Rob Zombie is a titan of modern horror. He’s got a load of awesome movies under his belt, with last year’s 3 From Hell more than living up to his gonzo reputation. I even have a soft spot for his much-maligned take on the Halloween franchise (though the 2018 Blumhouse reboot leaves it in the dust). But it all began for Zombie with the epic cult hit House of 1000 Corpses, which is due to land on Netflix in just a few days.
If you’ve never seen it, you’re in for one hell of a watch. It’s the director’s debut feature and kicks off his famed Firefly trilogy (encompassing this, The Devil’s Rejects and 3 From Hell). The plot draws inspiration from classic 70s horror like The Texas Chain Saw Massacre and The Hills Have Eyes and is about a group of innocent teenagers who end up kidnapped by one of the most demented families to ever hit the silver screen.
I won’t spoil the particulars of what happens, but every time you think Zombie can’t possibly get crazier or gorier, he somehow manages it. As a result of that intensity, the finished movie took a while to get to cinemas. Universal produced the film, but when they saw the final product, they got cold feet as they believed it was destined for an NC-17. It was then promptly shelved, with Zombie eventually purchasing the rights to it from the studio and shopping around for a distributor.
He eventually found one in Lionsgate, who released the pic in 2003 – three years after the shoot had ended. Despite negative reviews dubbing the film “sickening,” “lowbrow” and “ultragory exploitation” (all big positives in my book), it went on to make a healthy profit. Since then, its notoriety has only grown and in a retrospective interview, Rob Zombie discussed its legacy, saying:
“Now, a decade later, it’s become a pretty loved movie among people. It’s great that we have this big celebration. I love seeing Sid Haig and the other actors get such great attention from it. The funny thing is, ten years becomes a long time. I’ll meet someone who’s eighteen years old, and that’s always been a film that they’ve loved. It’s funny that the film’s been around that long to be like that for some people.”
House of 1000 Corpses will be available to Netflix subscribers on October 1st. And if you’ve never seen it and count yourself as a horror fan, we suggest checking it out.