While heavy metal star Rob Zombie’s career as a film director hasn’t been without its ups and downs, the man retains a fiercely loyal fanbase that continues to look forward to any new horror project he sees fit to put out there for consumption. That really isn’t too surprising, all things considered, as whether one loves or hates Zombie’s work, it’s hard to deny that he imbues his movies with an old-school hardcore style and often overtly sleazy presentation that’s quite unlike any other genre director active today.
Case in point is Zombie’s latest gore fest, which is titled Rob Zombie’s 31. The first trailer for the film has arrived, and it looks like its characters are in for quite a blood bath.
The plot for 31 – like most of Zombie’s films – is pretty simple, although it could be argued that simplicity is often an asset when making a horror picture. Five carnival workers are abducted on the night before Halloween (a.k.a “Devil’s Night”) and taken to a large remote compound. Once there, the unwilling guests are forced to participate in a sort of macabre game for the twisted amusement of those who run the place. The objective is brutally straightforward: survive a 12-hour period of what basically amounts to hellish torment, and go free. Don’t survive, and, well… it’s hard to get higher on the punishment scale than a painful death at the hands of a madman.
As is usual for Zombie, much of the principal cast of 31 is comprised of folks he’s worked with on previous films, with his wife Sheri Moon Zombie leading the way – although this time in basically the reverse of her sadistic psychopath character Baby Firefly from House of 1,000 Corpses and The Devil’s Rejects. On the villainous side of the returning cast fence is genre legend Malcolm McDowell, playing a character with the decidedly unsubtle moniker of Father Murder. McDowell is still probably best known to film buffs for playing Alex in the Stanley Kubrick classic A Clockwork Orange, but in recent years he’s perhaps become more recognizable to horror fans for his turn as Dr. Sam Loomis in Zombie’s divisive Halloween remake and its sequel.
It’s been over a decade since Rob Zombie directed a film that earned near unanimous applause from the horror fan community – that being 2005’s The Devil’s Rejects – and it’ll be interesting to see if 31 finally sees the iconoclastic filmmaker break his recent streak of “love it or hate it” projects. If nothing else though, moviegoers who love gory make-up effects and subversive insanity look to have much to enjoy this coming Halloween season, and Zombie’s remaining loyalists will probably be as pleased with his results as ever.
31 slashes its way into theaters on October 21, 2016.
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