By: Movie Snurb (Two Beers) –
On Wednesday I had the pleasure of snagging tickets to the Fathom Events double feature of The Devil’s Rejects and 3 From Hell. The Devil’s Rejects has been my favorite horror film since it’s release 14 years ago and I have been waiting, like all of Zombie’s fans, for Rob Zombie to revisit the sadistic Firefly family. Presumably it was going to be a prequal since they all appeared to die in The Devil’s Rejects, but Rob announced less than 2 years ago that this would be a sequel. After the firefight with police at the end of The Devil’s Rejects, Baby, Otis, and Captain Spaulding are arrested and placed in prison after a long stint in the hospital. Now 10 years later Otis’s half-brother Foxy sprung him out of prison and they hatch a plan to bust Baby out as well.
The performances really sell this film and bring to life this band of psychos and over-the-top side characters. Jeff Daniel Phillips as the Warden who gets coked out of his mind is great, and Clint Howard makes a small appearance as a clown and his scene is so bizarre you won’t know if you should laugh or be terrified. Emilio Rivera as Rondo’s son is also great with minimal screen time. However, to no one’s surprise, the three main performances are the truly great performances. Sherri Moon Zombie takes a much larger role as Baby who seems to be teetering on the edge of insanity after 10 years in prison. Bill Moseley as Otis is much more subdued than Baby but he still is equal parts sadistic and witty.
Lastly Richard Brake is not just a worthy addition to the Firefly family as “Winslow Foxworth Coltrane”, but “Foxy” as he is called seems like he should’ve been in the clan from the first film. I only discovered Brake in Rob’s previous film 31 as Doom-Head and ever since Brake has been on my radar. He knows when to go all out and when to keep the emotions reserved to deliver an even more intimidating performance. His chemistry with Sherri and Bill is brilliant and makes up for the missing Captain Spaulding. If it were a lesser actor this film would’ve fallen apart, but their chemistry gives credibility to the fact that Foxy is Otis’s half-brother and that they’ve known each other forever.
Rob Zombie being a musician always knows the perfect song for every scene, and this film is no exception. With songs from The James Gang to Slim Whitman, his music taste is wide-ranging and gives his films an extra layer of cool. One other thing Zombie did that I loved was giving Baby a more upfront role in this film. He shoots Sherri with such admiration that his love for her pours through every scene. I only wish she would act in more movies and not just Rob’s.
SPOILER ALERT!! Captain Spaulding had some of the greatest lines and moments in The Devil’s Rejects and his opening scene in House of 1000 Corpses is still hilarious. He is a fan favorite and in him Sid Haig brings to life one of the most iconic horror villains to ever grace the screen. So it was disappointing that he is killed off in the first five minutes by lethal injection. We get a brief scene where he refers to himself as “The Bozo Jesus”, which Sid delivers with a brilliant mixture of insanity and comedy. Richard Brake fits right into the group and is amazing, but Sid Haig was definitely missed. In an interview with Bloody Disgusting, Rob says that originally it was going to be Sid with Baby and Otis but because of Sid’s health he had to take a backseat for this film. Get better soon Sid!
Had the pleasure of meet Sid Haig a few years ago, really nice guy and I wish the best for him and his family.
Zombie really went for style in this film and at times it becomes too stylized, making some of the fight scenes blurry and confusing, but overall it doesn’t detract too much from the overall quality of the film.
3 From Hell is gratuitous, violent, hilarious, and assaulting to the senses. It’s everything a Rob Zombie film fan could ask for. This maybe not be as good as The Devil’s Rejects, but it’s a worthy follow-up and any Rob Zombie fan will be happy with this film.
3 From Hell (2019) Drinking Game
Take a Drink: every time someone is killed
Do a Shot: every time Baby shoots her bow and arrow
Take a Drink: every time Baby acts crazy.
Take a Drink: for every messed up situation (There’s a few)