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Lords of Salem [Blu-ray]  [US Import]
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A box containing a vinyl record arrives for Heidi. She assumes it's a rock band on a mission to spread their word. As Heidi and Whitey play the record, it starts to play backwards, and Heidi experiences a flashback to a past trauma.
Whitey plays the record, dubbing them the Lords of Salem, and to his surprise, the record plays normally and is a hit. Another box arrives presenting the Big H team with free tickets, posters and records to host a gig in Salem.
But Heidi and her cohorts are far from the rock spectacle they're expecting.......
Zombie either makes movies that are either works of genius, or utter pants. Thankfully, this is just as good, if not better than his previous works. And it's all to do with his vision, and his stark, layered imagery.
Every scene and shot is breathtaking, lighting and cinematography wonderful, and this all adds another layer to an already rich narrative.
It's not necessarily scary, just very eerie, and it harks of The Shining, Holy Ground, and The Ninth Configuration.
Zombies movies are involving and important because they do not conform to generic cinema, and that's probably why many don't like his movies.
They simply don't understand them, hence labelling them boring, or rubbish.
They are strangely beautiful, and in many respects, poetic.
The Lords of Salem uses elements from Ken Russell's best films, also The Devils, Hammer's The Devil Rides Out and Rosemary's Baby. There is even flashes of The Shining. But this all original and all Zombies work. The nature of the movie revolves around Sheri Moon's character, she plays a DJ who gets a request to play a record, that record possesses her and she slowly changes. Just watching her methamorphisis into single fun loving woman to bad natured and possessed is quite brilliant. Satan is at work, but the movie could easily be a metaphor for heroin addiction as she stays confined to her flat and refuses to see her friends. Her landlords are witches and protectors and go to any lengths to protect her. Dee Wallace who has been out of the horror game for ages is great. Hearing her mutter the C word is interesting.
Barbara Crampton is also here and it is so refreshing to see Zombie not forgetting horror's past. The imagery near the finale is breathtaking. And I may annoy a lot of people here, but I feel this film is superior to The Devil Rides Out. I feel Zombie got the Satanic rites spot on, it is a film that leaves you thinking afterwards. A force that cannot be stopped. The film has divided many fans especially Zombies ones, but I can't see why, this is a genuine classic- we're lucky to have him.
Here's where I'm at; 'The Lords of Salem' neglects all the things that we've come to love Zombie for and is a huge disappointment.
Firstly, the wierdness, excessiveness and tongue-in-cheek humour of 'Corpses' and 'Devil's Rejects' is virtually all missing and when it does come is forced and a bit 'trying too hard'. It's like watching elements of Tarantino or Park Chan Wook done badly as opposed to being fresh and different like before (sorry!!).
The completely over the top gore and nastiness is toned down a lot; no problem, but if you've captured a loyal following of fans on the back of this you need to make sure you replace it with something solid all round. This leads me on to one of the loosest, poorly contextualised plots I've ever seen and really weak characterisation. Throw into the mix an iffy script, one paced storyline and some suspect acting and you're sadly getting into 'turkey' territory! Sadly I was doing the fateful 'how long's left' clock watch towards the end it got that bad.
If you're still with me, here's my main gripe. If 'The Lords of Salem' has been done as an intentional retro B Movie we'd have all laughed along willingly - trouble is though it feels as if we're meant to take is seriosuly. In other words, it's not quite 'so bad it's good' and this strangely makes it even worse!
Watching 'The Lords of Salem' will leave you with that numb feeling you get when you know you've watched something bad. You don't know why and can't be bothered to analyse why.....you just 'know'.
Sorry folks; but from one Zombie fan to others, brace yourself for a big let down.
PS - Sid Haig's part is absolutely tiny (correction, completely cut)....another disappointment!
So I was admired by his new movie, because it's elegant, it's stylish, it's dark, it manages to convey you a sense of suspension, a nightmarish atmosphere, almost like John Carpenter's masterpiece, "Prince of Darkness" meeting David Lynch's nightmares.
Of course the film is full of references and tributes to other movies (Shining, Carpenter, Melies, etc...) but it seems that Rob Zombie has finally grown up as an adult, and doesn't really need to shock anymore, but to impress in an almost subconscius way.
But, although switching to an apparent opposite approach, the results are quite the same as before: the story is not so rich and complex, exactly like in his previous movies: here, more than before, there are certainly some great ideas, but they never come together and make a point so you can really enter the world Rob has been so "charmingly" painted before your eyes.
What's missing to be a masterpiece is that you sense that something's gong on, but you're expectations are just met at the end, in a kind of bizarre and, to me, unresolved way: too easily reduce to a kind of dance of death, with not such a deep or dense meaning (the plot is basically about a not feeling good woman who gets caught by witches for a satanic sacrifice).
You're just admiring a string of beautiful scenes, but you' re almost not welcome to touch it and be part of it. So eventually, after so many expectations, you get let down by the movie.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Intelligent horror/thriller. This is possibly Rob Zombie's best work to date (yes better than 31). It doesn't pull any punches with very strong imagery throughout. Read morePublished 2 months ago by neil-j
Great film. This was my first time using Amazon video and the HD quality looks awesome with the way the lighting in done on the film. I watched using my ps4.Published 7 months ago by james
The movie divides people, but wanted to let others know that are looking for a blu-ray copy of this film, that this is a French copy that does include the film in English but you... Read morePublished 8 months ago by RoarUK
Rob Zombie serves up his most overtly occult/satanistic offering with wife Sheri playing the lead.
I liked the premise of the story, however I won't offer a synopsis... Read more
I really liked this film, and have seen it twice now.
As most Rob Zombie movies, it's a strange film and features his wife as the main character Heidi who plays a... Read more
It is not as described , it is totally in French Language .
Not recommended to buy as Blu Ray .
I so wanted to love it, Rob's amazing but it looked like bunch of images held in place by a flimsy script with no real structure.Published 12 months ago by J. E. Sadler