I’m a unqualified Devil’s Rejects apologist and a long fan of Rob Zombie as a musician, so to watch his career across two Halloween remakes/sequels for the Weinstein’s murder any excitement I had for him as a director has been a real bummer. Even worse, he had agreed to direct a remake of The Blob as his next project. While it’s not enough to turn me around by itself, I am pleased to hear that The Blob is not happening, and that Zombie will be striking out with a much smaller production outfit for his next film to make something completely original- The Lords of Salem.

Haunted Films is a new production company built by the trio behind Paranormal Activity- Jason Blum, Steven Schneider, and director Oren Peli. Beyond the obvious success of Paranormal Activity, the new company has already had a success producing their first project Insidious, which found a buyer (Sony) at TIFF immediately after its debut. Salem will be their third production, as The Bay is currently rolling with Barry Levinson directing.

Zombie’s film will take place in the famous witch-hunting town of Salem in the modern day, as a resurrected coven of 300 year old witches starts making shit less pleasant around town. The Lords of Salem is a concept Zombie has tossed around for a while, and a song with the same name can be found on his 2006 album, Educated Horses. The song was actually nominated for a Grammy for best Hard Rock Performance when it was featured on a live album.

I’m not immediately sold on the concept (brings to mind the unfortunate-looking My Soul To Take) but I’m glad Zombie has ditched the remake game. The cute animated video for the song makes me think a period piece might have been more fun though.

“I’ve had differing levels of control, with the best experience being Lionsgate on The Devil’s Rejects, when I made the movie and they said, `great.’ The two Halloween movies were more give and take, and I had enough bloody battles to get my way that by the time I got it, I didn’t care anymore.”

Total control would not have made for good Halloween films, but if Zombie belongs anywhere, it’s not making commercial remakes for a big studio. I’m often told that The Devil’s Rejects is only okay, but despite all the torture porn and different kinds of gory horror films that have been churned out, I’ve yet to find many films made in the last ten years that match the ugly meanness of The Devils’ Rejects. There were a few moments of good gore (among some terrible CGI gore), but what has always stuck with me is the punishing mental torture. You don’t run across that specific kind of sadism in horror movies much these days.

We’ll see, we’ll see, but Zombie’s on the right track.

Source | Deadline

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