Director: Rob Zombie
Starring: Sheri Moon Zombie, Bruce Davison, Jeff Daniel Phillips, Judy Geeson, Meg Foster
We’ve been waiting… we’ve always been waiting
Heidi is a recovering drug addict who is enjoying her work as a radio DJ at a radio station in Salem, Massachusetts. One day she receives a wooden box with an album by a band called The Lords of Salem.
The album contains a chant being delivered over a drum like sound. Heidi brings the album back to her work the next day and starts to play it live after interviewing an author who has just finished a book about the Salem witch trials. They will both soon find out that the album and the trials are connected and that witches are very much real and still active in Salem.
Finally Rob Zombie is back to doing original work after delivering a mediocre remake of Halloween and a sequel that managed to make me more mad than any other horror film has been able to ever do. I was never a huge fan of his first efforts, even though House of 1,000 Corpses and The Devil’s Rejects weren’t bad movies to start off his filmmaking career with.
I’m guessing Zombie went on a Lucio Fulci marathon film watch before making this film, because it sure feels and looks like Fulci came back from the grave to deliver a modern horror film with this one. Zombie nails the tone of the film and it almost holds up through the entire running time, before the ending kind of disappoints a bit. It is definitely the best looking film Zombie has made so far and it is a style he seems to master quite well instead of continuing with the more gritty style of his previous efforts.
As to be expected, his wife Sheri Moon is in it and she was given the role of the main character Heidi here. I think she did a good job with the character, although she does get a bit outshined by some of the excellent supporting characters that include great performances by Bruce Davison, Judy Geerson and Dee Wallace. Like a typical Fulci horror film though, audiences shouldn’t expect everything to be explained or even make sense.
I’m not sure who Lords of Salem is really for. The modern horror fan will probably not like the bizarre third part and might also want stuff to be more explained, while the older fan is probably not as forgiving today as they were with more obscure films from the 70’s and 80’s. However, I would say that both groups should give this a try as it is definitely the most interesting effort by Zombie yet. It relies on the visuals, has a creepy tone to it and the performances are good enough to make this into an enjoyable experience.