The Lords of Salem (2013)

The Lords of SalemBy: Oberst Von Berauscht (Five Beers) –
How many beers do you recommend for this movie?
1 Beer! A Toast! Great Movie!2 Beers! Good Movie!3 Beers! Okay Movie!4 Beers! Mediocre Movie!5 Beers! Awful Movie!6-Pack! Bad movie! Do not be Sober!

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Heidi Hawthorne (Sheri Moon Zombie) is a Rock DJ and recovering addict living in Salem, Massachusetts.  One day, she notices a new tenant has moved into the vacant apartment down the hall, however her landlord denies renting the room out.  Later that day at work, a vinyl record is left for her with a note that it is a “gift from the lords”.  Upon playing it, she begins to experience strange hallucinations.  Is it a product of her addict mind, or is hell on Earth nigh at hand?

Lords of Salem

Hint: This is not an AA meeting

A Toast

Rob Zombie has a keen eye for visual details, and makes heavy use of truly unsettling imagery.  The film’s visual style is heavily reminiscent of late 70’s italian horror, with Dario Argento’s thematic color palettes and production design blended with the grotesque shocks of Lucio Fulci.  In spite of the obvious nepotism, Sheri Moon Zombie makes for a perfectly amicable lead character.  At first her character is outgoing and upbeat, slowly coming unglued as the film moves along.  Her reactions to the 5 note “Lords of Salem” song are particularly jarring.

Rob Zombie

Or maybe Rob just forced her to listen to “Dragula” on repeat…

Beer Two

The film’s dialogue ranges everywhere from workable to “train-wreck”.  It is often difficult to tell if Rob Zombie was trying to be campy or serious.  If he was trying to be serious, he failed, particularly in the Devil Worshiping ceremony sequences, which are laughable at best.  On the other hand, if he was going for camp, than this throws the dark and moody atmosphere of the film into awkward contrast.

Beer Three

Herman “Munster” Jackson (Ken Foree), and Herman “Whitey” Salvador (Jeff Daniel Phillips) are the two radio DJs who work with Heidi.  Both of the characters feel totally underutilized.  Their presence might have not been missed so much if they were given less screen time early on, but the way they are set up hints at an arc that is never explored.  Like a bad slot machine, it utterly fails to pay off.

gambling

“Social Security checks don’t spend themselves”

Beer Four

For a film that tries so hard to have a dark twist of an ending, I found it incredibly predictable.  I won’t spoil it for you, but I will say that  Rosemary’s Baby looks suspiciously like the Mandrake Root from  Pan’s Labyrinth.

Beer Five

So, all this build up to meeting Satan himself, and what do we get?  A naked, zombified, double-dicked Octavio from Scarface.

Satan

“Strangers in the niiiiiiiight…”

Verdict

5Beers1

A movie that doesn’t seem to know what tone it’s supposed to take.

 

Drinking Game

Take a Drink: every time they play the “Lords” music

Take a Drink: for any jump scare

Do a Shot: for cringeworthy nudity

About Oberst von Berauscht

Oberst Von Berauscht once retained the services of a Gypsy to imbue in him the ability to accurately describe the artistic qualities of a film up to seven decimal points. To maintain this unique skill, he must feast on the blood of a virgin every Harvest Moon, or failing that (and he usually does), he can also make a dog do that thing they do where they twist their heads slightly (you know, when they're confused about something) at least a few times a week. I've gotten way off track here... The point is, Oberst is one of the website's founders, so... yeah

One comment

  1. I know there’s a significant camp of Rob Zombie apologists out there, but I really can’t get on board with him. He claims to want to show unvarnished violence to make us come to terms with how we would really view it, but the result comes across the opposite- celebration of the brutal and fucked up.

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