A figure walks slowly towards us, heavily back-lit and in black and white. The shadows finally expose Richard Brake as Doom-Head, with his nasty teeth and painted in cake makeup. Brake begins a chilling, perfectly acted monolouge to one of his victims before we witness his demise via a dull axe to the chest.
That scene certainly sets up the tone and dark tale we are about to endure. Sure there are a lot of Rob Zombie’s staple visuals, such as action stopping on a still image as it zooms in, or pans down, the staple ‘shaky camera’ that has become one of Zombie’s go to shots for any brutal action. But every director has a style. From Alfred Hitchcock, to Steven Speilberg, etc. You can watch any directors movies and pick out certain shots that they like to use, visuals they honed in on and like to tell a specific part of the story through.
I personally don’t understand all the hate the movie has gotten. I partculary found the film entertaining, not boring, and identified with Jeff Daniel Phillips’s character, Roscoe Pepper, enough for me to enjoy the film. To say this film is the worst horror film of 2016 is just insane. I understand that Rob Zombie has his ‘haters’ and that no matter what film he makes he’s going to get the shit end of the stick in their eyes.
The ensamble cast is great, solid acting from the entire cast, beautiful visuals, amazing art direction, and a killer soundtrack really engulfs your senses and pulls you into the story. Ah yes the story. It’s a bit like the Running Man, a game of survival, 31 hours to stay alive while the group encounters Sick-Head, Psycho-Head, Schizo-Head, Death-Head, Sex-Head, and finally Doom-Head. But it’s entertaining on how the group interacts with each other, the different emotional levels they have for the different people in their group and how they deal with each ones death.
This isn’t Gladiator folks, it’s a Rob Zombie movie, so take it in stride, enjoy the ride like I did, and if you are a Rob Zombie ‘hater’ just pass on it altogether, because it’s more of the same, but different!
31 is one of the few Rob Zombie movies I have added to my collection.
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