With House of 1000 Corpses, Rob Zombie announced himself as a filmmaker with a visual style that, while not exactly original, certainly made an impact among jaded horror fans. However, it was such visual choices that led to a plot hole between it and its follow up The Devil’s Rejects, specifically regarding the look of Otis Driftwood.
In the first movie, Otis is shown to be an albino, having alabaster skin, platinum hair and red eyes, while in the second his appearance is radically different, with a regular shade of white skin and his hair and eyes of more natural hues. The change was intentional, and was due to how the tone of the original film turned out.
House of 1000 Corpses was Zombie’s debut as a director and as such he was still figuring out exactly what he was trying to do with his movies. Evidently keen to emulate the stylings of the ‘70s grindhouse sleaze he loved as a young man, its overblown excesses ended up turning what was supposed to be black humor into something far more over the top and camp than he anticipated or even wanted, least of all due to several of its ensemble, including Otis, being dissonantly named after characters from Marx Brothers comedies. In attempting to rectify this in the sequel, Rob Zombie removed Otis’ albino traits as he decided they wouldn’t gel with the intended realism and grittier tone. The problem with the choice though is that since albinism is a genetic condition and thus not possible to be ‘cured’ of, the change cannot have any real justification.
However, it does unintentionally rectify an issue of albinos typically being portrayed as villainous, and a subset of a common creative decision to afford violent antagonists distinctive visual traits. These include the twin henchmen from The Matrix Reloaded, comic book mobsters Tombstone and Tobias Whale, hitman Mr. Joshua from Lethal Weapon, and the titular protagonist of H.G. Wells’ The Invisible Man.
The change in Otis’ appearance from House of 1000 Corpses to The Devil’s Rejects is never explained or even addressed, and along with the alteration of his personality from maniacally unhinged to coldly sadistic, has a real world justification but within the films themselves is simply ignored.