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House of 1000 Corpses

The most shocking tale of carnage ever seen.  

Year: 2003 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: Unknown 
Certificate: BBFC 18 Cert – Not suitable for under 18s 
Subtitles: The level of subtitling in this film is unknown to WSC 
Directed by Unknown 
Starring: Unknown  
An image from House of 1000 Corpses

Now really, do you need to read a review of a film titled House of 1000 Corpses? You do? Ok. Set over, you guessed it, Halloween, four teenagers driving across rural America in search of offbeat roadside attractions stumble over more than they bargained for. Soon the body count is soaring and, well, you know the rest… Visually entertaining, this roller coaster ride of gratuitous nudity and even more gratuitous gore takes the twists and turns expected from any decent teen-horror. Freaks, nymphomaniacs and psychopathic grandfathers; this film is the Texas Chainsaw Massacre of our generation.

Rob Zombie is infamous for his love of music and this is made clear by the music video feel of the movie. This isn’t a bad thing; with minimum storyline which seems to progress only in order to reach the next death, killing off the cast as quick as you can scream ‘Don’t go in there!’, Zombie focuses on building tension, red herrings and raucous scares through his rapid edits. With clever flash-forwards and one exceptionally well-filmed close-up of an eye, the audience will literally be jumping out of their seats in unison.

The main problem for the actors who can certainly scream believably (doing this a lot!) is the abundance of cheesy dialogue, but this is to be expected and appreciated when what we are watching is essentially a B-movie horror film. Ultimately a hammed up gore-fest, the film works by playing on our own fears, without having to resort to CGI. And with the most twisted family ever to grace the big screen, this is a film that shouldn’t be viewed alone.

Zombie strays away from any twists on the horror genre, reverting back to vintage teen-slashers such as Friday the 13th, notably in order to shock. And he does just that. Any fans of the genre are in for a treat; this film is a successful homage to the 1970’s splatters. Just remember to check under the bed after you see it.

Phil Lurie

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Screenings of this film:

2003/2004 Spring Term (35mm)