Rocker Rob Zombie’s House of 1000 Corpses sucks even for a horror movie.
If you’ve seen one of those groovy ghoulie Rob Zombie videos, you pretty much know what to expect here, essentially a regurgitation of every horror-flick influence the industrial headbanger has held. The plot (or to be more accurate, the scenario) is straight out of Texas Chainsaw Massacre: Four kids on a cross country road trip run afoul of a family of inbred, backwoods hicks who proceed to inflict various terminal abuses upon their bodies. Plenty grotesque, in a funhouse sorta way, but not particularly scary, in that if you’ve ever seen one of those mid-'70s endurance tests that Zombie takes his “inspiration” from, five minutes in you pretty much know where this one is going.
Unfortunately, the flick spins its wheels for an hour before it winnows the kids down to one scream queen (inexplicably dressed up by the clan as Alice in Wonderland) and things finally get interesting. Nonsensical, but interesting. It doesn’t help that Zombie is prone to padding the proceedings with non-sequitur found footage, and the fact that none of the characters manage to evoke any form of empathy diffuses any real suspense. Zombie needs to stick to writing his cookie-cutter shock-rock, because he sure doesn’t cut it as a screenwriter or director.