Rob Zombie Movies Ranked

4. 31 (2016)

On paper, the plot of 31 comes across as nothing less than questionable penmanship, mainly in regard to the script’s proclivity to engage with a rollercoaster of monstrous antagonists and the profanity-laced wranglings of bloody battles.

Zombie’s career originates in the heavy metal scene where even the tamest of experiments would come across as insanity to the public eye. In an ode to the hysteria that Zombie arose from, 31 is a full throttle, pedal-to-the-metal thrill ride that favours utter madness over sensibility.

In typical Zombie essence, 31 sides with the antagonists more than the victims, making the evil creatures the spectacle at all times. As the film blossoms in its own depravity, the leads were clearly written to be nothing less than extremely disturbed – as is particularly evident in Richard Brake’s Doom-Head, a pasty, bloodied, nightmarish tormentor who deserves a seat at the disturbed table alongside the likes of Art the Clown (Terrifier) and Pinhead (Hellraiser).

3. The Lords of Salem (2012)

The Lords of Salem radiates alternative energy in comparison to the rest of Rob Zombie’s filmography, mainly within the aesthetical ambience that hones in on witchy entanglements and the consequential dark, coven-like setting.

The film is based around a disc jockey (played by Sheri Moon Zombie) as she uncovers a connection with the Lords of Salem. It is not necessarily the impressive performance by Moon Zombie that rivets, nor is it the unique storyline and eccentric tale that makes the film one of Rob Zombie’s most standout pieces. What does make The Lords of Salem a cardinal tale of fantasy horror is the standout attempts at creating an artful expression that steps away from the director’s normal grindhouse exploitations, instead channelling sinister visuals that energise the film’s Salem-based setting.

Further saturating the gothic vibes is the set design. As seen in the Firefly Trilogy, Zombie knows how to decorate a location, with The Lords of Salem being one of his most underrated pieces of creative work. The haunting history of the ‘witchcraft’ town is sensationalised by characteristics such as painting the paths with autumnal leaves and gloomy skies.

From the grand Guignol displays to the authentically creepy scares, The Lords of Salem delivers in every way.

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