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

Old 09-23-13, 12:38 AM
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"The Lords of Salem" Reviews/Discussion - 2013 Horror Challenge: Day 6





The Lords of Salem (2012)



Selected by terrycloth



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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Last edited by Chad; 09-27-13 at 05:33 PM.
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Old 09-28-13, 01:44 AM
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Old 10-03-13, 02:56 PM
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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.

Last edited by PhantomStranger; 10-04-13 at 02:22 PM.
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Old 10-03-13, 03:12 PM
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Re: "The Lords of Salem" Reviews/Discussion - 2013 Horror Challenge: Day 6

Originally Posted by PhantomStranger View Post
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.
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Old 10-04-13, 02:23 PM
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Re: "The Lords of Salem" Reviews/Discussion - 2013 Horror Challenge: Day 6

Yes, it's Rob Zombie of course. Sorry for the mistake.
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Old 10-04-13, 03:07 PM
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Re: "The Lords of Salem" Reviews/Discussion - 2013 Horror Challenge: Day 6

Originally Posted by PhantomStranger View Post
Yes, it's Rob Zombie of course. Sorry for the mistake.
Your spelling wasn't what made me sad...
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Old 10-04-13, 03:11 PM
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Re: "The Lords of Salem" Reviews/Discussion - 2013 Horror Challenge: Day 6

Originally Posted by PhantomStranger View Post
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.
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Old 10-04-13, 04:27 PM
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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.
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Old 10-04-13, 05:32 PM
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Re: "The Lords of Salem" Reviews/Discussion - 2013 Horror Challenge: Day 6

Originally Posted by jacob_b View Post
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
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Old 10-05-13, 01:21 AM
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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.
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Old 10-05-13, 09:10 PM
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Re: "The Lords of Salem" Reviews/Discussion - 2013 Horror Challenge: Day 6

Is this streaming anywhere?
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Old 10-05-13, 10:36 PM
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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.


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 View Post
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.

Last edited by Undeadcow; 10-06-13 at 12:02 AM.
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Old 10-06-13, 05:21 AM
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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!
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Old 10-06-13, 09:11 AM
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Re: "The Lords of Salem" Reviews/Discussion - 2013 Horror Challenge: Day 6

Originally Posted by Mondo Kane View Post
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.
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Old 10-06-13, 12:44 PM
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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.
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Old 10-06-13, 01:32 PM
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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 *****
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Old 10-06-13, 04:16 PM
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Re: "The Lords of Salem" Reviews/Discussion - 2013 Horror Challenge: Day 6

Originally Posted by Spiderbite View Post
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!
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Old 10-06-13, 10:00 PM
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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.
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Old 10-06-13, 10:32 PM
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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.
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Old 10-06-13, 10:41 PM
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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.
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Old 10-06-13, 11:34 PM
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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.
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Old 10-06-13, 11:55 PM
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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!
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Old 10-07-13, 12:45 AM
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Re: "The Lords of Salem" Reviews/Discussion - 2013 Horror Challenge: Day 6

Originally Posted by rbrown498 View Post
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.
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Old 10-07-13, 02:24 AM
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Re: "The Lords of Salem" Reviews/Discussion - 2013 Horror Challenge: Day 6

Originally Posted by jacob_b View Post
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.
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Old 10-07-13, 06:12 AM
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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 View Post
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).
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