This was my first Rob Zombie film, and I can’t say I was impressed. The story follows a group of teenagers (including Chris Hardwick and Rainn Wilson), who are road-tripping across the country to write a book about weird roadside attractions. They Stop at Captain Spaulding’s (Sid Haig) Fried Chicken and Gasoline and learn about a local legend called Doctor Satan. Spaulding gives them directions to a tree supposedly tied to the myth, but instead, it leads them to his psychotic family.
The acting veers between decent and outright terrible. I thought Sid Haig was fantastic, and Chris Hardwick and Rainn Wilson brought an irascible charm to their roles. Walton Goggins was also a standout as a police office investigating the case of the missing teenagers. The Firefly family was definitely the low point. Their performances felt hammy and overacted, and it pulled me out of the film.
I also had an issue with the editing. It felt like they threw every editing technique they knew into this film, and sometimes it works, but most of the time it was just annoying. The dialogue was also atrocious.
I do have to say, though, that overall I had fun with this film, despite its flaws. There are some awesome, brutal moments and some standout performances. Plus, whoever chose the t-shirts worn by the characters was a genius. This wasn’t a particularly scary film for me, personally, but if you can get past the flaws, there’s a wild ride to be found here.
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