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Chad 09-23-13 12:38 AM

"The Lords of Salem" Reviews/Discussion - 2013 Horror Challenge: Day 6
 
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The Lords of Salem (2012)

http://i112.photobucket.com/albums/n...psf8c8c27a.jpg

Selected by terrycloth

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IMDB ENTRY
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These "October Horror Movie Challenge" threads are for the discussion of the films in the 31 FILM SUBSET list.

The plan is for everyone to watch this film on the October day in the thread title, and to start discussing it the morning of the following day.
You may start discussion early if you want, but the preferred plan is for this to be as much of a group exercise as possible, with all of us viewing it "together" and discussing after.

Of course, you are totally encouraged to participate in these threads even if you haven't watched the movie on the designated day.
Even if you haven't watched it in years, or are not participating in the Horror Challenge, please feel free to chime in.



Spoiler tags are unnecessary in here, so if you have yet to see the film BEWARE OF SPOILERS.
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PhantomStranger 10-03-13 02:56 PM

Re: "The Lords of Salem" Reviews/Discussion - 2013 Horror Challenge: Day 6
 
This movie got a mixed reaction in some circles but I thought it was one of Zombie's better movies. The witches in this one are the old-school type, evil and ugly. The story itself feels like something from the 1970s, though the style is 100% Rob Zombie.

DaveyJoe 10-03-13 03:12 PM

Re: "The Lords of Salem" Reviews/Discussion - 2013 Horror Challenge: Day 6
 

Originally Posted by PhantomStranger (Post 11858973)
This movie got a mixed reaction in some circles but I thought it was one of Zombie's better movies. The witches in this one are the old-school type, evil and ugly. The story itself feels like something from the 1970s, though the style is 100% Rod Zombie.

:sad:

PhantomStranger 10-04-13 02:23 PM

Re: "The Lords of Salem" Reviews/Discussion - 2013 Horror Challenge: Day 6
 
Yes, it's Rob Zombie of course. Sorry for the mistake.

DaveyJoe 10-04-13 03:07 PM

Re: "The Lords of Salem" Reviews/Discussion - 2013 Horror Challenge: Day 6
 

Originally Posted by PhantomStranger (Post 11860161)
Yes, it's Rob Zombie of course. Sorry for the mistake.

Your spelling wasn't what made me sad...

brainee 10-04-13 03:11 PM

Re: "The Lords of Salem" Reviews/Discussion - 2013 Horror Challenge: Day 6
 

Originally Posted by PhantomStranger (Post 11858973)
This movie got a mixed reaction in some circles but I thought it was one of Zombie's better movies. The witches in this one are the old-school type, evil and ugly. The story itself feels like something from the 1970s, though the style is 100% Rob Zombie.

I couldn't hold off for the challenge and watched this last weekend. I think the reviews are mostly spot-on with what you're getting. Technically solid, and while Zombie's still heavily indebted to 60s/70s horror movies he's drawing on much better works for inspiration here (Mask of Satan, Rosemary's Baby, The Exorcist, The Devils, The Shining). This is much more like the work that Ti West has been doing (House of the Devil, The Innkeepers) than Zombie's earlier movies. I can see some people not being happy with the resolution. But for me, this is the kind of the movie where the journey is the thing (with all its atmosphere and creepiness) ... not the story ending.

jacob_b 10-04-13 04:27 PM

Re: "The Lords of Salem" Reviews/Discussion - 2013 Horror Challenge: Day 6
 
I'm still mixed as the score is brilliant and the way it is shoot is good. There's a few WTF moments like the creepy I guess...Devil? But I'm going to chalk it up that Zombie had a low budget and had to rewrite a few things the day of shooting because of money. Still, it's a solid movie and a nod to old school horror.

brainee 10-04-13 05:32 PM

Re: "The Lords of Salem" Reviews/Discussion - 2013 Horror Challenge: Day 6
 

Originally Posted by jacob_b (Post 11860350)
There's a few WTF moments like the creepy I guess...Devil?

Yeah, when that little guy appeared I burst out laughing. Not the effect I think Zombie was going for :lol:

Jory 10-05-13 01:21 AM

Re: "The Lords of Salem" Reviews/Discussion - 2013 Horror Challenge: Day 6
 
Ah, Rod Zombie. Poor fella never got half the respect or attention his more famous brother received, although some film critics insist he's more talented.

Shack 10-05-13 09:10 PM

Re: "The Lords of Salem" Reviews/Discussion - 2013 Horror Challenge: Day 6
 
Is this streaming anywhere?

Undeadcow 10-05-13 10:36 PM

Re: "The Lords of Salem" Reviews/Discussion - 2013 Horror Challenge: Day 6
 
Zombie's absurd visuals seem to work well with the hallucinatory storyline here, I really like the abstract/magical focus but it seems to stall in the middle a bit. Overall I enjoyed it and wish more movies incorporated far out material like this (when was the last good witch movie?). The unashamed campiness was great.

Some things are over-exaggerated a bit too much especially the musical/sound cues just before something "creepy" happens. It's like an anti-jump scare movie, instead of sudden unexpected shocks so much was telepathed. The devil bit was silly; was that suppose to be some sort of suggested sexual copulation? Too bad they had to cut corners on the creature effects. I love the bit when Francis looks into Heidi Hawthorne's genealogy then totally over-reacts when he finds out she's related to Reverend Jonathan Hawthorne like he didn't see it coming. I don't often feel compelled to comment on the wallpaper in movies; but these backgrounds are really busy/distracting... they stole the show.
http://www.moviewallpapers101.com/wa...s_14_fbfop.jpg

I thought the plot structure and pacing was interesting. Aside from some de-emphasized subplot with Francis looking into "The Lords" music (which seemed to be a vehicle for plot narration more than tension) there wasn't much actual conflict/suspense but more of a dream-like parade of sometimes relevant imagery.

Originally Posted by Shack (Post 11861579)
Is this streaming anywhere?

Lords of Salem isn't streaming on any of the free/subscription websites. It's readily available at Redbox but only on DVD (my local Blockbuster only carries the DVD too). LoS is available for a digital rental ($3.99) in high definition on Amazon.

Mondo Kane 10-06-13 05:21 AM

Re: "The Lords of Salem" Reviews/Discussion - 2013 Horror Challenge: Day 6
 
Welp, after hearing/reading all the mostly negative responses to this, it appears that LORDS OF SALEM has already nabbed my Suprised-I-Enjoyed-That award! I much perfer this type of Rob Zombie over that trailer-trash-slasher output we've seen from him in the past.

Oh, and thanks for not killing off that dog, Rob!

onebyone 10-06-13 09:11 AM

Re: "The Lords of Salem" Reviews/Discussion - 2013 Horror Challenge: Day 6
 

Originally Posted by Mondo Kane (Post 11861860)
Oh, and thanks for not killing off that dog, Rob!

Agreed. I was going to be pissed if they killed off that beautiful dog.

I enjoyed this one a lot. It was not perfect mind you and was definitely a case of style over substance, but there was a whole hell of a lot of style to be had so it worked for me. You could screen shot almost any scene in the movie and have a beautiful picture. I enjoyed the journey of the story quite a bit, even if the script could've used a bit of work.

On another note, save the witches, I would love to live in that apartment of hers. The whole thing was beautiful.

indiephantom 10-06-13 12:44 PM

Re: "The Lords of Salem" Reviews/Discussion - 2013 Horror Challenge: Day 6
 
Watched a real marathon of stuff today and I will say this one is at least interesting, and I liked seeing some of the actors (totally surprised by some names in the final credits). I'm normally more of a Zombie fan, but I might have to mull over this for awhile. I came off of the Maniac remake which I really didn't enjoy, and while this was at least more original...it was another letdown. Today's highlight for me on splat pack day was the hardcore sequel I Spit on Your Grave 2, which feels more aligned with old school grindhouse horror than either Maniac or Lords of Salem, but I still give Zombie points for not playing it safe.

Spiderbite 10-06-13 01:32 PM

Re: "The Lords of Salem" Reviews/Discussion - 2013 Horror Challenge: Day 6
 
The visuals are nice but the storyline was dull and uninteresting. I never felt engaged and was frankly bored. Not scary, eerie or creepy in any way. Just blah.

And please tell me that was a body double/digital effect for Meg Foster (or some kind of naked body suit). I hope see hasn't aged that poorly!

My rating: ** out of *****

Mondo Kane 10-06-13 04:16 PM

Re: "The Lords of Salem" Reviews/Discussion - 2013 Horror Challenge: Day 6
 

Originally Posted by Spiderbite (Post 11862203)
And please tell me that was a body double/digital effect for Meg Foster (or some kind of naked body suit). I hope see hasn't aged that poorly!

I actually thought she was Brad Dourif in the opening scene!

Trevor 10-06-13 10:00 PM

Re: "The Lords of Salem" Reviews/Discussion - 2013 Horror Challenge: Day 6
 
I'll try to remember to post a bit more later, but I enjoyed this more than most Rob Zombie films.

That song is playing in my head as I try to get a few hours of sleep before work, and freaking me out a bit.

cproaps 10-06-13 10:32 PM

Re: "The Lords of Salem" Reviews/Discussion - 2013 Horror Challenge: Day 6
 
Rosemary's Baby meets The Shining with some of that "don't try to make since of what you just saw" from Lost Highway or the end of 2001. I loved her apartment and all the other homages throughout the movie. I wish I could have heard this movie in the theater because the sound is a character in itself. Also, we could add a category to next year's checklist called, "Watch a classic horror movie from any five of the cast members of THE LORDS OF SALEM"! I'll take it over The Devil's Rejects any day.

jacob_b 10-06-13 10:41 PM

Re: "The Lords of Salem" Reviews/Discussion - 2013 Horror Challenge: Day 6
 
Saw this twice in theaters, so listening to the commentary. Sad that is the only bonus feature on the blu-ray and not finished with the commentary, but as much as I love Rob, he sounds like a douche in this. Sounds like he really just wants to get this over with.

rbrown498 10-06-13 11:34 PM

Re: "The Lords of Salem" Reviews/Discussion - 2013 Horror Challenge: Day 6
 
This was one of the two films that I was dreading watching most for this year's challenge. I've never met a Rob Zombie movie that I liked, with his Halloween "re-imagining" being my least-favorite film of all time. So, yeah, I was dreading this one. The good news is that it hasn't displaced Halloween in my eyes. Also on the positive side of the equation is that, except for one brief moment when the three sisters acted like the distant cousins of the Firefly clan, Zombie showed that he can make a movie without populating it with white-trash redneck sociopaths. So, it's got that going for it, which is nice.

However...to say that the film had a loose narrative would be giving it more credit than it deserves. How is it that witches who need a record played to bring them back to life are able to get the record made in the first place? If they can do that, can't they just zap themselves into this dimension or whatever? And a vinyl LP? Really? Still? The little devil dude was just inane, as was Heidi's giving birth to the Tingler. Or did she? Last we saw her, she was playing with her dog in the park.

I will give Zombie credit for having a narrative that, for at least the first 75 minutes or so, hung together reasonably well, but then it went off the rails and never returned. Some occasionally-interesting imagery aside, the last half-hour or so was sheer indulgence on his part.

I didn't hate The Lords of Salem, but I didn't see anything in it that convinces me that I've been all wrong about Zombie in the past. It's a step in the right direction for him, but he's still got a LONG way to go before I consider him to be a competent director.

pagefrance 10-06-13 11:55 PM

Re: "The Lords of Salem" Reviews/Discussion - 2013 Horror Challenge: Day 6
 
Zombie's best film, without a doubt. He still wears his influences on his sleeve but he seems to have matured as a filmmaker and is really finding his own style. I agree with brainee's post above in that here the creepy journey is the thing and not the ending which may have left some scratching their heads. I don't think I've seen anything creepier in recent memory than Meg Foster's nude body - kudos to her for being so gutsy!

jacob_b 10-07-13 12:45 AM

Re: "The Lords of Salem" Reviews/Discussion - 2013 Horror Challenge: Day 6
 

Originally Posted by rbrown498 (Post 11862966)
This was one of the two films that I was dreading watching most for this year's challenge. I've never met a Rob Zombie movie that I liked, with his Halloween "re-imagining" being my least-favorite film of all time. So, yeah, I was dreading this one. The good news is that it hasn't displaced Halloween in my eyes. Also on the positive side of the equation is that, except for one brief moment when the three sisters acted like the distant cousins of the Firefly clan, Zombie showed that he can make a movie without populating it with white-trash redneck sociopaths. So, it's got that going for it, which is nice.

However...to say that the film had a loose narrative would be giving it more credit than it deserves. How is it that witches who need a record played to bring them back to life are able to get the record made in the first place? If they can do that, can't they just zap themselves into this dimension or whatever? And a vinyl LP? Really? Still? The little devil dude was just inane, as was Heidi's giving birth to the Tingler. Or did she? Last we saw her, she was playing with her dog in the park.

I will give Zombie credit for having a narrative that, for at least the first 75 minutes or so, hung together reasonably well, but then it went off the rails and never returned. Some occasionally-interesting imagery aside, the last half-hour or so was sheer indulgence on his part.

I didn't hate The Lords of Salem, but I didn't see anything in it that convinces me that I've been all wrong about Zombie in the past. It's a step in the right direction for him, but he's still got a LONG way to go before I consider him to be a competent director.

Listening to the commentary, he didn't want a typical Satan character (horns and all) and he also wanted to get Sherri preggos by a different means than what is seen before. I'll give him an effort for at least trying to be different, especially in this day and age. Sadly, different didn't play off too well as he even said Sherri had a hard time during that scene as she was always laughing.

As for the ending you mentioned, it's a flash back of a happy time with her. To show you her journey of being a happy person to now being completely gone.

Mondo Kane 10-07-13 02:24 AM

Re: "The Lords of Salem" Reviews/Discussion - 2013 Horror Challenge: Day 6
 

Originally Posted by jacob_b (Post 11863014)
As for the ending you mentioned, it's a flash back of a happy time with her. To show you her journey of being a happy person to now being completely gone.

That "Happy home-movies" footage also shows up at the end of both Rejects & Halloween (I just assumed it's Rob's trademark to end most of his movies this way) But your explanation definetly fits more with this film than the others.

Dick Laurent 10-07-13 06:12 AM

Re: "The Lords of Salem" Reviews/Discussion - 2013 Horror Challenge: Day 6
 
I dislike any Rob Zombie film that exceeds 5 minutes, but this one I was able to actually make it through. Wasn't so bad. I agree with most of the comments above, such as the weird looking baby with the Japanese tentacles. And WTF was the deal with the three dudes masturbating? Could have done without that part for sure.

With the witch appearing in different parts of the apartment and Zombie not noticing, I thought how funny would it be if you just never noticed the haunting? Evil being/entity gets all prepared and in just the right place and then, whoops, she only went to the fridge. Must be annoying to haunt someone who's oblivious to their surroundings (I don't think she was ever meant to see the witch, of course, just found the thought amusing).


Originally Posted by Undeadcow (Post 11861681)
Lords of Salem isn't streaming on any of the free/subscription websites. It's readily available at Redbox but only on DVD (my local Blockbuster only carries the DVD too). LoS is available for a digital rental ($3.99) in high definition on Amazon.

$3.99 is for SD, $4.99 for HD (I rented it on Amazon for last night's watch).

wlj 10-07-13 07:53 AM

Re: "The Lords of Salem" Reviews/Discussion - 2013 Horror Challenge: Day 6
 
I read the book and watched the movie afterward. This is definitely a case where the book is ALOT better than the film. The book is ALOT more disturbing as well.


I liked the movie, but the last half went "off the rails". I know on and off the set there were alot of problems which caused this. I am glad i read the book and watched the film, but it is definitely something I won't watch again. I like Zombie and he is a great filmmaker. I am a huge fan of House of 1000 Corpses and the Devil's Rejects.


Sheri Moon Zombie did a good job I thought in the roll. She is still as hot as ever. oh my, i just had a flashback of "backless" pants in 1000 corpses. :)

ntnon 10-07-13 09:33 AM

Re: "The Lords of Salem" Reviews/Discussion - 2013 Horror Challenge: Day 6
 

Originally Posted by Mondo Kane (Post 11861860)
Welp, after hearing/reading all the mostly negative responses to this, it appears that LORDS OF SALEM has already nabbed my Suprised-I-Enjoyed-That award! I much perfer this type of Rob Zombie over that trailer-trash-slasher output we've seen from him in the past.

That's about my thinking, too. I've never seen any of his films, but from what I've read I was a little worried going into this. But it stayed reasonably creepy without being nasty for most of the runtime. It didn't really go anywhere, but it was creepy and worked reasonably well. Not bad.

ntnon 10-07-13 09:39 AM

Re: "The Lords of Salem" Reviews/Discussion - 2013 Horror Challenge: Day 6
 

Originally Posted by Dick Laurent (Post 11863077)
I dislike any Rob Zombie film that exceeds 5 minutes, but this one I was able to actually make it through. Wasn't so bad. I agree with most of the comments above, such as the weird looking baby with the Japanese tentacles. And WTF was the deal with the three dudes masturbating? Could have done without that part for sure.

Hn. Must have looked away for a bit, I don't remember that at all...


Originally Posted by Dick Laurent (Post 11863077)
With the witch appearing in different parts of the apartment and Zombie not noticing, I thought how funny would it be if you just never noticed the haunting? Evil being/entity gets all prepared and in just the right place and then, whoops, she only went to the fridge. Must be annoying to haunt someone who's oblivious to their surroundings (I don't think she was ever meant to see the witch, of course, just found the thought amusing).

:D Quite! I wonder if that could sustain a spoof - or if it already has..?

Darkgod 10-07-13 04:40 PM

Re: "The Lords of Salem" Reviews/Discussion - 2013 Horror Challenge: Day 6
 

Originally Posted by wlj (Post 11863110)
I read the book and watched the movie afterward. This is definitely a case where the book is ALOT better than the film. The book is ALOT more disturbing as well.


I liked the movie, but the last half went "off the rails". I know on and off the set there were alot of problems which caused this. I am glad i read the book and watched the film, but it is definitely something I won't watch again. I like Zombie and he is a great filmmaker. I am a huge fan of House of 1000 Corpses and the Devil's Rejects.


Sheri Moon Zombie did a good job I thought in the roll. She is still as hot as ever. oh my, i just had a flashback of "backless" pants in 1000 corpses. :)

What book was this based on?

Darkgod 10-07-13 04:41 PM

Re: "The Lords of Salem" Reviews/Discussion - 2013 Horror Challenge: Day 6
 
I saw this in theatres and didn't like it... watched it again for the challenge and didn't hate it as much. If they did without the midget devil and the priests jacking off it would be a better film. Bonus points for her sleeping on the bed in the beginning

Dick Laurent 10-07-13 05:01 PM

Re: "The Lords of Salem" Reviews/Discussion - 2013 Horror Challenge: Day 6
 

Originally Posted by ntnon (Post 11863208)
Hn. Must have looked away for a bit, I don't remember that at all...

Trying not to get too graphic...

Spoiler:
...but the "priests" were stroking their large, blood-red "members" -- and the scene was shown not just once, but twice with varying degrees of leering... Yep, the whole scene was just full-on watching. Damn you, Rob.


I'd advise just leaving it as something that never happened if you missed it.

rbrown498 10-07-13 05:13 PM

Re: "The Lords of Salem" Reviews/Discussion - 2013 Horror Challenge: Day 6
 

Originally Posted by Dick Laurent (Post 11863865)
Trying not to get too graphic...

Spoiler:
...but the "priests" were stroking their large, blood-red "members" -- and the scene was shown not just once, but twice with varying degrees of leering... Yep, the whole scene was just full-on watching. Damn you, Rob.


I'd advise just leaving it as something that never happened if you missed it.

Yes, but
Spoiler:
their "members" were very obviously dildos, so it wasn't nearly as grotesque as it could have been.

Dick Laurent 10-07-13 06:38 PM

Re: "The Lords of Salem" Reviews/Discussion - 2013 Horror Challenge: Day 6
 

Originally Posted by rbrown498 (Post 11863880)
Yes, but
Spoiler:
their "members" were very obviously dildos, so it wasn't nearly as grotesque as it could have been.

Still not an image I wanted. More than anything it broke the one rule of cinema that every film editor should heed... Don't distract unnecessarily from the plot. That scene had/has me thinking more about the action than the story. It just removes me from the moment and I donít like it when the story goes on without me. I have to get past the distraction and catch back up with the story.

DaveyJoe 10-14-13 10:50 AM

Re: "The Lords of Salem" Reviews/Discussion - 2013 Horror Challenge: Day 6
 
I went into this with an open mind. I had hoped that after making four films Rob Zombie had matured as a filmmaker, and I think he has. This movie didn't have the film school amateur self-indulgence that House of 1000 Corpses had, but it was still largely a waste of time. The performances were weak, the cinematography was bland, and the narrative lacked coherence. Sheri Moon is cute, but she's not a good enough actor to carry a movie. The only bright spot of the acting was seeing Ken Foree, who is the only character who had proper screen presence. The witches were over-the-top and the other DJ was bland.

Rob Zombie is not a good filmmaker, he is somebody who watches a lot of horror movies but doesn't understand what makes them so effective. So he imitates what he sees, but never makes a film that invests the viewer in the characters or story. The mise-en-scene lacks artistry, scenes happen but never feel like they're building to a greater whole. The movie deals with dark themes but there is never any suspense, the main character stumbles through plot contrivances in a drugged stupor, completely passive and unengaged. I am amazed that Rob Zombie the director has so many fans, because he clearly lacks the skill and knowledge to make a good movie. I'd rather watch Shakma hump doors for another 90 minutes because the director of that movie understands he's making a cheesy B movie. Zombie takes this movie seriously, but lacks the skill to pull it off.

I'll say some things that I did like about it:

1) The soundtrack: as much as I dislike Rob Zombie as a filmmaker, I've never had a problem with his music, I have enjoyed several of his songs over the years. I thought the music served the movie well. It fit the scenes and helped set the mood, from the background music to the ominous "witch theme" I think it was a highlight of the movie.

2) Non-traditional nudity: 90% of all nudity in movies features a young, beautiful woman in great shape. Most people are not young, beautiful women with great bodies, I always appreciate when a movie breaks this trend and shows male nudity or average bodies. Alexander Payne does this a lot with movies like About Schmidt and Sideways, props to Kathy Bates for doing full frontal nudity in one of the funniest scenes I've seen in years. This movie opens up with a group of witches disrobing, and I wouldn't have been able to take the movie seriously if they were all slender young supermodels.

3) The weird devil creature: I know it got some criticism here, but I actually loved this little guy. The only moment that I found creepy in this movie was when he entered the frame out of nowhere and approached Sheri Moon as she slept. We've all seen the big red devil with horns, but that cliche is so tired that it's not even scary anymore. I really liked Zombie's decision to portray it as a twisted little creature.

So yeah, I apologize for anything that came across as hyperbole, but I did not care for this one.


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