My Review of 3 From Hell, a New Rob Zombie film
Taking a hiatus from the world of heavy metal, Rob Zombie ventured into film directing with his debut of 2003’s “House of 1000 Corpses.” It was an admirable first attempt into film-making, which received high praise from macabre moviegoers and metal fans alike. The Firefly Family made their return in 2005’s “The Devil’s Rejects,” which was proven to be an instant cult classic among Zombie’s followers. Over a decade later, Zombie has returned to the big screen with his latest installment into the Firefly Family saga, “3 From Hell.” Rob Zombie breathed new life into Horror movies with his style, character choices, and excessive gore. I had very high hopes that this movie would join the ranks of his two previous films, but sadly, it falls short. With its limited budget and lack of compassion towards his earlier installments, I felt more fatigue than shock.
After being riddled with bullets by law enforcement in the ending sequence of “The Devil’s Rejects,” with what seemed to be the end of the road for the Firefly Family, the trio finds themselves mostly unscathed in prison, awaiting death by lethal injection. With tons of media coverage, Baby (Sheri Moon Zombie), Otis Driftwood (Bill Moseley) and Captain Spaulding (Sid Haig) are viewed as heroes by the public for their rebellious disregard towards authorities. Under the apprehension of Warden Harper (Jeff Daniel Phillips), Otis escapes from custody and joins his brother-in-law Foxy, played by Richard Brake, killing Rondo (Danny Trejo), a fellow inmate, on their path to freedom. Otis and Foxy make it to Warden Harper’s house, in a violent attempt to persuade Baby’s release, who is under the supervision of guard Greta (Dee Wallace). With the “3 From Hell” out of prison, they find themselves with little refuge and set their sights on Mexico, home of the gang, “The Black Satans.”
Although “The Devil’s Rejects” wasn’t given a large budget by motion picture standards, it was made up for with dynamic characters and creative storytelling. “3 from Hell” focuses more on vile profanity than the sadistic, creepiness the audience has become used to with Zombie’s two previous films. The actors are well suited in their character roles, including a newcomer to the trio, Richard Brake (Doom-Head in “31”), who was an acceptable replacement for Captain Spaulding, due to Sid Haig’s recent health issues. But make no mistake, there is no direct replacement for Captain Spaulding, which seems to be the reason this film lacks the comedy relief it desperately needed.
“3 From Hell” starts off pretty lackluster but picks up steam once the Firefly Family make it to Mexico, where they are faced with the challenge of fending off the mask-wearing Luchadores, “The Black Satans.” This movie has all the grimy elements we’ve come to know and love from Rob Zombie, but appears rushed lacks enthusiasm, and is not faithful to its predecessors.
UPDATE: It is with a heavy heart that our friend Sid Haig has passed away at the age of 80 due to continuing health problems. He will be sadly missed.
[R.I.P] Sidney Eddy Mosesian (1939 – 2019)