3 From Hell
It's been sixteen years since the release of Rob Zombie's House of 1000 Corpses and fourteen since the follow up The Devils Rejects, and finally we got a sequel to the instantly-classic films that caught the attention of horror fans from around the world. 3 From Hell is the long awaited sequel to The Devils Rejects, and this week only, there is a special 3 day event to celebrate the release of the new movie - featuring double features, posters, and extra commentary for the die-hard movie goers. Soulless Cult - of course - had to jump at the opportunity to check out 3 From Hell in theaters alongside fellow Zombie fans, so we snagged our tickets early for last nights showing and were eager to get inside!
(Reader warning: this review contains spoilers, so please proceed with reading at your own risk if you don't want to know secrets about the new movie!)
3 From Hell picks up right where The Devils Rejects left off, with the Firefly family driving into a hail of gunfire from law enforcement. After getting picked up by the police, the Firefly family are dealt their sentences after the "longest murder trial in history," and 3 From Hell tells the story of what happens to the family after their sentencing. Now on the run, the family do what they gotta do to fly under the radar and avoid being recognized, so that they can continue to their run of giving a middle finger to "The Man." The plan: make it to Mexico where no one knows their name - or do they?! The trouble doesn't end for the Firefly family once the cross the border - if anything, things get fucking worse, and even more bloody!
While 3 From Hell certainly kept me entertained, laughing, and rooting for the bad guys the entire duration, the film just felt like it missed the mark I expected it to hit. Maybe I had set really high expectations for the movie (considering I'm a fan of almost every other Zombie film), but 3 From Hell just wasn't totally what I was expecting it to be. The lack of Captain Spaulding appearances definitely didn't help (although it has come to light as to why Sid Haig couldn't be a part of the movie - best wishes and a speedy recovery!!), but the "3 From Hell" - which is Baby, Otis, and Foxy (the half-brother of Otis, which is played by Richard Brake, Doom Head from 31) definitely had the awesome back-and-forth, entertaining commentary that the other films did so well. It no doubt felt like a Zombie movie, but like I said, for whatever reason it just felt like it didn't impress the crowd or push the limit like the prior films in the series did. Honestly, the story isn't even all that half bad - it's not a terrible follow-up story wise to The Devils Rejects. It just feels... lacking.
All of that aside, 3 From Hell is packed with what you'd expect from this series: blood, boobs, banter, and a pretty sweet soundtrack to tie it all together. It's entertaining enough to warrant a watch, although I'm pretty confident in saying that you'll agree it's probably the weakest of the three films. That's not to say it's a bad film - because it certainly isn't - it just doesn't have the same "holy shit" factor we got from Zombies' past work. Sherri Moon Zombie and Bill Moseley do a fucking stellar job at bringing their characters back to life after such a long lapse in-between movies, and the addition of Richard Brake as Foxy was an excellent call to make in the absence of the great Sid Haig. Speaking of which, which is appearance is brief, it's memorable and I'm happy they at least were able to get Haig in to do something for the film, so I'll take his brief appearance over none at all!
I'm hesitant to say 3 From Hell is disappointing, simply because it isn't a bad movie, it just doesn't hit the way I thought it would. I'd still highly recommend horror fans go and check it out, support Zombie in his film making and the awesome cast - but just don't go into it expecting a revolutionary movie that will change the face of horror. I enjoyed the movie, even if I do think it is the weakest of the three films, and would probably considering rewatching it if I was doing a runthrough of the series or if I caught it on streaming. If you can't make it to theaters tonight or tomorrow, 3 From Hell hits streaming and physical release on October 14th!