15 years later, The Devil’s Rejects gets a sequel.
First and foremost, I am a Rob Zombie movie apologist and of his seven movies I can find multiple positives in all of them. Zombie directs for a certain horror fan. When he released House of 1000 corpses in 2003, I fell in love his directing style and the gratuitous violence and creepy characters. Two years later Zombie released The Devil’s Rejects which came to be his masterpiece. The Devil’s Rejects is one of my favorite movies of all time, the characters, the violence, the script, it all works perfectly for me.
15 years later after a up and down filmography, when Zombie announced he was making a sequel to The Devil’s Rejects I was beyond happy.
3 From Hell takes place directly after the shootout fromThe Devil’s Rejects. The rejects are in critical condition but survive miraculously in what the doctors say is million to one odds. All three of the rejects are found guilty and sentenced to life in prison. Unfortunately, fan favorite Captain Spaulding is executed by lethal injection. (Sid Haig who plays Spaulding was in the ICU for 90% of production so Zombie had to rewrite the movie replacing Haig.) Spaulding’s half-brother Winslow Foxworth “Foxy” Coltrane comes in help Otis and Baby try to escape prison and chaos then ensues.
You can tell Zombie had to try and make this movie on a shoestring budget. The cinematography isn’t very good and there is a lot of close up shots that ruin the violence.
3 From Hell unfortunately has nothing new to say and is relying on the nostalgia from The Devil’s Rejects. Bill Moseley as Otis and Sherri Moon Zombie as Baby are great and Richard Brake as Foxy does a good job trying to fill the shoes of Captain Spaulding. I could definitely feel the absence of Sid Haig as Captain Spaulding; the magic just wasn’t there. Baby has become more unhinged from her countless days in solitary confinement, but it seems like Sherri Moon was doing a Harley Quinn impression from Suicide Squad.
I was honestly expecting more violence in the movie because this is potentially the last time we see these characters on screen again. When the violence is on screen, it is excellent. Zombie knows how to do violence well. The script works for the most part. Otis, Baby, and Foxy can let the jokes fly about their situation but can flip and be terrifying with snap of a finger.
The biggest problem with 3 From Hell is the plot. You can feel the 10+ rewrites that plagued the script. It feels like Zombie was going from scene to scene just making up what is supposed to happen. The movie turns into an escape film then transforms into a revenge film just like its predecessor. It works but is eyebrow raising at the same time.
I’m having a hard time deciding if I enjoyed it or not or if I’m just happy that I got to see the characters on screen again. I’m going to have to watch it again to get a real grasp on my thoughts, but the time being, I will say I enjoyed it. I will also say the third movie in a trilogy is usually the worst so there is another excuse. I think the word that describes 3 From Hell the best is disappointing.
This movie is for the die-hard fans of the franchise for sure. If you did not like House of 1000 corpses or The Devil’s Rejects stay away. If you don’t like Rob Zombie’s movies, stay away. If you like B level horror that includes gore, sex, and cuss words check it out.