3 From Hell (2019)
Directed and Written by
Starring: Sherri Moon Zombie, Bill Moseley, Sid Haig, Richard Brake
Budget $3M Box Office $2.2M
IMDb 5.7/10 Rotten Tomatoes 52% Metacritic NO DATA
I finally got to see this last night. It was released September 16 of this year but, it didn’t spend a lot of time in theaters or that many theaters, for that matter. I had been looking forward to this since I wrote my first post about it being in production in January of 2018. It was well worth the wait.
I still have to say that out of all three films, House of 1000 Corpses will always be my favorite. HOWEVER, 3 From Hell was a great third addition to what has now become a series I suppose, since there’s three films. It’s not really a trilogy because the plot line doesn’t have some sort of weird twist back to the first film that brings it all together.
Now, when I first saw that Rob Zombie was thinking about making this third film, my first reaction was, “Okay, how are they going to explain the fact that they were all shot to shit at the end of The Devil’s Rejects.” Granted, we don’t ever see them actually dead. We just see an intense shootout with the cops where they are pummeled by a hail of bullets as they drive head on into a police barricade. Death is implied with the wounds we see them sustain.
But, that’s the thing about implications…they don’t actually define anything. So, in the beginning of this third film, we find out that after they were turned into human swiss cheese, the cops took them into custody and rushed them all to the hospital where, slowly but surely, all three of them, Otis, Captain Spaulding and Baby, eventually healed and were put on trial. And this trial is so…Manson-esque (yes, I just made that word up and no, I don’t care that it doesn’t really exist). They get a couple of really good shots of Baby and Otis, each playing their own respective Manson Family type roles…Baby, the floating, mindless follower and Otis, the charismatic, psychotic looking and ranting leader.
From this point on, the film is what one would expect and want from Rob Zombie. However, while the first film, House of 1000 Corpses, focused on the violence and madness of the deranged Firefly family, the second film, The Devil’s Rejects, seemingly focused on the sexual depravity and violence of the Firefly clan. In the first film, we get a lot of Otis’s ranting and raving about everything and nothing, while destroying multiple people in the process. In the second film, the terrible trio are much more violent. Almost everything violent in the second film has sexual connotations to it, while sex was more like a by-product of the violence in the first film.
In this third film, Zombie backs off of the sex as a main plot line and focuses more on just these three as people. Demented and sad, but people nonetheless. Also, in the third film we get introduced to another family member, Otis’s half-brother.
Remember now, the trio are all in prison. The half-brother is on the outside, so naturally, there is the issue of getting them out of prison. This film moves more like a regular horror/thriller movie, rather than the wild-eyed back and forth of the first film. I was surprised that this film was almost two hours but, at no time was I checking the counter to see how much time was left.
I thought it was a good movie, a good final entry to the series. At least I assume it’s the final film. You never actually know with Rob Zombie, do ya?
Bill Moseley as Otis is, by far, one of my favorite horror characters ever. And as I said in my review of House of 1000 Corpses, Sherri Moon Zombie’s little crazy china doll laugh is one of the most eerie things I have ever heard in a horror movie. She does that a little bit in this film but, it’s almost like Baby’s grown up or something since her shootout with the police. She has a different mania about her when she walks and talks, when she dances around, when she kills. Otis hasn’t changed much at all which make it an entertaining thrill kill kind of movie to watch. And the addition of the half-brother is a fabulous expansion on the family dynamic.
Any Rob Zombie film fan would like this and dare I say, love it? I actually thought it was better than the second film but I don’t know if Zombie will ever top House of 1000 Corpses. 3 From Hell was a very close go at it though. And I think they did a damn good job of bringing it all together. Especially since there was such a long gap between the making of the second and third film. This is one I’m glad I bought so I can watch it again.
Eli Roth, Mac Cappuccino, Cody Ryder
Christopher Ford and Jon Watts
Starring: Laura Allen, Christian Distefano, Andy Powers, Peter Stormare
Budget $1.5M Box Office $2.1M
IMDb 5.7/10 Rotten Tomatoes 46% Metacritic 42/100
I just happened to pick this up at the used movie store down the street from my house. I didn’t know it existed and hadn’t heard anything about it until I saw the cover in the store. They had a special rack of horror movies set aside for Halloween. I grabbed this on a whim just because of the cover image. It looked creepy enough to me to have potential.
Now, while it wasn’t IT by any stretch, it definitely didn’t leave me feeling disappointed. I hate when I watch a movie and after the end I feel let down. So, there’s that to start with. Interestingly, the clown costume slightly resembles the new IT clown to me, but then again, that could be just me. I mean, all those antique clown costumes are hideously terrifying. I can NOT imagine who ever came up with the idea that clowns would be or could be entertaining to ANYONE, let alone small, helpless, hapless children.
Okay, so in this film, we have a typical family man, Kent McCoy, who is a real estate agent just trying to make a living to provide for his ever-growing family. We start on his son’s birthday. Kent’s wife, Meg, had ordered a clown but due to double booking issues, the company screwed up and no clown was sent for the party. Jack really wanted a clown; he was so looking forward to it. To find out that a clown wasn’t coming would just crush him. Meg calls Kent and tells him the situation. Kent, the doting father, springs into action.
When he gets Meg’s call, he’s at one of his properties he’s listing. It’s an old property and the previous owners left quite a bit of stuff. Kent starts to go through the boxes and chests in the basement and thankfully, by some miracle, he finds a clown costume. With a few other random things from around the house Kent becomes Domo the Clown and heads off to his son’s party. He’s a big hit with the kids and his wife is proud and considers him the hero of the day. After a long evening of entertaining a bunch of kids, Kent falls asleep still wearing the clown suit.
The next morning, Kent wakes to find that the clown suit is a little more than difficult to take off. The wig, the red rubber nose, the suit itself, have all seemed to adhere to his body. His family thinks it’s cute and his son even thinks it’s cool that Domo the Clown drove him to school. But Kent is no longer laughing. When he tries to remove the rubber nose it causes him pain. The same happens with the wig. He can’t wipe off all the clown makeup either. He even takes a little handheld jigsaw looking tool to the collar of the suit, trying to cut it off. But, it’s completely indestructible.
Now, Meg is a nurse so the two of them together think that she is a perfectly capable person to help with the removal process. So, she grabs her hemostats and after a few very painful tries, they just straight rip that red piece of rubber right off his nose, taking a lot of skin and some underlying tissue with it. That’s also when Meg notices that the wig isn’t a wig anymore, it’s become Kent’s actual hair.
And as if all that wasn’t bad enough, Kent starts getting the horrific desire to eat small children. Afraid he will hurt his wife and family; Kent runs away and moves to a motel. But he also finds the brother of the owner of the clown suit. He goes to this man looking for answers but what he finds is much more terrifying.
The man tells him the suit is a demon and it is taking over his body. The only way to end it…is to kill himself before the suit takes full hold of him. Kent isn’t thrilled with this idea, I mean, who would be? And neither is Meg. Now, it’s a race against time to see if they can figure out an alternative solution that doesn’t require beheading Kent before he is lost to the demonic clown suit forever.
This was a good film. Although it wasn’t ultra-fast paced or action packed or anything like that, it was still entertaining and creepy. Upon its United States release in 2016 it received very critical reviews with few people having nice things to say about the film at all. Personally, I didn’t think it was that bad. I’ve seen way worse. This wouldn’t get an Oscar or anything but I wouldn’t even go so far as to call it B-Rate horror either. The acting was fairly good. I recognized the guy that played the clown suit’s owner’s brother. He’s in one of the John Wick movies, I believe it’s the second one.
This was a pretty dramatic film. There wasn’t a lot of comedic relief, if any. No witty jokes really, no snappy one-liners. It did make for a slightly depressing movie. I mean, if you have a heart at all, you start to feel for Kent and his plight. Though it does also bring to mind the old adage “No good deed goes unpunished.”.
Still, I’ve not seen anything like this before. It was definitely different. I can’t say it’s a film I’ll be watching over and over however, it was worth watching at least once. I will say that if I had gone to the theater to see this, I probably would have been a little pissed, with how much it costs to go to the show anymore. But I got it used at the movie store for $5 or so. So, I feel I got my money’s worth. It might be fun to check out, especially if you love clown horror movies like I do.