The Lords of Salem
Director: Rob Zombie
Stars: Sheri Moon Zombie, Dee Wallace
Year Released: 2013
What can I say about The Lords of Salem that hasn’t already been said? What words can describe my experience watching Rob Zombie’s 6th venture into film writing and directing? Let me start off by saying that I am a huge Rob Zombie fan; I have been a fan of his since almost getting to see White Zombie and Marilyn Manson at a club in San Francisco in the early 1990’s. I love his music, his movies, his image and his attitude. I have continuously been impressed with Zombie’s films and his growth as a writer/director. While I am still a fan, being impressed with his film making has come to an end. Spoiler alert- the movie sucks.
Right out of the gate this movie sets the stage for the homage to classic B horror flicks that Rob Zombie is known to love and appreciate, and what most fans of his have come to expect in both his music and his movies. It is almost comical in The Lords of Salem, the way the movie opens, because it is so over the top and exploitative. But hey, it is a Rob Zombie film so surely it will get better. Sadly, the full frontal exposure of half a dozen women that should never be shown naked on film leaves an image on the retina that can only be erased by staring at the sun for too long.
All is not lost though, fade to black on the odd intro sequence and fade in to…Sheri Moon’s ass. Now this is a Rob Zombie movie. The love this man has for his wife’s ass is well documented, just watch any of his movies, and we have a good three minute of pretty much just her bare ass on a bed. In fact she is totally nude except for some knee high socks. I gotta respect Rob Zombie for not showing off too much of Sheri Moon. Her ass is really all that we get to see, a little side tit but that is it.
The movie could have ended there and I would have been confused but not disappointed. I also want to note that in this scene (the Sheri Moon Ass Scene) we get to hear the only decent music played int he entire movie. One of the great things about a Rob Zombie film is the soundtrack, he does what Quentin Tarantino does so well, the collection of classic rock hits and throw backs that you probably haven’t heard in years but fit the movie so well it was like they were written decades ago just so they could be in a Zombie film. Yeah, enjoy it happening in the first 10 minutes and don’t expect it again, because it is not happening.
I adore Sheri Moon, I really do and I think her and Rob Zombie make an awesome couple, but this movie is a great example of thinking that someone who has been in a supporting role can step up to a lead role and pull it off and it failing horribly. The chick cannot act, not in a lead role. She obviously knows her way around a set and can appear natural in front of a camera, but that is where it ends. I was annoyed and never convinced that her character was real because she cannot pull of the job of leading. And the camera wasn’t treating her well in this film, she looked a little worse for wear and not nearly as attractive as she usually is.
I would go into the entire plot of the movie and tell you all about the fact that the “Lords” aren’t even fucking men, they are a group of women that are somehow related to the original Salem witches, and that Heidi (Sheri Moon) is related to the man that had them all executed. I would go into greater detail about the romantic subplot that seems to have been forgotten about 3/4 of the way through the movie or the fact that you feel it is 1974 by the look of everything in the movie but it is obviously the 21st century because they have cell phones, say shit like “whatevs” and talk about the Internet. I would tell you all of this but I really don’t want to relive the experience.
I will say there is an electro-shit midget demon that appears near the end of the film and that it somehow fulfills the quest these witches are on and Sheri Moon gives birth to something out of Alien. I think that is what happened, it is hard to tell because understanding this movie implies that at some point it made sense.
This wasn’t even a horror flick, people laughed in the theater during about a quarter of the movie. No one was scared, no one was nervous. There was no real violence or disturbing imagery aside from the acting and flawed directing.
I want to say that this was a valiant attempt by a first time film maker, a great homage to a fan of grindhouse horror films and the kids that made it should be proud, but this is Rob Zombie’s 6th fucking movie and this isn’t Sheri Moon’s first time acting (though it really felt like it). I never thought I would give a movie a 0 out of 5, but this movie really doesn’t deserve any more than that. While this wasn’t an abortion of film, this was Rob Zombie aborting his film career.