Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The Lords Of Salem - Ehhh...

 The Lords Of Salem - Ehhh...

PLOT - Heidi, a radio DJ, is sent a box containing a record -- a "gift from the Lords." The sounds within the grooves trigger flashbacks of her town's violent past. Is Heidi going mad, or are the Lords back to take revenge on Salem, Massachusetts? 

LOWDOWN - I wouldn't call myself a SUPER big fan of Rob Zombie. I'm not really a big music nut but I have listened to his music from time to time whenever it played either on the radio or appeared on a film soundtrack. I was there opening weekend when House Of 1000 Corpses was finally released. In fact I still remember my mother buying me and my friend tickets so we could go in. A few years later I was nicely surprised by it's follow-up The Devil's Rejects which took the story of House a step further. Turning it's bizarre Fun house/Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 colorful feel away, he made it's sequel into a gritty 1970's Western that I loved. Mr. Zombie did something very few have tried before in the past. He took insane horrible characters that were the villains and made the audiance feel sorry for them and root for them in the end. I still feel the very end blaze of glory is one of the best endings to a horror movie in the last fifteen or so years.

Then Halloween came.

I think we all know my feelings towards remakes. Halloween really didn't need to be remade but like so many other classics it happened. I have sorta a find memory to the first remake being released back on my 19th birthday in 2007. My mother and sister took me, and I remember walking out afterwards sorta in a daze. I didn't hate it. but I didn't love it. I remember giving it another try a week or so later with my mother again and I couldn't believe she enjoyed it. I still remember he explaining to me that this remake was by no means as good or as classic as the original (my late mother was a huge fan of the original Halloween and even saw in at a drive-in with my father back in 1978), but it was a decent movie which had some pretty good elements that worked for it and it was by far much better than a few of the sequels that were released from that series. I remember slowly the movie grew on me. It wasn't a terrible film, but it wasn't good either. I always say I can tell it's a Rob Zombie movie just seconds into watching it by the dialog. Still like I said certain things were horrible about this movie, and other things worked for it. In the grand world of remakes that isn't all that bad.

Then Halloween II came out or should I say H2 "sigh". This was a very bizarre movie. Instead of trying to remake the original sequel we pretty much got a two hour acid trip ride showing a girl who was in the process of a nervous breakdown. This movie hit a little too close to home for me since the same year this movie was released I had lost my mother. I felt bad for the character of Laurie, but also found her very unlikeable. The surreal dream images didn't fit in and the movie really was nothing more than a visual thrill ride with a poorly written plot.

That's the same with Lords Of Salem.

I'm from Massachusetts and live about a half an hour or so away from Salem. I love that town and often visit it around Halloween. It's a great little town with rich history so seeing that Mr. Zombie was from Haverhill (the next town over from where I live) I felt he was the right man to do the job.

I didn't follow the making of the movie but when the teaser trailer was leaked this summer I got pumped. The posters, cast, and little bit I knew about the movie seemed promising.

So Sunday morning, hungover as shit I wandered out to go see this movie and honestly couldn't have been more disappointed.

What we had was a great storyline. I LOVED the setting of Salem and having this radio DJ receive the record from the band "The Lords." In fact the first half an hour of the film was great. Meg Foster honestly blew me away in her role, and I loved of course seeing adorable Dee Wallace Stone. 

The movie had somewhat likeable characters and I really have to hand it to Mrs. Zombie. Even though many find her annoying I thought she did a great job in this movie and I loved the blended lines of a girl under a spell, or a nervous breakdown. 

Bruce Davison also did a great job, and like I said I found many of the characters very likeable. I found the visuals breathtaking, and the whole first half of the movie a very weird beautiful living breathing piece of art. Sadly the movie lost me in the last twenty minuites and it seemed like some weird acid trip gone wrong. The visuals were just there to be shocking and it came off as cheap. I hate movies being weird just for the sake of being weird. They took a very promising story and shit all over it. The movie had it's highlights (loved the Lords song on the record, beyond haunting...) Still, I was disappointed and didn't really like what sort of movie I ended up seeing.

Like I said visualy, wonderful. Story-line wise...ehhhh.

If there's every an uncut version for this movie I'm sure I'll check it out for cheap. Until then...Mr. Zombie, I'll be waiting for the next project.

1 1/2 Stars!

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