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Wednesday, May 1, 2013

The Lords of Salem (2012)

Rob Zombie returns to the director's chair with his latest offering called The Lords of Salem. Teaming up with Oren Peli of Paranormal Activity fame and Jason Blum producer of Insidious, Sinister and Paranormal Activity franchise. The resulting collaboration is nothing more but a visual feast for the eyes.
The story or what Mr. Zombie calls a story centers around Heidi (Sheri Moon Zombie) a DJ at the local radio station who gets sent a mysterious box that contains a vinyl record from a band called The Lords. Thinking that it's just a local band trying to get their music out they play it on the air and the song is played backwards. This releases what is The Lords of Salem and Heidi goes through flashbacks and visions of what the witch hunters did during the witch trials in Salem, Massachusetts. 
The acting sucks. Seriously, Rob, stop putting your wife in everything you do. We know she's hot, we've known that since your first film in 2003 but we also know she cannot act. Sheri Moon Zombie as the lead is like putting someone who studders to speak at a state of the union address, she may get a few lines of dialogue out that are believable but her acting abilities are so incompetent she can never complete a full sentence as a believable character.
In typical Rob Zombie form we have all the horror cameos you would want like Patricia Quinn, Dee Wallace and Ken Foree oh, and Sid Haig. But none of the actors give any life or any depth to anyone and you feel nothing for no one.
The visuals in Lords of Salem revolve around the witches, whether they are dancing naked around the fire with their saggy boobs hanging out or them being burnt at the stake. The visuals are great and have a good creep to them, they are kinda, dare I say it Stanley Kubrick The Shinning quality with the blood flooding the hallways of the hotel. The only visual in this movie that kinda provokes humor is when a creature walks, and that's all I am going to say about it. The music done by John 5, guitarist for Rob Zombie does some nice work, I dug the music but I swear they ripped off Theater from Marilyn Manson's The Golden Age of Grotesque album as the main Salem song. This movie screams Marilyn Manson though, the visuals, the music but if Manson did it, I think it would have been better done. This was the Marilyn Mason movie he never directed.
The film is so all over the map though. It goes from The Sinning to Rosemary's Baby territory but done with really no thought except for the visuals and then the last 3rd of the movie is a like a Rob Zombie music video.
Now, I wouldn't call this a pretentious film but I swear Rob Zombie was on a cocaine binge and thought he was Lars Von Trier making an art film.
The Lords of Salem has some striking visual appeal, zero acting and zero story. Rob Zombie could make a hell of a horror film if he put the same effort into a story and good characters as he does with visuals.

2 out of 5

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