Rob Zombie went from directing his own music videos to gleefully torturing audiences with gory visions of clowns, covens, and cutthroat killers.
So with his latest horror film available on streaming platforms now and Halloween right around the corner, we thought what better time than to present our favorite Rob Zombie movies plucked straight from his blood-soaked resume.
Murder World. Some fans may remember the phrase from White Zombie’s second album and the apocalyptic track “Murderworld.” For the purposes of this list, it refers to the hellish setting of Rob Zombie’s latest flick. In 31, a handful of slack-jawed carnies are dumped into an isolated compound and forced to fight off a slew of homicidal pukes—including a parade of satanic clowns. Their day of reckoning is October 31.
Inspired by a strange statistic stating that more people disappear on Halloween than on any other calendar day, 31 is a carnival of violence. It’s also Zombie doing what Zombie does best: mutilating the senses and not giving two you-know-whats in doing so.
2. Lords of Salem
Zombie is without question a visionary. And his fifth film, Lords of Salem, is proof of that. A hallucinatory collision between Zombie’s music and filmmaking backgrounds, Lords centers on a radio DJ (Shari Moon Zombie) who gets entangled with a coven of ancient Satanic witches. The visuals are as creeptastic as the music, and it all amounts to a watch that will haunt in your brain longer than the conception scene in .
Though John Carpenter’s 1980s classic is considered by most to be untouchable and un-remake-able, Zombie gave it a go. In his modern retelling of the Michael Myers narrative, Zombie uses the first act to explain the sadistic impulses behind the sadist. Jumping back several years to Michael’s early years, Zombie paints the future masked madman as a troubled preteen from a broken home who enjoys watching things like woodland creatures and school bullies die. His second act, a fierce tribute to Carpenter’s original vision, is a sweaty-palm joyride.
4. The Devil’s Rejects
A subversive romp through the armpit of Texas, The Devil’s Rejects revolves around the Fireflys, a family of mass murderers who are all named after Groucho Marx characters; they’re a ragtag crew of countrified, unkempt hillbilly predators who put the ick in hick. We met the Fireflys in Zombie’s first foray into film, , but it’s not until the sequel that Zombie really finds their voice. As for the gore? Let’s just say this one’s off the upchuck charts. That said, endure the disgust, and you may find yourself enjoying Zombie’s wit and—dare we say—charm.
Feature Still from "The Devil's Rejects" via Lions Gate Films