Director: Rob Zombie
Cast: Sheri Moon Zombie, Meg Foster, Bruce Davison, Jeff Daniel Phillips, Ken Foree, Patricia Quinn, Dee Wallace, Maria Conchita Alonso, Judy Geeson
Screenplay: Rob Zombie
101 mins. Rated R for disturbing violent and sexual content, graphic nudity, language and some drug use.
Today, it’s time for a little hard rock. Rob Zombie (31, Halloween II) has made quite the name for himself in the film industry with his unique take on horror. A few years back, Zombie got one of his passion projects to the big screen with The Lords of Salem. Now, me, I’m not a big witch fan as far as horror elements go. But, with Zombie’s name attached, I couldn’t pass this one up.
Heidi (Sheri Moon Zombie, The Devil’s Rejects, The Haunted World of El Superbeasto) is a DJ at the local radio station in Salem, Massachusetts, and when she receives a strange box containing a record from The Lords, an unknown band, she plays it for her listeners. But the record has secrets, and as the music emanates, Heidi begins experiencing flashes of a past she has no knowledge of. Is Heidi losing it or are the Lords of Salem back to claim the town for themselves?
The Lords of Salem isn’t exactly a cohesive plot as much as it is a series of shocking moments and images set to film. It’s loose story is all around Sheri Moon Zombie, who, despite Mr. Zombie’s beliefs, is not a leading woman yet. She doesn’t act for the audience, but instead reads to the audience. She is however matched by some terrific genre support with Bruce Davison (X-Men, Get a Job), Dee Wallace (E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial, Extraordinary Measures) and Patricia Quinn (Rocky Horror Picture Show, The Meaning of Life).
I will applaud Zombie’s technique at creating shocking imagery without the use of digital effects, and I would love to his first cut of the film, which contained a ton more story that might have kept The Lords of Salem on track more.
Rob Zombie’s The Lords of Salem is experimental horror as its most interesting, even if the film falls apart near the end. We need more original content like this in the world of horror, for even if it doesn’t work, it adds some mythology and flavor to a creative filmmakers resume and it makes me want to see what he cooks up next.
-Kyle A. Goethe