You know, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Rob Zombie would be a fun person to go see a drive-in all nighter with. But man, when he makes movies, I just get the hives.
But hey — it’s radio week. And Heidi, the recovering addict who has become a radio personality in Salem, fits the bill. Of course, she’s played by Sheri Moon-Zombie, but if you’ve seen one of Mr. Zombie’s films, you know that she’s showing up somewhere. Hell, I’d do the same thing too if I made a film. People would complain that Becca is in everything and I’d just get sad.
One night, as Heidi does her morning show-style show at night with Whitey (Jeff Daniel Phillips) and Herman (Ken Foree, Dawn of the Dead), a box shows up with a record that is supposed to be a new black metal band called The Lords.
You know, you’d think Rob Zombie would know a bit more about black metal. But nope.
Anyways, this music creates visions in Heidi’s head and begins to possess her, which continues in her apartment, as the old women downstairs end up being witches. The fact that they’re played by Judy Geeson, Dee Wallace and Patricia Quinn hammers that point home.
Bruce Davison and Maria Conchita Alonso are in this as a Salem witch trial expert and his wife who try to help Heidi, but she’s already too far gone and trapped in a Rob Zombie movie after he watched a bunch of Ken Russell outtakes.
Andrew Prine also walks on as a 17th century priest putting Meg Foster’s witch character to death. I mean, if you can get Simon King of the Witches and Evil-Lyn in the same movie, why not? Zombie ups the ante with Camille Keaton, Barbara Crampton, Michael Berryman, Sid Haig, Lisa Marie, Clint Howard and Udo Keir, making this movie like going to a horror convention without paying $50 to get a photo with your favorite genre star.
It could have been even better, as Richard Lynch shot some scenes for this film. However, due to his worsening health and blindness, Prine took over his role. The money was so tight that the major scene that would have had Lynch, Berryman, Haig and Prine on screen together was never re-shot.
Wait — so where are Keaton, Keir and Howard? They were in a planned film-within-a-film called Frankenstein and the Witchhunter, which was supposed to look like a Hammer film. It didn’t make it into the final movie.
I guess, of all Zombie’s films, this one comes in second place behind House of a 1000 Corpses. You have to admire the audacity of a movie where the lead character gives birth to a mollusk baby while “All Tommorrow’s Parties” gloomily plays. I mean, I was laughing so hard I fell off my couch. And Becca has tried to watch this numerous times to try to convince herself that it’s a better movie than it is. She’s rarely wrong, but this may be one of those times.
Among RZ’s more interesting but less enjoyable films for me. I wish he’d try more like this, though.