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By midlandsmovies, Jan 16 2020 07:29AM

3 from Hell (2019) Dir. Rob Zombie

3 from hell is the third instalment in the blood soaked Firefly trilogy written and directed by Rob Zombie. The film follows on from 2005’s cult spectacle ‘The Devils Rejects’ following Baby (Sheri Moon Zombie), Otis (Bill Moseley) and Winslow ‘Foxy’ Coltrane (Richard Brake).

After the unfortunate passing of Sid Haig (Captain Spalding) the film underwent re-writes that saw the character replaced by Richard Brakes character. The film centres around these three fiendish nihilists as they embark on a journey from incarceration to the freedom of anarchy.

Firstly the question needs to be asked… Did we need this film? NO…

The film had the same budget as the final 45 minutes of The Devils Rejects said Rob Zombie on ‘The Joe Rogan Experience.’

This film felt like a rush to the finish line for me. Zombie has gifts; he really does. And I'd rather see him using them with fresh material than repeating himself, which is what he did to some extent in 2016's 31 and also here. This film lacked that dirty, nasty, gross taste we expect with a Rob Zombie film and instead replaces it with silly humour and Hollywood production.

The film gradually feels more Hollywood, with the standard tropes, as we approach the third act which unsurprisingly presents itself like one big reshot third act, almost completely separating us from themes and character arcs presented in the first half of the film.

You have all the pieces of a great Rob Zombie picture here: hilarious comic book dialogue, gruesome violence, and charismatic anti-heroes. And 3 From Hell is as extreme as it is whimsical, and as gratuitous as it is provocative. And the Western elements are omnipresent in this one, building upon the style of The Devil's Rejects.

But unfortunately we don’t get that, we get a patchy, corny, and at times, a face-palming ordeal.

Ben Warrington

Twitter @ben_warro

By midlandsmovies, Sep 24 2016 08:17AM

31 (2016) Dir: Rob Zombie

After a four year hiatus Rob Zombie returns with 31 and sadly it is much of the same from the rocker and won't change your opinion either way on the guys body of work or his constant unjustified casting of his wife in all of his movies.

31 follows five carnival workers, although the legitimacy of their act is under question, who end up becoming kidnapped and forced to take part in a violent game of timed survival against a series of sadistic clowns. Coming across conceptually as a mixture of the Running Man, the Purge and his own past films the what and the why are seemingly irrelevant only the now.

The ambiguity of the game is no doubt intentional, intended to increase the fear and the feeling of out of control, senseless violence as overseen by a bet mad and wigged up Victorian Malcom McDowell but ultimately it just feels as if ol’Rob couldn’t be bothered to come up with a story which also goes on to explain why the characters in all of his films are essentially the same.

As a result the film never builds any tension or emotional involvement simply feeling like a series of set pieces so much so that anytime it threatens to become exciting Zombie's directing style quickly ruins it by his choice of quick fire editing. Again designed to illustrate the frantic nature of the action the reality is that these scenes just show us that the director didn’t know how to actually portray the onscreen carnage with the result being something that is just annoying to watch.

While structurally all but ignoring the purpose of the traditional first and third act can sometimes work, for films to eschew this standard structure and still appease the viewer they require something meaningful to say or emotionally evocative to present and sadly Rob Zombie and 31 cannot claim either making for a rather unsatisfying experience.

That said if you are a fan of Rob Zombie’s films you will in all probability like 31 but for the rest of us all we will find is a predictable, poorly constructed, poorly written and poorly directed horror film that once again fails to hide the directors incompetency in both writing and directing.


Midlands Movies Marek

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