Lords of Salem (USA, 2012) - Color, Director(s): Rob Zombie
MPAA Rating: R
Approx. 101 min.
Z-rating: 4 stars out of 5
Cheese Factor: 1 stars out of 5
I've always been a fan of Rob Zombie's music and his movies. I know they're not for everyone but I also know the guy is a HUGE fan of classic horror movies. So whether you like him or not, you can't deny that he does what he does with a passion. The guy's just got his own unique vision and that might not be for everybody. I know some people are tired of seeing her but I'm also a fan of Sheri Moon Zombie, she's still smokin' hot if you ask me!
This is NOT your traditional horror movie. Zombie does what he does best in this one and that's creating disturbing imagery. As the title suggests, the story involves the Salem witch trials and the women who were burned at the stake. We cut to modern day Salem where a DJ named Heidi (Sheri Moon) is one-third of a radio team down at hard rock station, WIQZ. (Alongside genre favorite, Ken Foree!) One day, a mysterious box containing a record by a band known as "The Lords" suddenly appears at the receptionist table addressed to Heidi. When she tries to listen to it, she gets strange visions of a coven of witches who are damning a newborn baby. The next day, during an interview with an expert on the Salem witch trials, they play the record (by the band now dubbed "The Lords of Salem") which seems to put some of the female listeners into a trance. Heidi also gets headaches and mysterious vision whenever she listens it. As each day passes, Heidi's visions get worse and she is plagued by horrible nightmares. Could she be going insane or are there darker forces at work here?
Not a very complicated plot, but one that allows Zombie to bombard us with dark and disturbing imagery. I wouldn't say that this movie is "scary" necessarily, but you do get this lingering sense of grim hopelessness like there really is something sinister lurking in the shadows. The movie is more unsettling than it is outright terrifying.
Nudity: We get to see Sheri Moon sleep fully nude but belly down on the bed within minutes of the movie starting. (On her wall is the iconic scene from the 1902 French silent film, La Voyage Dans Le Lune a.k.a. The Trip to the Moon) She really is beautiful, and Zombie is a lucky man, but I can't say that I'm diggin' her dreads. The record by the "The Lords of Salem" also put women into a trance where they strip off their clothes.
Gore: Surprisingly, this is probably the least gory of any Rob Zombie film. That's not to say there isn't some blood shown here and there. Also, a man is beaten to death with a frying pan. Although this movie is definitely more disturbing than it is gory.
Awesome: Very. Rob Zombie had complete creative control during the making of this film, which is perfect for this type of movie. Though this movie might not appeal to everyone, I suggest watching it first before playing it for a crowd unless you're sure they're going to love it. The plot deals heavily with Satanic worship and ritual sacrifice, so it may not be appropriate for all audiences. Although if this is your kind of thing, there's a disturbing ritual at the end that has to be seen to be believed! Highly recommended for hardcore horror fans.