Judge Patrick Naugle will return, after several weeks of intensive therapy.
The greatest horror of them all!
Rob Zombie's name was once synonymous with music, churning out albums like "Hellbilly Deluxe" and "Venomous Rat Regeneration Vendor." Then Zombie became a Hollywood director and suddenly his name became recognizable with horror films. I guess depending on your tastes either you fall into the music group, the movie group, or the group that thinks anyone named "Rob Zombie" probably doesn't deserve your attention. Not surprisingly, I fall into the movie group.
I first heard of Rob Zombie when his debut film, House of 1000 Corpses, was released in theaters. Although derivative of many, many, many other horror films that came before it, the film nonetheless displayed an interesting aesthetic. The film was successful enough that it went on to spawn a sequel, The Devil's Rejects, which was less like a horror movie and more in line with a 1970s B-level exploitation flick. After those films, Zombie was given free reign to remake John Carpenter's seminal 1978 classic Halloween, and the results (as well as its tepid sequel, Halloween II) were disastrous. Zombie took everything that people loved about Carpenter's classic and proceeded to take a big fat dump on it. Zombie's latest film is The Lords of Salem, and the less said about that film, the better.
Even though I've enjoyed less than half of Zombie's filmography, I still think he has a distinct eye for visuals and, given the right material, could some day produce a really good horror film. This is what made me interested in seeing The Zombie Horror Picture Show, a full length film of Zombie live on stage. I wasn't sure what to expect. What I got was a concert experience that was as fun as rubbing my man parts against a cheese grater covered in rubbing alcohol. For those that actually enjoy that, let me simplify: I was not a fan.
Let me state that I realize I am clearly not Zombie's demographic. This musical experience is…heavy metal? Thrash metal? Goth metal? I'm guessing some musical genre with the word 'metal' in it. I am not a metal fan. AC/DC's "You Shook Me All Night Long" is about as crazy as I get. So, needless to say I did not enjoy the music. Zombie's persona—part Bob Marley, part un-bathed homeless man, all seething anger—is in full force on stage surrounded by musicians dressed up in various Halloween costumes. At one point a devil with an oversized head wandered on stage, followed by some kind of dark alien that looked like one of the Easter Island heads, and that was when I basically checked out.
There are sixteen songs included in this concert, and I honestly couldn't tell you the difference between each song because, frankly, they all sounded the same to me. Only when Zombie covered Grand Funk Railroad's classic rock hit "We're An American Band" did I understand the lyrics (and even then, they were screamed into the microphone). That particular tune only emphasized how void Zombie's songs are of melody. Then again, I really like Billy Joel, so maybe I'm not the best person to judge this particular artist.
Alright, you young whipper-snappers. Old Man Naugle has complained enough. I'm sure some of you are already up in arms and feel I didn't give The Zombie Horror Picture Show a fair enough shake. I'm almost 40-years-old and obviously my age is showing in this review. If this is your cup of tea, God bless you. The show is extensive and features Zombie hits like "Dragula" and my personal favorite named song, "Teenage Nosferatu Pussy" (let it never be said Zombie doesn't enjoy a good song title). The sci-fi / horror themed party will certainly speak to many people. I'm just not one of them. If you like watching crazy people wailing on drums and a show that appears to have been sponsored by Spirit Halloween, this is by all means your kind of disc. Just do me a solid and don't invite me to the party.
The Zombie Horror Picture Show (Blu-ray) is presented in 1.78:1/1080p HD widescreen. This transfer is quite a mixed bag; some of footage looks pretty good while other footage—recorded on what appears to be low end video equipment—is only mediocre (it was clearly a conscious choice by Zombie, who also directed the film). Much of the concert is bathed in darkness and strobe lights, so it's like being at an endless Halloween party. The DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio track is a very aggressive and bombastic mix that will bombard the viewer from all directions. If you like Rob Zombie, this is probably a good thing. If you don't, well…let's move on. The only bonus feature is a photo gallery from the concert.
If you're Rob Zombie fanatic, The Zombie Horror Picture Show is probably a no-brainer. If you don't like hearing people scream into a microphone while being surrounded by Satan's minions, you may want to take a pass on this concert performance.
Certain to excite fans…of whom I am a little bit terrified.
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