‘The Devil’s Rejects’


If in retrospect musician Rob Zombie’s 2003 directorial debut, House of 1,000 Corpses, reads like a yee-hawing harbinger of last fall’s red-state triumph, then its sequel, The Devil’s Rejects, is the smug Republican victory lap. In Corpses, a competent if unoriginal slasher movie, hipster travel guide researchers get lured into a lethal roadside attraction run by a family of psychopaths whose members are each named after a different Groucho Marx character. Here, the Firefly clan—led by Sid Haig’s Captain Spaulding—kill more wantonly, as they flee arrest for murders committed in the original film. Whereas Corpses was not without a sense of humor, Rejects is not without Confederate histrionics, including its indefatigable taste for Southern-rock standards played over slow-motion shotgun carnage. When the highway finale at last arrives, one still has to endure nearly every bar of “Free Bird.” By rubbing your nose in this hillbilly mayhem, Zombie all but dares you to acknowledge your liberal elitism, simply because just now, in Dubya’s America, you don’t happen to find anything particularly funny or lovable about stupid, dangerous provincials.