Thursday, August 8, 2013

In short: The Lords of Salem (2012)

I've never had any other reaction than annoyance to the movies of Rob Zombie; the man may be clearly as big a horror fan as Quentin Tarantino is a fan of all movies, but where Tarantino uses the bits and pieces of past movies he loves to make films very much his own, Zombie produces crap, overlong metal videos that impress through their stupidity, a propensity to demonstrate their director's research quite independent of the necessity of said demonstration (personally, I don't give a shit about how "authentic" a movie's occult elements are, and rather more about their use to make for an interesting film) and depress through the waste of talent in front of the camera. It's a neat demonstration of the difference between a director who has seen a lot of movies and some random guy who has seen a lot of movies and gets money for his films because he was in a (crappy) rock band behind the camera.

In a sense, Lords of Salem actually is an improvement on Zombie's previous efforts, seeing as it does contain at least twenty minutes that are actually pretty good, proves that Sheri Moon Zombie can be a better actress than is generally thought, and even gets sympathy points for its realization that yes, Dorothy, people - even women! - older than twenty-five do in fact exist.

Unfortunately, Lords of Salem regularly had me laughing tears whenever Zombie attempted one of his horror set pieces, all of them looking like a fan's idea of what's horrific and disturbing, unfiltered by any artistic talent. Unless you're making a horror comedy (and after this one, I'd actually pay good money to see a conscious comedy by Zombie), it's the death knell for your film if scenes like the dream-flashback sequence showing a the witch burning, or the witches promising nasty, nasty things to a baby, are as funny as the ones here, all over-earnestness and crap metal video style.

But hey, if you ever wanted to see how the ending of 2001 must look through the eyes of a twelve-year-old White Zombie or Marilyn Manson fan, The Lords of Salem has you covered with its climax (or rather "climax"), a sequence of scenes effortlessly combining the virtues of utter stupidity and visual cluelessness.

Also, Mister Zombie, hands off The Velvet Underground next time around.

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