and The Dead for our feature presentation.

Devour the Podcast 58: The Scream Retrospective Part 3

58 Scream 3

What do you know about trilogies?

Welcome to part 3 of Devour The Podcast Presents: The Scream Retrospective.

This week:

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT: Due to the start of David’s new job, episodes 59 and 60 of Devour the Podcast may be slightly delayed. Don’t worry, they’ll come out but going forward shows may not be out Saturday mornings as usual.

-David watched The Lost Boys

-David and Bo talk about John Dies at the End

-Jamie and David complain about The Hobbit

-The crew finally catches up on  The Walking Dead (but still haven’t covered the episode that aired 3/17)

News:

-ERHMAGERD A GERSBUMPS MERVIE? Goosebumps movie has a director

Hatchet 3 teaser trailer is out,  film to be released June 14th

-Grandpa Craven talking about remaking Shocker

-WB officially announces start of production on Godzilla, Ken Watanabe added to the cast

-Tom Arnold joins cast of Downer’s Grove

American Horror Story season 3 has a title………

It Came From the Instant Queue:

Black Rat (2010)

Bo:  1.5/5

David: 2/5

Jamie: 3/5

The Scream Retrospective Part 3:

Scream 3 (2000)

Bo: D

David: D

Jamie: D+

Next Episode:

We’ll be wrapping up our Scream retrospective with Scream 4 and taking a look at the 1977 Anthony Hopkins film Audrey Rose.

Email us at : Cenobitedave@gmail.com
or maven1974@gmail.com

Call Us: 760-661-7280

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@Ddellamorte  or @maven1974 or
@LastBlogTweet

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Devour the Podcast 57: The Scream Retrospective Part 2: Scream 2

57

A real life Stab 2? Why? Sequels Suck……

Welcome back to another episode of Devour the Podcast and part 2 of our Scream Retrospective.

This week:

-Jamie gives us her best game show intro which leads to madness

-Bo got all up in Salems Lot

-David talks Team America, Blood Boobs and Beast, Everything or Nothing and the first hour of Manhunter

Skyrim and FUCK YOU DRAGONS!

-80’s Vampire project

Designing Women references? Really?

NEWS:

Carrie the Musical is coming to LA…….god help us all….

The Black Dahlia Haunting gets US Distribution

-Wes Craven talks about Scream 5

-Famous Monsters team up in Monster X………because we need a Monster Avengers?

Evil Dead 2 script is in the works

-Frances Conroy talks AHS season 3

Maniac remake FINALLY gets a release date of June 21st

-James McAvoy says those Crow rumors ‘Not for real’

-Hey remember that Poltergeist remake no one asked for? It’s got a director again!

It Came From the Instant Queue:

Darkness Falls (2003)

Bo: 2/5

David: 2/5

Jamie: 2/5

Our Feature Presentation:

Devour the Podcast Presents: The Scream Retrospective: Part 2

Scream 2 (1997)

Bo: B-

David: A-

Jamie: B

Next week:

We’re taking a chance on the Japanese film Black Rat for our Instant Queue selection, and rounding the bend on the Scream Retrospective with Scream 3.

Email us at : Cenobitedave@gmail.com

or maven1974@gmail.com

Call Us: 760-661-7280

Follow Us on Twitter:

@Ddellamorte  or @maven1974 or

@LastBlogTweet

Like Us on Facebook:

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Devour the Podcast 56: The Scream Retrospective Part 1

56Hello Sydney

 

Welcome to another episode of Devour the Podcast.

This week we kick off our Scream Retrospective.

 

-David hated Silent Hill: Revelation so much he wrote a four page review of it.

-David was also bored with Resident Evil: Damnation

-Jamie and Bo didn’t watch much

 

News:

Full Moon joins the VOD business with GrindhouseFlix.com, unleashes vaguely racist sounding, Black Devil Doll rip off, OogaBooga

-Universal sets DVD/Blu-Ray release date for Mama, special feature details revealed

Dexter Season 8 will be the last season…..

-Sony has a release date for as yet untitled 6th Resident Evil film…..because…….ummmm….

American Mary has US release date

 

It Came from the Instant Queue:

Creep Van (2012)

Bo: 1/5

David: 1/5

Jamie: 1/5

 

Our Feature Presentation: The Scream Retrospective Part 1:

Scream (1996)

Bo: A+

David: A+

Jamie: A+

 

Next Week:

We continue on with our Scream retrospective with Scream 2 and take a chance on our first PG-13 horror with Darkness Falls for our Instant Queue selection.

 

Email us at : Cenobitedave@gmail.com

or maven1974@gmail.com

 

Call Us: 760-661-7280

 

Follow Us on Twitter:

@Ddellamorte  or @maven1974 or

@LastBlogTweet

 

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Devour the Podcast 55: Dr. Black and Mr. Hyde (Plus Jamie’s Return!)

55

More like Dr.Black and Mr. Honkey

It’s that time again!

Welcome to another episode of Devour the Podcast. This week we’re wrapping up our look back on blaxsploitation horror with Scream Blacula Scream and Dr.Black, Mr. Hyde. Also this episode features the return of Jamie! Hooray!

-David watched Stakeland

Marble Hornets is awesome and you should watch it (https://www.youtube.com/user/MarbleHornets)

-The gang discuss Slenderman and the nature of internet urban legends

-David hate’s Resident Evil 6 with a passion

-Bo started playing Skyrim again

-Did we mention Jamie is back?!

 

Walking Dead spoilers from 16:55-25:28

 

News:

-Kurt Sutter of Sons of Anarchy developing a new horror series for FX

-del Toro talks a bit more about Dark Universe

The Sixth Gun, Downer’s Grove and The Remaining and The Crow all have casting news

-The Hills Run Red’s Janet Montgomery joins CBS’s Gothica

-Kathy Bates will grace our screens as a part of American Horror Story season 3

 

It Came From the Instant Queue:

Scream Blacula Scream (1973)

Bo-4/5

David-4/5

Jamie-3.5/5

 

Our Feature Presentation:

Dr.Black, Mr.Hyde (1976)

 Bo- C-

David- C

Jamie- C+
Next Week:

We’re kicking off our next retrospective with the 1996 slasher classic Scream for our feature presentation and taking a trip in the Creep Van for our instant queue selection.

Email us at : Cenobitedave@gmail.com

or maven1974@gmail.com

 

Call Us: 760-661-7280

 

Follow Us on Twitter:

@Ddellamorte  or @maven1974 or

@LastBlogTweet

 

Like Us on Facebook:

facebook.com/devourtheblog

 

Join the Group:

http://www.facebook.com/groups/devourthepodcast/

 

Subscribe on Itunes-Search Devour the Podcast

 

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