Sunday, October 07, 2012

The Lords of Salem Return

I literally have a throbbing filmboner watching this teaser. Rob Zombie described THE LORDS OF SALEM, shortly after filming had begun, as "if Ken Russell directed The Shining", and I'll say that this two minutes delivers exactly what was promised, if not so much more...

I don't have the slightest goddamn clue how any of this gorgeous footage is supposed to relate to the story outline we've been given for the last year or two, but I can't remember a trailer giving me this much of a rush since PROMETHEUS... which, admittedly, didn't pan out quite as much as I'd hoped it would. For those wondering, the recently released deleted scenes (particularly the original ending, extended Engineer scenes and unused "mutant attack" scene) would have helped the film dramatically.

I won't lie, I've long been one of Rob Zombie's bigger cinematic supporters over the years. I thought his grim and filthy reboot of HALLOWEEN was exponentially more interesting than Carpenter's supposed "classic" which plays out as a sort of Argento Lite*, and knowing that a lot of the imagery pulled from the original film (such as Michael wearing the sheet like a ghost) were put back at the insistance of the film's producers make me wonder how far he would have taken it without any outside interference. And, of course, THE DEVIL'S REJECTS - arguably the catalyst to the revival of 70s styled exploitation films - remains one of my favorite films of the last decade. I was mostly ambivalent towards HOUSE OF 1,000 CORPSES, satisfied that Zombie knew it didn't work, and more importantly, knew exactly why and didn't bother trying to convince anyone who hated it that they were stupid. He knew what he did, and only improved from there, something that plenty of otherwise promising talents have failed to do.

*To be fair, it has a bitchin' score and some decent camerawork. Also, the scenes added to the TV version kick up the film's quality by at least 20%.

I haven't written about H2: HALLOWEEN 2 because... honestly, I don't really know what to make of it. It's very much a bitter, reactionary experience, with Michael Meyers' presence one of increasing irrelevance and indignity. If his goal was to question what happens to the "final girl" after surviving the ordeals beset upon her by the misery of her very survival, yeah, I think this film does that. If it was to cock-slap every asshole fanboy who acted like his last take on the character was somehow more disrespectful than fighting Bustah Rhymes, again, I'd say mission accomplished. If it was to hold together and work and be a singular film as well as a sequel to one of the most interesting slasher films in history... no, god no it didn't do that. It's not a terrible film, but it's a messy, confusing, and fragmented experience that never adds up to much. Here's hoping that Rob Zombie has learned from this and that The Lords of Salem comes to a satisfying whole of Sex, Witchcraft, and Rock 'n' Roll.

No comments: