Rob Zombie came up with the idea for 31 after reading a statistic that stated that Halloween is the “number one day of the year when people go missing” and walking through the Great American Nightmare and seeing chainsaw-carrying clowns. Or, you know, he just wanted to keep making Eaten Alive by 2007 Tobe Hooper and not 1977 Tobe Hooper.
Halloween 1976: Carnival workers Charly (Sheri Moon Zombie), Venus (Meg Foster), Panda (Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs), Levon (Kevin Jackson) and Roscoe (Jeff Daniel Phillips) are traveling through the countryside when they get stopped by scarecrows and kidnapped to a compound where they will play the game of 31 for the pleasure of Sister Dragon (Judy Geeson), Sister Serpent (Jane Carr) and Father Napoleon-Horatio-Silas Murder (Malcolm McDowell). If you guessed The Most Dangerous Game, you’re right, played against facepainted clown-lookalikes such as Sick-Head (Pancho Moler), Psycho-Head (Lew Temple), Schizo-Head (David Ury), Death-Head (Torsten Voges), Sex-Head (E.G. Daily) and Doom-Head (Richard Brake). Ginger Lynn and Tracy Walter also appear as Cherry Bomb and Lucky Leo.
Brake’s the best thing in the movie, as he at least gets two speeches in. But man, for a movie that had not one but two crowd-funding campaigns, you would think that money would make this movie a little better. Of all Zombie’s movies, I found this the roughest, as it never really gets anywhere, despite being filled with sound, fury and a Kafka quote that just says, “See, I’m smart.”
In fact, there’s so much pandering to be cool. Look, there’s Malcolm McDowell, he was in a cool movie that’s still edgy! Look, I have Nosferantu playing on a screen! Hey — a body under the dining table reveal just like Rocky Horror! It’s the 70s, man. Everybody was saying the c word. Swearing is cool.
You know that guy that keeps telling you how amazing he is?
He’s this movie.
You can watch this on Tubi.
You can also hear how much I hated this movie mere minutes after I watched it right here.