All real folk hate Rednecks. It’s easy to see why. As a culture, the only people we loathe more than fatties are morons, and Rednecks are both. If there’s any group you don’t have to feel sorry for, this is it.
So why not make a movie about how awful they are, so we can all celebrate our hate under the same roof? Artists can say anything about these people without fear because they can’t read and don’t know how to work movies, so they’ll never see it anyway. And even if they do, they’ll mistake the satire for praise and invite you to beers and BBQ’s at the local Church/VFW. It’s a total win-win.
With The Devil’s Rejects, I wanted to give people everything they feared about Rednecks and how they live. I wanted to draw a cartoon and then cover that cartoon in shit, and then shove it into the real world, and then tell people it was Bob Hoskins and another human actor and not Bob Hoskins and a shitty cartoon.
And I did do that. But as usual, I learned a valuable lesson at the same time. I learned that deep down all people have dignity. And when you marginalize an entire group through rash generalizations, you not only steal their humanity but sell your own in the process. I learned that even on a neck, the color red contains a multitude of shades.
The Devil’s Rejects is about a big family of Rednecks who really enjoy killing innocent people. That seemed like a good place to begin. There’s a tall, mutant one named Tiny Lister. He may actually have a heart of black gold, but it’s hard to tell because he’s so tall and mutant.
Then there’s a hot sister because some Redneck girls are especially hot, and they’re usually somebody’s sister. She’s crazy though, so watch out. She’ll pretend to be pregnant. When that doesn’t work, she’ll kill you. We all have our sad histories with these small-town convenient store girls. You know what I’m talking about.
Next there’s the mom. She adequately represents that kind of Jabba the Surly these hot Redneck girls always turn into once your kid pops out. You can’t smell her in the movie, but on set she always wore an essence of cigarette, cough drop, flowery powder, and hot dog.
After that we have Otis Spunkmeyer (AKA: Charles Mansoon). Otis is kind of the main go-getter when it comes to killing people. The others are into it, but they’re like his groupies. He and his sister talk about worshipping Satan occasionally, but we all know from the title that Satan already rejected them. So when they finally get to Hell, he’s just going to turn them back around so he can kick their asses out again. Think about it. The Devil doesn’t reject you because you’re just too awesome for him. He rejects you because you’re stupid long hair on a balding head is fucking annoying and your sister won’t stop with that fake screaming shit. Also, I’m not sure if they’re brother and sister or not. Redneck families are complicated.
And finally there’s Captain Spaulding, the paterfamilias. Or maybe he’s just the oldest male. I’m really not too sure. Anyway, Captain Spaulding suffers from a rare Redneck condition which turns him slowly, but permanently, into a clown. It’s in remission at the moment, but he cannot undo the damage done so far. Spaulding’s morals are up for debate. See, he’s all cool with this BTK family, but he never gets into any BTK himself. He’s actually quite hilarious. The movie posits that he’s evil, but I think the movie might be full of shit even though I made the movie myself and I am most certainly not full of any shit that I know of.
The plot’s pretty simply except that there are three of them. Plot #1 begins In Medias Res because this film is actually a sequel to another film called The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Before we can really meet anyone, our disgustingly Redneck BTK family is roused from their necrophiliac nirvana by a barrage of fire and bullets up the ass. The law isn’t after them because they’re killers, but because their landscaping so forcefully reinforces anti-redneck stereotypes. Texas is sick of looking like the county’s asshole. Only Otis and his sister make it out alive, un-arrested, or pretty enough to pin a movie on.
Otis and his sister call Daddy Spaulding, and they agree to meet at a hotel. It’s a good 20 minute drive, but Otis gets bored of waiting and decides to torture people for fun. Luckily, a touring Country/Western band called “Banjo and Fiddlevan” pulls up. This is Plot #2, and writing it forced me to reexamine my preconceived notions about Rednecks.
See, people in Country/Western bands have to be Rednecks, and these guys most certainly are. But they didn’t do anything wrong, really. They seem like nice people. Watching Otis verbally abuse them and steal their lives kind of pissed me off. I used to think killing Rednecks would be fun. But it wasn’t fun. It was like killing real people. I guess all necks are red once you cut them open.
So now I just wanted to kill the Devil’s Rednecks before they could kill any more nice Country/Western Rednecks. To do that, I wrote this obsessed Redneck cop named Jeb Cunface. This is Plot #3. Jeb’s played by the scariest actor alive, William Forsythe. I have a long history with this actor. Once he shot me. Another time, he shot me. He fed me puffer-fish. He cut my hair while I slept. He rearranged my kitchen without asking. He got me addicted to Breaking Bad. He got me addicted to Crystal Meth. He shot me a third time. And he broke my heart. If you need someone believably batshit enough to take on the Devil’s Rednecks, half batshit simply won’t do.
Once Jeb Cunface shows up, things change drastically. For one, the Devil’s Rednecks stop killing people and concentrate on hilarious family shenanigans. Suddenly, they’re highly likable, especially Daddy Spaulding who manages to say only the funniest shit. As they continue to get high and hang out, the idea that they’re ugly murderers grows more and more distant.
Meanwhile, Jeb Cunface absorbs all that discarded evil as his quest to kill the Devil’s Rednecks grows more violent. He kills the incarcerated mom by fucking her with a knife. He hires assassins that look like Danny Trejo. Plus, he kills a movie critic for dissing Elvis Presley. When he finally kidnaps the Devil’s Rednecks and tortures them with a staple gun, you just can’t wait for him to get his ass killed, which means you are now rooting for the evil Rednecks to take out the more evil Redneck. This is why I’m so fond of the film’s original, ultimately unusable, title: The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly.
Eventually, Jeb gets killed and the Devil’s Rednecks are free to drive their car into a shower of bullets. For poetry’s sake, this scene’s shot in beautiful slow motion, and the only sound we hear is the soaring notes of the classic Redneck anthem, “I Got Friends in Low Places.”
Do such horrible people deserve such heroic sentiment? I don’t know. By this point, I’d long lost track of my moral through-line, similar to how I lost the thematic through-line of this article. If the Devil’s Rednecks were to live, they’d most certainly torture more Country/Western bands, and I don’t like that. But they’d also get to have good times with Ken Foree, and I like that a whole lot. It’s a tough call. Actually, no…fuck that band, let the good times roll.