I wanna say a few (thousand) words about Rob Zombie’s first 2 flicks. Vol. 1 will focus on ‘House of 1,000 Corpses’ and Vol. 2 will cover ‘The Devil’s Rejects.’ I wanna first congratulate Rob Zombie on making Hillbillies seem cool. To my knowledge, this has never been accomplished in history before or since his attempt/s. As a Hillbilly, this fact makes me slightly happy and partially aroused. That being said, onto the good stuff.
I’m going to assume that everyone (reading this post) has seen this film. If not, pause this article, go watch the movie on VHS (or Beta Max where available) and come back to us. I don’t feel like telling you lazy bastards all the info you can get on IMDb.
“How does one make a Hillbilly seem cool” you ask? Well take Zombie’s example. The characters in his films may be Hillbillies or Rednecks, but he gives them a sense of empowerment and an intelligence that is rarely seen on film. Normally in films, especially horror films, the country characters are there for either comic relief or ass rape. Now, I’m not saying I don’t like a good laugh and some butt pleasures on a Saturday night, but that’s not what it’s all about.
As I mentioned before, Zombie gives his characters a newfound intelligence. Against the stereotype, he made his characters smart and cunning as opposed to molesting mongoloid mofos. Spaulding (in his own way), Baby, Mother Firefly, Hugo, Otis, Rufus and Tiny lay the trap for their unsuspecting victims. They lure them into the corpse storage facility under the guise of bucktooth, barefoot bastards and before they realize what’s going on, the trap is sprung and it’s too late.
Likewise, he empowers his characters. Instead of the dumb and weak victims they normally are, they become powerful and unrelenting forces of terror that rip through the screen like leather face at a logging convention.
Zombie also gives his characters personality. Each character is crazy enough to be unique but still balanced enough to be part of the Firefly Family. Eventually, you find yourself rooting for the family rather than their victims, much in the same way we love to see Voorhees destroy those dumbass, death-deserving campers.
Wiki has a semi-comprehensive rundown of each character on the following post, and you should give it a ‘once-over’ at some point in your life. Having said that, let’s take a quick look at the Hillbillies in question.
Captain Spaulding, played by Sid Haig, has been described by Zombie as a “lovable asshole” and a vulgar clown who ran a gas station and museum in this film. His role and motivations are somewhat ambiguous in this film, but we learn more about him in ‘The Devils Rejects’ and Vol. 2 of my article.
Tiny, played by Matthew McGrory, is the Gentle-ish Giant of the family. He doesn’t really have a huge role in this film (LOL), but watching him eat cereal has scarred my ass for life, literally. I have pictures (of my scarred ass).
Rufus, played by Robert Allen Mukes, has the job of disabling the vehicles of nearby travelers, thereby putting them into the position of coming to the corpse house for help and thrusting them in harm’s way.
So, True Believers, stay tuned for Vol. 2 of this article when we really dig into the meat-n-taters!