SITGES PT. I – THE GREATEST DISAPPOINTMENT: THE LORDS OF SALEM, Rob Zombie (2012)
It’s taken me some time to decide the way to organize posts as already said. I’m finally arranging them based on the impact I received from them, good or bad, and their apparent importance.
Therefore to start my Sitges chronicles I’ve chosen The Lords of Salem for being one of the main titles I was interested in, which ended up being the greatest disappointment.
The marketing campaign, the artwork of the posters, the trailers and the aesthetics were promising, raising our expectations to unreal levels. When I say this, it’s because I also got quite disappointed with the remake of Halloween. Back in the day I had thought of Zombie, the perfect person to keep all the Carpenter essence, combined with brutal images and providing the splatter and mean taste which could improve something that was achieved 30 years earlier. Of course it was impossible to deliver something better than the original, but adapted to modern times the result could have been much better. But it wasn’t. and I gorgot about it till last Tuesday.
The established actress Dee Wallace, a real cunt, as she defined her role in the film, was there to introduce the film. She was very pleased, and seemed delighted with the final results and we were still optimistic on this regard.
The Lords of Salem tells the story of Heidi Hawthorne (Sherri Moon Zombie), a local radio DJ in Salem, a city in Massachusetts where the witch trials, and their executions, took place 300 years earlier, but apparently average nowadays. After one of the programmes with theBig H Radio Team, an old wooden box with a strange logo engraved, containing a vinyl is waiting for her. It’s a gift of The Lords. When played at home, this eerie and disturbing melody, resembling an invocation causes her to experience a kind of flashback showing her memories of a past trauma and a killing migraine. From this point she will be feeling more and more tired, and her behavior will be so erratic, her colleagues Whitey the hippie( Jeff Daniel Phillips) and Jackson (Ken Foree), another black looking as Shaft, will start thinking she’s on crack again. On the other hand, the song played by The Lords, starts being broadcasted on radio, affecting all the local women. This invoking anthem will bring the burnt witches of Salem back to life, and Heidi will be chosen as some sort of vehicle due to her ancestors.
I invited a friend to watch the film and there was a comment he made, when the film was still comprehensive and endurable, which was clear enough as to confirm the film was awful. He said something lie “if I had brought my wife here, after this scene, she would have divorced me, sent me to Hell, and her pregnancy would have failed”.
Everything was pathetic: the plot was an attempt to twist an idea we’ve seen many times in movies. The concept of bringing back the dead through human sacrifice. Sherri Moon is gorgeous, I don’t question her beauty and better if I don’t remark the terrible outfits she was showing, but what I reckon is that her acting is poor and bad. It’s confirmed that the director has an obsession for immortalizing her, so she’s his muse, and there’s always space and time for some of meat exhibition. The dialogues are completely terrible.
The film seems to be divided into two different parts. The first one is the understandable, with a normal pattern in the sequence of events, but the second, OMG! The second is just a visual recreation of different concepts. It could be compared to having a trip of LSD. For a while you’re mind is under control and can feel that your brains are being affected, you feel anxious and uneasy, but you still know what’s happening till the moment the drug explodes and from that point your trip is chaos and mayhem and you just can enjoy or deal with the trip, unable to focus, and experiencing weird things which make no sense. Well, the second part of The Lords of Salem is a bad acid trip, it’s a joke. I could see my friend’s astonished face, guess mine wasn’t any better. We agree on the same: this film is a shit!
Rob Zombie concentrates all his energy in showing his wife, and developing films which seem full length video clips. His main target is to combine transgression with cult and merge classic and modern horror, rather than focusing on contents and good stories. He’s so egocentric as not to be able to look beyond. The result is well deserved: his horrible mix ends up becoming a tasteless and vulgar cocktail.
The Lords of Salem is an epic fail!