By Lois Kennedy
Directed by: Rob Zombie
Cast: Tom Papa, Sheri Moon Zombie, Brian Posehn, Rosario Dawson, Paul Giamatti
This is an animated movie directed by Rob Zombie, taking place in a world populated by monsters and horror movie characters. El Superbeasto s a former luchador turned porno producer/director/star. His sister Suzi X is a crime fighter, who alongside her robot Murray is currently battling Hitler’s head and his army of zombie Nazis. The siblings come together to rescue stripper Velvet Von Black from Dr. Satan, who wants to marry her because she has the devil’s mark, and their union will allow him to take over the world and gain “all the sudsy powers of hell.”
The film is influenced by many sources, among them 1990s cartoons (see if the animation doesn’t occasionally remind you of Ren and Stimpy). I was shocked (but pleased by the perversity) of the inclusion of actors who almost exclusively do children’s programming (many of which I grew up watching), like Charlie Adler, Rob Paulsen, Jess Harnell, Jeff Bennett, and even Tom Kenny. As can be expected, there are plenty of horror movie homages as well, including Halloween, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Alien, The Fly, The Shining, Bride of Frankenstein, The Day the Earth Stood Still, The Haunted Palace, The Creature from the Black Lagoon, Nosferatu, Friday the 13th, The Abominable Dr. Phibes, The Phantom of the Opera, Carrie, and A Clockwork Orange. Not to mention cameos by Cassandra Peterson, Ken Foree, Tura Satana, and Dee Wallace, with Bill Mosely and Sid Haig reprising their roles from House of 1000 Corpses.
I found the movie highly amusing. Aside from horror movie-related humor like Beasto hitting Michael Myers with his car, my favorite aspect of the film is the soundtrack by Hard n’ Phirm (that’s Chris Hardwick and Mike Phirman)—it’s hilarious. The songs give information (for example the sudsy powers of hell), as in the Schoolhouse Rock knock-off “Otto Explains it All,” or over-narrate what’s happening, like the Beatles-sounding “Zombie Nazis.” I loved the songs, and I’m very frustrated that as of this moment there’s no soundtrack album.
Overall, I like the cast and think they give excellent performances. This is my favorite role for Sheri Moon Zombie; normally I’m annoyed with Rob Zombie for casting his wife in everything he does. It’s still aggravating, but I really like Suzi—she’s cutesy-poo, but she’s also a badass.
I never enjoyed Rob Zombie as a director before this movie; I suppose it’s because his obvious dislike for people and society as a whole shines through very un-eloquently. This film is lighthearted, a satire of horror movies instead of an amalgamation of the most violent parts of them. In keeping with the general tone, there is also a lot of nudity and sex, but again it’s frivolous, like Velvet’s ability to enlarge her breasts at will and shape them like balloon animals. In other words, like any Zombie movie, it has gore galore and boobs a’poppin’. Check it out if you want a dirty good time.
Lois Kennedy is an avid horror fan who loves to write. You may also find her on Horrornovelreviews, YouTube, WordPress, and Facebook.