Thank Cthulhu. Thank fucking mind destroying cosmic cuttle fish ender of realities Cthulhu for this movie. Why? As much as I wasn’t looking forward to another Rob Zombie movie after 31, today’s movie is an Elder Godsend! Why? Because it means that Sid Haig’s final movie before his passing WASN’T the abominable Death House! I feel like I’ve been blessed by the Galactic Pantheon version of Make-a-Wish!
So, first things first (novel concept, eh?): I was really hoping that the title of the movie was going to be taken literally. I wanted the Devil’s Rejects to become actual rejects of Satan, returned to Earth from the depths of hell for…reasons. Or, you know, have them survive execution because of black magic or some wacky shit. Unbelievable? Well, the actual plot Zombie goes with is almost as. All three of the prior movie’s murderers SURVIVED the lead hailstorm, each taking a DOZEN or more should-be-fatal shots! Holy fucking Terminators, even Half-Dollar Jackson only survived six!
As sad as it is to report, Captain Spaulding doesn’t survive the first ten minutes. With the poor health of Sid Haig (RIP), Zombie was only to get a few brief scenes from the man before his character is found guilty of a billion counts of murder and gets killed off via the death penalty. Baby ends up in prison on a permanent 5150 (the law code, not the Van Hagar album) while Otis gets life in prison. Why not the death penalty too? Probably some loophole like Manson (the Charles, not the Marilyn/Shirley) where the dp was taken off the books and life on a chain gang replaced it.
With Clown Jesus dying for our sins, the eponymous third member of our title is the surviving pair’s half-brother Winslow “Foxy” Coltrane (or, “The Midnight Wolf Man” as he insists on being called), who breaks Otis out of imprisonment. The pair work together to then free Baby before jaunting off to Spring Break in Mexico, where they’re hunted by a very violent vengeance seeker.
The biggest problem with 3 From Hell, nigh-Highlander like immortality of its protagonists aside, is that it’s little more than a rehashing of its predecessor. I don’t know if Zombie’s just out of ideas or his string of not-so-great follow-up features since Devil’s Rejects have forced him to go back to the proverbial well to try and drudge up some of that same magic, but the whole movie feels derivative of his sublime sophomore production. Worse, it takes some of the over-the-top edge out of Rejects as Otis lacks a bit much of that manic psycho energy he had in the first two movies. And if this is supposed to be due to spending 10 years behind bars, it’s never actually established and we just end up with, “Man, Otis became an old fart”.
Baby actually feels like she’s evolved a bit as a character due to her time incarcerated, thankfully less child-like and more broken by her time away from her fellow Fireflies. With age comes wisdom and with wisdom comes the inevitable ennui of “What’s even the point of life anyway?”. With a heavy heart, I have to say that Richard Brake’s Foxy is the lesser of these three evils. A big disappointment given how much his sadistic brilliance was showcased in 31. Hell, his repugnant medic from Halloween II came off as more genuinely sleazy than his feature length part here, with the younger brother of the trio being played more as a punchline.
That’s that. 3 From Hell is a borderline mockbuster of The Devil’s Rejects and though it’s not terrible, it’s not terribly satisfying given the 14 year wait we had to endure. Bummer of a trip, man.
Oh, and how the fuck expensive is it to use good old fashioned squibs instead of computer generated blood splatters?!
Three “DISCO SUCKS” T-Shirts out-of-Five
Enjoy the review? Hate the review? Have a movie you’d like to see judged in The Tomb? Fill out the feedback form! Never has it been easier to make contact with a deitic being!
All materials found within this review are the intellectual properties and opinions of the original writer. The Tomb of Anubis claims no responsibility for the views expressed in this review, but we do lay a copyright claim on it beeyotch, so don’t steal from this shit or we’ll have to go all Farmer Vincent on your silly asses. © October 1st 2013 and beyond, not to be reproduced in any way without the express written consent of the reviewer and The Tomb of Anubis, or pain of a physical and legal nature will follow. Touch not lest ye be touched.