What it's about: A vengeful sheriff and two bounty hunters track a murderous family on the run.
Review: Distinctly different than House of 1000 Corpses in tone, we begin with a recounting of what we learned in the first movie - how the Firefly family led a life full of sadistic torture, rape, and murder within their dilapidated farmhouse in Alabama. Photos of the victims twisted in various forms are shown on the screen in startling relief.
Change to the camera framing the top of a dead woman, completely nude we soon learn as the camera pans out to show Tiny Firefly dragging said corpse through the woods surrounding the farmhouse. We are unsure of his destination, but that information becomes obsolete as in the distance, the sound of police cars and the image of the cars and trucks race down the road towards the farmhouse with the obvious intent of arresting the family.
|And this is what Otis had to say to that.|
The camera flashes over to the house that has the appearance that it is completely abandoned, if it weren't for the live cattle hanging around outside. Inside, the family sleeps unaware of the state police coming for their heads. The police line up outside their door, creating a barrier with their vehicles. With a quick peptalk to his fellow policemen ("Let's do what the Good Lord sent us here to do"), the sheriff pulls out a bullhorn and orders the Firefly family to surrender peacefully.
Instantly, all family members are awake, swearing, and scrambling for metal masks and body armor, as well as weapons. Mama Firefly and Baby shoot at police from the kitchen, while Otis and the other male member of the family shoot from the front door. Eventually, all shooting grounds to a halt as neither side is doing much damage and the sheriff orders tear gas to be thrown into the house; then they rush in, gas masks on and guns at the ready.
Unfortunately, the Firefly family seems rather unaffected by the gas and take out most of the officers rushing into the house. One family member is shot and killed, and Mama Firefly stays behind to mourn him as Otis grabs Baby's arm, dragging her off to escape while they can - Baby screams not to leave Mama behind, but eventually realizes the futility of her actions and follows Otis out a sewer line.
Mama Firefly faces the police with something of bravado as she grabs a pistol and holds it to her temple, claiming that they won't get her, at least not alive. She pulls the trigger, but the chamber is empty. "Looks like you're not getting out that easily, bitch," Sheriff Wydell sneers back at her. Meanwhile, Otis and Baby have escaped from the sewer line and the police, and make their way to a nearby road. Baby fakes being hit and lures an unsuspecting woman from her car; Otis kills her and the two siblings steal the car and race off in search of a hiding place.
And so begins Rob Zombie's second film, The Devil's Rejects. From the shocker of a beginning, it's obvious that the tables have turned on the Firefly family. While we still see them torturing and manipulating civilians, they become the victims of the film. Captain Spaulding is revealed to be the patriach of the Firefly family, being Baby's father; Spaulding proves to be a formidable clown when even Otis shows fear of the man.
|How could you not be afraid of that?|
Throughout the movie, our murderous trio is hounded by Sheriff Wydell, brother to the Sheriff Wydell in House of 1000 Corpses. He is obsessed with catching, and in the end, murdering each of the Firefly family for the atrocities they have committed. He however does not get his wish; Tiny, being the protective brother that he is, snaps Wydell's neck as he attempts to kill Baby. Before his untimely death, Wydell does manage to give the Fireflies a taste of their own medicine - he ties Baby, Otis, and Spaulding to chairs, then goes through each victim separately, asking who killed them, and then staple gunning the victim's photo to the killer's chest. Spaulding shows a surprising act of fatherly love when he attempts to protect Baby from getting this abusive treatment. In the end, all three of them have several photos stapled to their chests. Wydell drives metal stakes through Otis' hands, and then electrocutes each member separately. When he chases Baby through the yard, he yells "run, rabbit, run!", which echoes the first film.
My idea of the movie is that it shows how humanity is, in essence, bestial, no matter what paint you put on it. Everyone has the chance to be good, everyone has the chance to be bad. Is it how we're raised? How we're taught? Or is it all instinct? Kill or be killed, yet the Firefly family did their killing in sport, one thing that separates humans from animals.
However you look at it, Zombie's shocking film is ground breaking and entertaining; there is no way to be prepared for something like this. I can't name how he could have done something differently, I can't name any errors and such, as a matter of fact my head is still spinning from seeing it. I do have to say, you absolutely must see House of 1000 Corpses before seeing this film - the contrast between the first and the second is obvious, but I believe you will enjoy the second film more if you have seen the first.