The Lords of Salem
Written by Rob Zombie
Directed by Rob Zombie
2013 - Alliance Films
Cast: Sheri Moon Zombie, Meg Foster. Jeff Daniel Phillips. Bruce Davison.
Eclectic Rating: stars
I'm a big fan of Rob Zombie's music, both solo and with White Zombie, and I've loved his movies House of 1000 Corpses, The Devil's Rejects, and his first Halloween Remake. Even The Haunted World of El Superbeasto was entertaining in a retardedly bizarre sort of way. His Halloween 2 didn't really work for me, but his latest filmmaking effort, Lords of Salem was even more disappointing. Maybe I'm getting old, but it just lost me. Too much random shit.
A reviewer of the Lords of Salem novel commented, regarding Rob Zombie's film work, "I wish rob zombie would stop making every character dress like him, and share all of his interests..."
There is a definite Rob-Zombiesque quality in some of the characters we see in his films, and we might argue that an artist's mark should permeate their work, however an artist's mark is usually not based on their personal appearance. Instead it is a quality or style based on an artist's ideals, influences and vision.
One mark that is consistent, and based on Zombie's influences, is the 70s stylings, though in the case of Lords of Salem the style is haphazardly mixed with other elements creating a confusing visual. It's surreal but not in an intentionally good way.
The movie is inconsistent and random. The storyline is fragmented. It poorly blends elements of a spooky paranormal ghost story, a personal dramatic story and ineffective attempts at some sort of psychedelia, while disconnected components like the giant hairy Sasquatch creature (who's gait is reminiscent of Tiny from "House of 1000 Corpses") only add to the confusion.
The movie bounces around too much and I actually felt like the whole film could have been wrapped up as a bizarre dream with no real point. That kind of ending may have actually worked better.
What was missing for me was a sense of urgency, a true threat, a struggle and a convincing, redeeming conclusion. Those are essential parts of any film, and if you plan to leave them out you'd better make damn sure your movie has a message worth pondering. Otherwise you'll leave the audience feeling like they just walked through a lame haunted Halloween attraction.
It's interesting that there is a soundtrack available for this movie. I don't even recall half of the soundtrack except the droning didgeridoo sound (which was cool), the boring hypnotic record sound from "The Lords" and Spirit of Radio by Rush. That's a great song, but to be honest, it was weird hearing it in this movie.
Lords of Salem boasts high production value, great effects and visuals, and a good story idea, but as whole it is rather ineffective and anticlimactic, with an inconsistent pace and overall confusing and disconnected plot elements.
Looking forward to seeing what's next from RZ, and I hope it's better than this.
Find The Lords of Salem at Amazon.com (paid link)More about The Lords of Salem at IMDb.com
Last Update: 10 May, 2019