Rob Zombie’s 31
review by Bobby Blakey
Over the years Rob Zombie has not only delivered some amazing music, but has cemented himself as a great filmmaker with an impressive resume including House of 1000 Corpses, Devil’s Rejects, Halloween and Lords of Salem. Now he is back with his latest film 31 that features some familiar faces from his films and some newcomers including Sheri Moon Zombie, Richard Brake, Meg Foster, Malcolm, McDowell, Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs, Jeff Daniel Phillips, Lew Temple, and EG Daily, but does it offer up something different than his usual gritty fair or will it be a game not worth playing?
31 follows five carnival employees who are kidnapped & held hostage in an isolated compound known as "Murderworld". On Halloween, they are thrown into a sadistic game called "31" where they must survive 12 hours against a gang of maniacs dressed like clowns. However, the clowns aren't the only ones they need to worry about - a grand scheme of satanic rituals & a much more sadistic plot awakens. It's time to play 31. I had the joy to cover this special screening of 31 at a Fathom Events event that kicked off with two awesome ne music videos from Zombie off of his new album. Both of them were vintage coolness both visually and musically setting the perfect tone for the movie to come. For anyone that has seen a Rob Zombie film you have a good idea of what you are getting into and it is a lot of fun. His films always have a unique look and feel to them and this one is no different. Where this film stands apart from the others is the clear passion he has to make this film which is something that tends to show up in all his work. It is clear he has a vision and sets out to make what he wants and in turn makes for some great filmmaking. The story is really simple which it should be for a film like this and offers up just enough to set it up and let the fun take over.
The film feels a bit off initially as they are setting everything up, but it could easily just been my eagerness to get to the carnage taking over. The game setting makes it feel familiar, but it quickly becomes clear this is something different from the opening sequence. Richard Brake delivers the set up monologue with menace and charm like only the perfect psychopath could and you know instantly that there is some insanity to come. The rest of the cast do a decent job with a coupled of bumps here and there, but overall all do a good job with their respected characters. Where this film really shines are the clown killers themselves. I don’t want to give too much away about them because part of the charm is each of them coming into play, but I can say each one is better than the next. While they are all great I have to give props to the always great Lew Temple who kills it standing out as one of the best of the bunch along with Pancho Moler with both all in to bring these crazies to life. There is plenty of gore here, but it was nowhere near as graphic as I expected and can only hope that there will be an unrated version in our future to make it all the more fun to watch.
This might be one of my favorite movies Zombie has done next to The Devil’s Rejects and much props to him for sticking to making the film he wanted and the gritty quality he pulled off on a tighter budget. In addition to the blood soaked carnage of the film this release will also include commentary from Rob Zombie and the featurette “In Hell Everybody Loves Popcorn: The Making of 31” Documentary that takes you deep behind the scenes of bringing this chaos to life. Join this violent game Rob Zombie’s 31 hits Blu-ray and DVD available now from Lionsgate Home Entertainment.
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