Plot: The police have finally caught up with the Firefly clan, but before the lawmen could capture the entire brood, Otis (Bill Moseley) and Baby (Sheri Moon Zombie) were able to make a run for it, though Mother Firefly (Leslie Easterbrook) was taken by the authorities, led by Sheriff Wydell (William Forsythe). His own brother was killed by Firefly crew, so he takes it out on her and tries to track down the survivors, driven to dish out vengeance. As Otis and Baby take some hostages and hunker down, Captain Spaulding (Sid Haig) is en route, though some of his connections don’t seem to be as reliable as they used to be. At the same time, Wydell bears down on the Firefly clan and the closer he gets to his quarry, the more unhinged he becomes and he is determined to settle the score, no matter what the cost. Who will survive when these ruthless forces finally have their end of the road showdown?
Entertainment Value: The Devil’s Rejects does have direct continuations from Rob Zombie’s House of 1000 Corpses, but it feels like a unique animal and has a much different texture from the ground up. The colorful leads return and the plot is hooked to the previous movie, but this movie has an almost western style feel and less of the traditional horror elements. This is still a horror picture by nearly any definition, but it is also much more. I think The Devil’s Rejects is a more effective, memorable movie as well, from the polished production values to the stylish visuals, giving making this feel like artistic horror at times. I love the atmosphere of this one, as it takes what worked in the previous installment and expands upon those elements, dialing up where needed and adding just enough fresh texture. The movie is just bad ass, to put it simply, it has such a great vibe and atmosphere, coupled with the colorful, memorable characters brought back and given more room to breathe. The cast is fantastic, with Sid Haig, Bill Moseley, and Sheri Moon Zombie back as the three from hell, while Wiliam Forsythe is immense fun as the lawman on a ruthless pursuit for vengeance. But even small roles here are given to skilled, recognizable performers and especially for genre fans, the ensemble here is loaded. I think The Devil’s Rejects is masterful at times, but even when it falls short of that watermark, the movie is well crafted and effective, always engaging and memorable. I think this will be of most interest to horror fans, but anyone who can appreciate stylish, sometimes unsettling movies stacked with talent and atmosphere should check this one out.
You can find some sleaze in The Devil’s Rejects, including a memorable scene where Sid Haig is ridden like a prize racehorse. That scene yields some bare breasts and ass, not to mention a peek at the clown’s balls. I mean, when a movie gives you clown balls, you have to appreciate that. There’s also a bare ass in another scene, as well as some full frontal nudity in an early sequence when a naked woman is dragged to a grisly demise by one of the Firefly clan. On the blood quotient end of things, the finale has an epic showdown that involves a good amount of the red stuff, while violence is consistently present throughout the picture. This includes gunshot wounds, scenes of torture, stab wounds, a nasty throat slash, and a Face/Off style moment where a face is removed and worn by other characters. The dialogue was a highlight of House of 1000 Corpses and that continues here, with an increased emphasis on the Firefly crew and other colorful characters. Moseley, Haig, and Zombie have most of the wildest or most outlandish lines, all in dialed up, enthusiastic performances. But the supporting cast gets some good exchanges as well and even most of the small roles are played with high energy, which amplifies the dialogue’s impact. The craziness is tuned up, thanks to the focus on the colorful characters, the more unsettling vibes, and the nastier, more mean spirited approach taken this time around.
Overall Insanity: 6/10
The Disc: As part of Umbrella Entertainment’s Two from Hell release, The Devil’s Rejects looks quite good on Blu-ray. The film has a thick grit to it, as it wants to capture that 70s style grime and that intended look is well replicated here, as the picture has that gritty texture Zombie pursued. At the same time, detail is strong and the colors look as intended, also skewed to serve the visual design approach. So it looks a little rough and worn, but that is how the movie was supposed to be seen. The extras include a couple of in-world commercials, Buck Owens’ Satan’s Got to Get Along Without Me, Otis’ home movies, Bloody Stand Up, and The Morris Green Show. You can also check out some deleted scenes, some of which bridge the gap between the movies, a blooper reel, and a make-up test.