Imagine the sort of movie a bunch of adolescent geeks might make after watching “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” a couple of zillion times and buying a Tom Savini do-it-yourself makeup kid, and you’ll have some idea of what Rob Zombie’s “House of 1,000 Corpses” is like; it’s just a more garish version of the old story about a quartet of dumb-ass jerks who find madness and brutal death at an isolated house inhabited by a family of wackos. Zombie, who’s directed some music videos, is big on grainy, sepia-toned inserts of blood-drenched torture scenes and pointless camera pans, but he apparently hasn’t the slightest inkling about narrative structure or coherence, and doesn’t realize that just piling up the clichés he remembers from early slaughter-fests will cause more tedium than chills or laughs. His picture is visually vile, to be sure (something that’s delayed its release for a couple of years and sent it to a small distributor), but what’s worse is that it’s a crushing bore, lacking the slightest jot of imagination or sense of perverse fun. As for the actors, to speak of those who appear in the movie in such terms is an insult to the profession. Most of those stranded in the mess will, mercifully, never be heard of again, but things are so bad that one can’t even feel any sympathy for the likes of Karen Black and Michael J. Pollard–people who once had careers and are now reduced to appearing in tripe like this.
I’m not going to waste any more time on “House of 1,000 Copses.” It’s total garbage which will do nothing more than steal 88 minutes out of your life. One peculiar insert, of the sort that Zombie is so fond of, shows a wild-eyed old man screaming out the only line that you might remember with approval after the crawls. “You’re not going to hell,” he screams. “This IS hell!” A truer sentiment was never spoken.