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My review of The Devil's Rejects

The Devils Rejects is written and directed by rock star Rob Zombie. The move is a sequel, but it's one of those sequels that doesn't require the viewer to watch the first film to understand what's going on. It works as a stand-alone film. In my opinion, The Devil's Rejects is not only one of the greatest sequels of all time, but it's also one of the greatest revenge movies of all time.The story takes place in the late 1970's, and is about this deranged and dysfunctional family of serial killers called "The Firefly's", but they are nicknamed "The Devil's Rejects" by the media. They're on the run from the local Sheriff, John Wydell, but the twist is, the Sheriff is just as crazy and violent as the Firefly family, so some viewers may be left to wonder who they're suppose to cheer for, and who they're suppose to be scared of, and I love that. That is one of the many things that makes the film so appealing to me. It's not about telling you what to think. It's about making you think for yourself.

I also love that all the different people I've met over the years who have seen this movie have a different perspective of the whole film. Most movies it goes like this: Here's the good guy. Here's the bad guy. This is what you're suppose to think. That's okay sometimes, but I like films like The Devil's Rejects, Hard Candy, Falling Down, Taxi Driver, and A Clockwork Orange or TV shows like Oz or The Sopranos where you don't really know who the hero is, who the bad guy is, and the director/writer refuses to tell you what to think, and leaves the answers to you.

Most movies establish the good guy and bad guy right from the beginning, but here, you don't which is which. It leaves it all to the viewer's emotions. That's great filmmaking. I like that Rob Zombie gives the audience options, and allows the viewer to create his or her own personal interpretation. It makes the movie seem more real, because there are no true good or bad guys out there, because "good" and "evil" are all within the eyes of the beholder, and with this film, you're left to wonder a lot of things. For example: Is Sheriff Wydell the hero of the movie, or just another psycho?The film follows three serial killers who are running from the law. These people kill for sport. Nothing more. And before they kill their victims, they humiliate them and verbally abuse them.

The reason why Sheriff John Wydell is so blood thirsty for revenge is because the family murdered his brother, George Wydell, in the previous movie, so now John Wydell is determined to seek revenge, and he uses his power as the Sheriff to catch the family any way he can, even if it means breaking the same laws he's suppose to enforce and protect, or hurting other people, innocent or guilty.

William Forsythe as Sheriff Wydell steals the show in my view. You just can't take your eyes off him. He's a ticking time bomb. Wydell at times comes across as a highly religious fanatic. I think Wydell believes he is doing the work of his God. After all, his God does say in the bible, "Vengeance is mine,". Even God loves revenge, according to the bible. Loves it so much that he doesn't wanna share it. So God says revenge is for him only, but if God admits to ung revenge, and if God can only do good, does that mean revenge is good?

Does that mean if we are made in God's image, that revenge is not done out of hate, but is infact a blessed thing? I believe Wydell thinks so, and that he was chosen by God to carry out his work.

The tenon builds and builds before Wydell finally loses it and he goes to the extreme. He ends up becoming a psycho killer himself, only the victims he targets are members of the Firefly family.Now there are moments when The Firefly family will say or do things that might make the audience laugh with them, and relate to him, as well as even feel sorry for them....but then they will turn around, and do something totally shocking and remind us that they are still dangerous people....but people nonetheless.

Then you have a character like Sheriff Wydell who is just trying to protect society from highly dangerous people....and get revenge not only for his brother, but for all the innocent people The Devil's Rejects have tortured and killed.....once you realize and understand that, and maybe even feel a little sorry for Wydell, he will also do something totally shocking and remind you *he* is not all that innocent either.

To give an example: There's a funny scene where a movie critic insults Elvis Presley, and Wydell is a hardcore Elvis fan, so Wydell just goes psycho on him, and threatens him. The whole scene is hilarious, but it goes to show that if Wydell would get that ticked off over something like that, it's no wonder he became so insane after long his brother.

It's a very interesting character study. Pretty much all the characters could have their own spin-off movies that center on them because they are all that interesting. All the actors also have amazing faces, eyes, and voices too that really stand out.Another thing I love about the film: Rob Zombie was able to take really ck people and make them very likeable. It seems like some people cheer for the villains in horror movies just for the sake of it, and cause they wanna be rebels, but Rob Zombie actually actually took evil people and gave them great personalities, so you could generally like and care about them, and have good reasons to wanna de with them.

I like how the movie in a way was custom made for horror fans who cheer for the bad guys in movies. People who like to support the bad guys were also able to see things from a new point of view which was probably a first for them. In most horror movies, they're cheering the killer on as he chases the victims, but in this case, like the Firefly family, they were able to see what it was like from another point of view, and the viewer who is cheering for them gets to be scared and worried, and tting on the edge of their seat as someone insane stalks their favorite characters with an intention of torturing and killing them.Sheriff Wydell is a perfect creation for the type of people who like to root for the bad guys to cheer against. He's the type of character that people who like to cheer for bad guys would hate. I think anyone can enjoy this movie, but I do think it's target audience was the gothic/emo/skater/biker kind of crowd. Even though all horror movie fans come from all walks of life, the majority of them are usually the gothic type....tats, piercing's, are atheist or Satanist, etc. And then you have Wydell who is a cop, and most people hate cops, and Wydell not only was a cop, but he is the type of cop and Christian most people hate. Most non-redneck people seem to hate rednecks too, so Wydell being a hick probably also angered some people, and gave them more reason to hate him.

Rob Zombie strikes me as the type of guy who probably did root for the bad guys in a lot of movies, especially horror films, when he was a teenager, and I feel like Zombie was finally making a movie for all the people out there who like to cheer for the villains, but also left plenty of room out there for people who wanted to cheer Wydell, and gave them good reasons to do so.It makes me a little sad that some people would look at this film, and just think it's another ck violent movie that serves no purpose, and that people only watch it cause they're ckos. Nothing could be further from truth. This is actually one of the more intelligent horror films because it challenges you, makes you think, and presents many questions, and there is no truly right or wrong answer. But it can paint a good picture of what kind of person you are based on what you think. But some people are too blind in their hate for horror to understand that. Even people who love horror may just be too gore obsessed to see the whole big picture.

Some people who don't understand horror movies, or only care about gore probably would not get the many points I think writer/director Rob Zombie makes with this film. Horror haters/Gore lovers should understand that not all horror movies have violence for the sake of it, nor do all the people who go to see them go to watch them cause they get off on the blood, gore, and death.

Sure, movies are made to entertain people, and for the people who make them to get lots of cash, but some movies can create a good discuson about one's principles, how we should be ran as a society, and might make you think of some questions you never thought of before, and can help you grow as a person.

In the case of The Devil's Rejects, I think one of the most important questions is: Do you support cruel and unusual punishments? You see these characters doing all these horrible things to innocent people, and it has to be ck and disturbing for decent, mature people to watch, so later on when these characters get a taste of their own medicine, you can ask yourself that question if they deserve it or not, and if criminals in real life deserve the same treatment. What you think and decide I believe tells a lot about who you are.Some people cheer for The Devil's Rejects, and other people cheer for Sheriff Wydell. It's up to you who you wanna de with. I personally de with Sheriff Wydell. I like him cause he's an old-school, anti-hero cowboy. He's like a character from an old Sergio Leone western movie.

Wydell is tough, but fair, and most of the people he hurts are the type of people that would gladly hurt or even kill you and I, and not give it a second thought. Wydell may be a bit of a bully sometimes, and a little intense, but in my opinion, he has a good reason to wanna kill, and I am grateful men like him exist. If it wasn't for the John Wydell's of the world to do our dirty work for us, we all might be under Nazi-Germany's rules right now.

Willam Forsythe has the look of what a real action star should look like in my view. Most action heroes today are just Hollywood pretty boys. Back in the day, you had real action stars played by actors who actually looked like they could kick some butt in real life if they needed to. You could believe they were tough, because they had the look down perfectly, and that is the case with Wydell/Forsythe.I sometimes wanna cheer for the Firefly family, and I did in House of 1000 Corpses, but after seeing some of the things the family does in The Devil's Rejects, it's hard not to wanna see them get what they deserve. This film also makes me wonder if Charles Manson ever had a daughter, if he'd break down crying if someone put her in the same dangers he put others in.

I get the point Rob Zombie may have been making. You see these characters doing all these ck things to people, but then those same characters can make you laugh, and relate to them in the next scene. The Firefly Family also clearly cares about one another. They fight with each other sometimes like any family, but you can tell they love each other. I believe Zombie is showing the audience that these people are human beings too, and even the most ckest criminal out there isn't just some evil person with no feelings. Infact, I suspect in the minds of most dangerous people, they think they are not evil at all.

I sometimes wonder if Rob Zombie was making some type of anti-death penalty message. It's like even though these people deserve it, do they really have to go through all that? I think it's the goodness and the compason that makes us different from the killers, and if we act like them, we're no better.

But sometimes, it can be hard to make a choice on what you think in regards of this film, because one minute, I wouldn't mind seeing the Firefly family getting their karma after all they do to other people, but the next minute, I may be feeling sorry for them. This whole film is like riding a roller coaster.The movie is unique in a lot of ways. For example, most horror movie "heroes" are usually young and female, and they just barely survive (if at all) and are usually running around, screaming, all cut up, and unsure of what to do. But Sheriff Wydell is the type of character that could probably take down an entire army of zombies without any fear in his eyes.

Also, in most horror movies, the killers are always doing the stalking, but in this film, it's the killers themselves that are being tracked down, and it's interesting seeing how these violent people react to being placed in the same potion they put others in.Rob Zombie's other movie, "Halloween", also makes the same type of point that was made in The Devil's Rejects, and that is, revenge is messy, and it never really goes the way you want it to. And really, Rob Zombie's Michael Myers was a little bit like Sheriff Wydell because it was violence that made them violent.

What separates them from heroic characters seeking revenge in other movies is that Wydell and Myers both became just like the villains they loathed. It's as if evilness is a ckness, and if you're exposed to it for too long, you lose whatever morals you had, and you become what you once hated.

Some victims may be able to rise above it, and still be good, but not all of us can. It could be debated that those who can't are weaker and/or that they may have just always been violent, and would have done evil things at some point, even if they were not victims to other violent people.

Both Wydell and Myers wanted revenge, but they both had trouble controlling it, and perhaps Rob Zombie is trying to make a point that like the old saying goes: "Revenge is a dish best served cold." Meaning if the person wanting revenge goes into it all hot, he's likely to go hungry.

But the guy who approaches his mison and is all calm, cool, and collected about it, he can overeat. The movie "Kill Bill" is a perfect example of just how well a character can get revenge if they are more calm.

In clong, "The Devil's Rejects" is really not a horror movie, but more like a very violent modern-day Western. I only recommend seeing it if you're up to seeing some REALLY ck stuff.

I like The Devil's Rejects because it's a great story, and it's realistic. The camera work, the story, and the characters are all great.

Some of the camera work makes it look like you're watching a "Faces of Death" video or a documentary. The film's lighting also makes it look like it wasactually shot in 1978, and it looks like an old grindhouse film, which is a great touch by Rob Zombie.

The characters all look, and act like real people, and I like realism in my movies. The actors are all unknown actors for the most part, and are probably not going to be recognized by a mainstream audience, which adds to the realism of the film. You can actually see these characters as the characters instead of seeing a famous star playing a role.

I'm also a big clasc rock fan, and the movie has plenty of great 70's songs on the soundtrack.

I'd recommend watching this movie at night time, and I should add that not everyone will be able to handle this film because the violence and the look of the characters, and the story will be a little too realistic for some people to handle.

The Devil's Rejects is one of those movies where you t there and watch the credits roll, and think "Wow."

If you haven't seen it yet, please go buy or rent it. It's worth it.
Zeeboe Thursday 8/04/2011 at 06:33 AM | 79934