House of 1000 Corpses

April 11th, 2003


House of 1000 Corpses

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Still of Karen Black in House of 1000 CorpsesBaby & Mother FireflyStill of Bill Moseley in House of 1000 CorpsesRob Zombie in House of 1000 CorpsesSid Haig stars as Captain SpauldingDirector Rob Zombie

Two teenage couples traveling across the backwoods of Texas searching for urban legends of serial killers end up as prisoners of a bizarre and sadistic backwater family of serial killers.

Release Year: 2003

Rating: 5.7/10 (34,423 voted)

Critic's Score: 31/100

Director: Rob Zombie

Stars: Sid Haig, Karen Black, Bill Moseley

In "House of 1000 Corpses", two young couples take a misguided tour onto the back roads of America in search of a local legend known as Dr. Satan. Lost and stranded, they are set upon by a bizarre family of psychotics. Murder, cannibalism and satanic rituals are just a few of the 1000+ horrors that await.

Chad Bannon - Killer Karl
William Bassett - Sheriff Frank Huston (as William H. Bassett)
Karen Black - Mother Firefly
Erin Daniels - Denise Willis
Joe Dobbs III - Gerry Ober
Judith Drake - Skunk Ape Wife
Dennis Fimple - Grampa Hugo
Gregg Gibbs - Dr. Wolfenstein
Walton Goggins - Steve Naish
Sid Haig - Captain Spaulding
Chris Hardwick - Jerry Goldsmith
Ken Johnson - Skunk Ape Husband
Jennifer Jostyn - Mary Knowles
Irwin Keyes - Ravelli
Matthew McGrory - Tiny

Taglines: There's no turning back!

Release Date: 11 April 2003

Filming Locations: Chicken Ranch, Backlot, Universal Studios - 100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City, California, USA

Box Office Details

Budget: $7,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend: $3,460,666 (USA) (13 April 2003) (595 Screens)

Gross: $16,829,545 (Worldwide)

Technical Specs

Runtime:  | Argentina: (Mar del Plata Film Festival)

Did You Know?

Sid Haig beat out Jon Polito and Red West for the role of Captain Spaudling.

Audio/visual unsynchronized: When the robber with the ski mask points his revolver at Captain Spaulding for the last time you hear the sound of the hammer being cocked, yet in subsequent shots the hammer is uncocked.

[first lines]
Announcer: Attention boils and ghouls, it's time for Dr. Wolfenstein's Creature Feature Show.
Dr. Wolfenstein: Ah! The doctor is in! Don't scream, don't move. Stay tuned for channel 68's Halloween Eve movie marathon! I'm your host, your ghost ghost, with the most, Dr. Wolfenstein! I will be with you until the end!

User Review

Rob Zombie's nightmare world realized on film

Rating: 6/10

In my opinion, House of 1000 Corpses is a fan movie. Fans of both the horror genre and Rob Zombie are likely to love it. Though I do not count myself a fan of either, I do like both at times, and I am quite familiar with both. Those familiar with Rob Zombie are likely to be the only ones who completely 'get' this clever little film - appreciating its depraved sense of humor and nihilism. Zombie's themes are fairly consistent - evil (without the usual religious connotations and clichés), murder, sex, insanity, and stereotype "hillbillies". Zombie's world is not a place for people who are terribly concerned with reality, but, for Zombie himself, it seems to supply endless muse for a prolific and interesting commercial creativity.

Two couples traveling across country and working on a book on bizarre roadside attractions stumble across a filling station / theme park run by a vaguely evil clown with a bad attitude - Captain Spaulding. Spaulding teaches them of a few local legends, including a mad surgeon who worked in a local insane asylum and came to be known as Dr. Satan for the grotesque surgical procedures he applied to mental patients in secret. They pick up a pretty blonde hitch-hiker on their way to see the tree where Dr Satan was hung, and run into some car problems, so the hitch-hiker invites them to her family house. The family, apparently headed by the phenomenally weird Karen Black, makes The Addams family look like the Brady Bunch.

My narrative has described the first 20 minutes or so of the film, and at this point the film, much like RZ's songs, is so campy that it seems a straightforward horror comedy. However, once our protagonists are in "the house", the plot takes a decidedly more sinister spin, and never lets up from that point forward.

This film successfully and entertainingly portrays all of RZ's themes in about the same proportions as his music. Of them all, sex is the least explored, and I, for one, am thankful for that. The film also walks a delicate line between Hannibal Lector grotesque art realism and supernatural forces. For example, at one point, one of the bad guys turns on a cassette player with low batteries so that the voice recorded on it sounds extra-satanic.

If you have problems with blood and other bodily fluids, and utterly repulsive surgically induced variations on the human body, you might want to avoid this film. If you don't have any great objections to standard hardcore horror imagery, or if you like it, you might want to see this. It is masterfully visualized and does a much better job of making horror into art than the standard Hollywood horror fair. This is Rob Zombie's art, and he does it much better than most. This first major effort in film bodes well for his future use of the medium, and I will look forward to his next.


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