Review: The Devil’s Rejects

Blu-ray: The Devil’s Rejects (2005)

If you want to watch a ‘feel good’ movie, then The Devil’s Rejects is definitely one to avoid. However, if you want to squirm in your seat for 100+ minutes and then feel like you need to take a long shower afterwards, then this great Blu-ray release by Umbrella Entertainment is right up your blood splattered street.

The backwoods ‘Firefly’ family get their kicks by torturing and murdering most anyone that they can get their crazy, filthy hands on. One of the unfortunate females that comes to a grisly end is the daughter of Sheriff Wydell (William Forsythe) who takes the law into his own hands to reap revenge on the entire family. Following a huge shootout between the law and the Firefly family at their remote home, the family take to the road with Wydell in pursuit. Not content with just hiding from law enforcement, the family continue to torture and kill innocent people, leaving a trail of destruction that ultimately leads to a final showdown where death seems the only escape.

I’ve never been a huge fan of the cinematic work of writer/director Rob Zombie (his music output is an entirely different thing though), but I have to admit that this is my favourite movie by him. Yes, it’s derivative. Yes, he’ll never win any best director awards. Yes, his insistence on putting his wife Sherri Moon Zombie into his movies usually drags them down. But there’s something about The Devil’s Rejects that crawls deep under your skin, and despite how hard you scratch, the itch to keep watching just doesn’t go away.

Filled with wipes and freeze frames that gives it an almost comic book feel, the dark and gritty cinematography perfectly matches the insane antics that unfold before your eyes, as your ears are filled with the perpetual screams of pleading and pain from those who suffer at the hands of the psychotic family. The one treat for your ears is a pounding soundtrack that accompanies this crazy road trip, though the use of music in the final shootout is overlong and pretentious.

A superb cast includes Sid Haig as Captain Spaulding; a clown so insane that Pennywise wouldn’t spill his pint at the annual clowns convention. Bill Moseley as Otis; probably the craziest member of the family who gets his kicks from inflicting suffering and pain. The always watchable Geoffrey Lewis, who’s family inadvertently cross paths with Otis and his crazy kin. As mentioned above, Sherri Moon Zombie is in this and plays ‘Baby’, a character who is supposed to be intimidating akin to Mallory Knox in Natural Born Killers, but comes across as Sandy in Grease after she’s changed her image at the end of the movie and wants to be especially naughty…probably after 1 beer too many. Her performance aside, the rest of the cast do a great job of either being unfeasibly sleazy (the Firely family), crazy as a mofo (Sheriff Wydell) or scared shitless (everyone else).

The Devil’s Rejects is definitely an acquired taste, but if your taste buds are twisted enough to have this sordid tale swilling over them for almost 2 hours, then you’ll surely get a kick (to the head) out of what transpires on screen.

The picture and sound are fantastic on this release, and Umbrella Entertainment also have some superb special features that help to flesh out the flesh ripping.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

  • Bloody Stand-up
  • Matthew McGrory Tribute
  • Buck Owens: Satan’s Got to Get Along Without Me
  • “Mary the Monkey Girl” Commercial
  • Captain Spaulding’s Xmas Commercial
  • Otis’ Home Movies
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Blooper Reel
  • Make-up Test
  • The Morris Green Show

Review by Dave (host of 60 Minutes With) from a disc kindly supplied by Umbrella Entertainment.